Keeping Fair and Balanced on Obama

Posted by Mike Merritt in Election 2008, Politics on

I suppose that with my recent hits on the McCain and Clinton campaigns, I can hardly leave Obama out of the fun. As much as I like the guy, I’m not with him on everything he’s done in his run for the White House.

As much as Obama supporters will probably like to mention to me that he doesn’t play dirty “like McCain and Clinton,” there is something I don’t like Obama doing.

In every speech lately, he keeps bringing up the 100 years thing McCain said a few weeks ago. For those who don’t follow this campaign cycle as much as me, take a look at this YouTube video. For all those “tl;dr” people, I’ll be extra generous: McCain is responding to an inquiry someone has on what he thinks about what Bush said about the possibility for being in Iraq for the long haul, even 50 years. McCain mentions that he’d be okay with 100 years, and goes on to mention some places, like Germany and Japan, that we’ve been in for more than a decade.

Since then, lefty news organizations and commentators have been attaching their claws to the “100 years” phrase like a vulture tearing at a carcass, possibly trying to achieve the same effect. Unfortunately (in my opinion), Obama’s been going along with this, even after McCain has clarified his position further, as seen in this article.

I’m going to have to go along with McCain’s “they took it out of context” argument here. I think it’s pretty clear from the video what McCain means. He mentions Germany, Japan, and South Korea. All places we’ve been stationed, but not actively engaged in fighting, for many years. So, it’s pretty clear to me that’s what “100 years” means. Yet, in speeches after McCain had clarified his position, Obama was still using the phrase against McCain. He was bringing up the phrase at least as late as after his wins last Tuesday.

For someone who presents them self as the “anti-Washington establishment” candidate, Obama playing on that statement for so long is pretty Washington establishment to me. I’d expect such a thing out of Clinton (well, expect is not the right word, as she’s playing on the phrase too) or McCain, both Wasington veterans, but not Obama.

I feel like, in a general sense, and this isn’t just directed toward Obama, that all the candidates have varying amounts of demagoguery going on within their campaigns. Some candidates are worse than others, but in the end, it tends to be a lot more about style and presence than talking about the real issues.

I think Obama needs to change his tact, and stop calling McCain on something that’s he’s already clarified as the U.S. having done for many years (with two of his examples first starting under a Democratic administration). The longer he keeps it up, the more it starts to look like dirty politics.

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