Monday, April 07, 2008

Response to Mayhill Fowler @HuffPo

I saw this at the Huffington Post this afternoon in a thread by Clinton supporter Mayhill Fowler:

Last night at a fundraiser in San Francisco, Barack Obama took a question on what he's looking for in a running mate. "I would like somebody who knows about a bunch of stuff that I'm not as expert on," he said, and then he was off and running. "I think a lot of people assume that might be some sort of military thing to make me look more Commander-in-Chief-like. Ironically, this is an area--foreign policy is the area where I am probably most confident that I know more and understand the world better than Senator Clinton or Senator McCain."

"It's ironic because this is supposedly the place where experience is most needed to be Commander-in-Chief. Experience in Washington is not knowledge of the world. This I know. When Senator Clinton brags 'I've met leaders from eighty countries'--I know what those trips are like! I've been on them. You go from the airport to the embassy. There's a group of children who do native dance. You meet with the CIA station chief and the embassy and they give you a briefing. You go take a tour of a plant that [with] the assistance of USAID has started something. And then--you go.

"You do that in eighty countries--you don't know those eighty countries. So when I speak about having lived in Indonesia for four years, having family that is impoverished in small villages in Africa--knowing the leaders is not important--what I know is the people. . . .

"I traveled to Pakistan when I was in college--I knew what Sunni and Shia was [sic] before I joined the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. . . .

"Nobody is entirely prepared for being Commander-in-Chief. The question is when the 3 AM phone call comes do you have somebody who has the judgment, the temperament to ask the right questions, to weigh the costs and benefits of military action, who insists on good intelligence, who is not going to be swayed by the short-term politics. By most criteria, I've passed those tests and my two opponents have not."
My response to this article didn't make it into the comment section of this thread, so I'm posting it here:

I've been saying it for several months now. McCain is such a weak candidate that Obama doesn't need to flow with the conventional wisdom. What Obama needs is someone who is ready to be President from day one. He needs someone who can help solidify the base of the Party as he reaches across the aisle. He needs a pit bull who can help him remain above the fray as he goes up against the right wing noise machine this fall, someone who's itching for the fight.

He needs to be able to take that fight to all 50 states. He needs someone who isn't beholden to the DLC, and who is a rock solid member of the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. It's sad to say it in the 21st Century, but if he's going to be the first black President of the United States he needs a Vice President whom the right wing fears more than anyone else, just for that extra measure of safety that the Secret Service can't provide That man was endorsed by Al Gore and Jimmy Carter in 2004. His name is Howard Dean.

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