Saturday, September 27, 2008

Obama passes the Commander-in-Chief test

Ilana Goldenberg, writing last night in Democracy Arsenal, argued that Sen. Barack Obama passed the "Commander in Chief test.
(Did anyone notice how John McCain lacked the manners of a gentleman during the debate? He laughed during Barack Obama's answers. Inherently signs of immaturity and limited self-confidence.)
Debate Wrap Up: Obama Passes Commander in Chief Test
Posted by Ilan Goldenberg

So what came out of this debate that John McCain tried to evade? The pressure was on McCain to win and win big. But he didn’t do that. Not at all. Obama won on key issues demonstrating that our foreign policy is more than just about the surge. McCain frequently reverted back to clichés calling his opponent naïve and lacking judgment. But those accusations weren’t actually substantiated by what happened. Obama actually looked more presidential while McCain often sounded condescending or angry.

Moreover, McCain also failed to show how he would be any different than George Bush on any of the key issues: Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran. It was just more of the same.

1. On Iran McCain continues to try and change the fact that his own advisor Henry Kissinger came out in favor of the Obama approach.

2. On spending McCain promised to cut earmarks of $18 billion and cure our budgetary woes through cutting spending. Unfortunately, his policies including $120 billion a year in Iraq and $175 billion on growing the military dwarf that.

3. On Iraq. McCain continues to obsess about the surge but misses the broader point of strategy over tactics and the need to focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan where the greatest threat is from.

4. McCain called Pakistan a failed state prior to 1998. That would have been pretty disturbing if it were true considering Pakistan has nuclear weapons.

5. On Afghanistan and Pakistan it is clear that John McCain has a long record of completely ignoring the war in Afghanistan and the Al Qaeda safehaven in Pakistan that our intelligence community and military leaders believe presents the greatest direct danger to the United States.

6. On Russia McCain touted the wisdom of his own reckless response – a response criticized by five secretaries of state including Henry Kissinger, Jim Baker and Colin Powell.

7. McCain repeatedly claimed that he could work effectively with our allies. But has a long history of alienating them and won’t even talk with Spain

8. McCain had issues with a number of foreign leaders names stumbling over Ahmadinejad’s name and calling the Pakistani President Asif Ali Zadari by the wrong name

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