Thursday, June 12, 2008

Obama Campaign: Old School Politics or Ignorance?

Susan Rice's false statement about the Kennedy Khruschchev meeting leaves open two questions. Are Obama foreign policy advisors up to snuff to guide a candidate and potential president? Are Obama advisors making misleading or false statements in order to win votes? First, Dr. Susan Rice is a Rhodes Scholar, a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute, and has worked on the Kerry and Dukakis campaigns. It seems hard to believe that she would have thought that the Kennedy Khruschchev meeting really resolved the Cuban Missile Crisis. If she did, it is a troubling gap in knowledge for such an accomplished international relations scholar.

Consequently, that raises the second question of whether this is a tactic to sway votes by misleading people. Was Susan Rice trying to cash in on the popularity of JFK by assuming most people would not know their history well enough to challenge her? This isn't Rice's first misstatement. She has been trying over the last few months to walk back Senator Obama's statement that he would meet with dictators of rouge nations in the first year of his presidency without preconditions. The tactic being to confuse people with a debate between 'precondition' and 'preparations'. Yet, Dr. Rice expressly stated, “Nobody said he would initiate contacts at the presidential level; that requires due preparation and advance work.” That is false, Senator Obama in a YouTube debate expressly stated he would meet with the leaders of Iran, Cuba, and Venezuela without preconditions, which drew criticism from people on both sides of the isle. This begs the question is this a bumbling foreign policy, or old school politics. A decission to say anything regardless of its veracity to put your candidate in office.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

A good question. Both suggested answers probably.

Anonymous said...

My vote would be "old politics". He backtracked the answer for more sophisticated audiences but I seem to remember him using the original language about a month ago while speaking to an audience where the original "anyone, anywhere" approach has a greater appeal (college students and philosophers?)

Bandit said...

Obama is America's future - MTV meets affirmative action. Who cares if his advisors know anything about anything - his supporters sure don't.