17 August 2008

People Might Hate George Bush,

but this is a problem for the Democrats:
Q: What's the most significant -- let me ask it this way: what's the most gut wrenching decision you've ever had to make and how did you process that, come to that decision?

Barack Obama: Well, you know, I think the opposition to the war in Iraq was as tough a decision that I’ve had to make not only because there were political consequences but also because Saddam Hussein was a bad person and there was no doubt that he met America ill, but I was firmly convinced at the time that we did not have strong evidence of weapons of mass destruction and there were a lot of questions that as I spoke to experts kept on coming up, do we know how the Shiites and the Sunnis and the Kurds are going to get along in a post Saddam situation, what's our assessment as to how this will affect the battle against terrorist like al-Qaeda, have we finished the job in Afghanistan so I agonized over that and I think questions of war and peace generally are so profound you know when you meet the troops, they are 19, 20, 21-year old kids and you are putting them into harm's way there is a solemn obligation that you do everything you can to get that decision right. And now as the war went forward, very difficult about how long do you keep funding the war if you strongly believe that it's not America’s national interest at the same time you don't want to have troops who are out there without the equipment they need. So that all those questions surrounding the war have been very difficult for me.

John McCain: it was long ago and far away in a prison camp in north Vietnam. My father was a high ranking admiral. The Vietnamese came and said that I could leave prison early. And we had a code of conduct that said you only leave by order of capture. I also had a dear and beloved friend who was from California by the name Ed Alvarez who had been shot down and captured a couple years before me but I wasn't in good physical shape. In fact I was in rather bad physical shape.

So I said no. Now, in it of full disclosure, I’m very happy I didn't know the war was going to last for another three years or so. But I said no and I’ll never forget sitting in my last answer and the high ranking officer who offered it slammed the door and the interrogator said go back to your cell it's going to be very tough on you now. And it was. But not only the toughest decision I ever made but I’m most happy about that decision than any decision I’ve ever made in my life. I did finally say it took a lot of prayer, it took a lot of prayer.


Harry Eagar said...

Few, if any, candidates for president since Lincoln have had to face "tough" decisions. What was the toughest decision Ronald Reagan ever faced: rejecting a cushy assignment in Culver City for a genuine active duty post? And he muffed it and you think he's the berries.

No doubt you're right that people will react emotionally to the contrast, if anyone spells it out for them the way you have, but it's only a problem for Democrats because people don't vote for carefully thought out reasons (or purposes).

erp said...

McCain hasn't talked much about his POW years, but if the media and the dems keep giving him these openings, they shouldn't be surprised if they don't like his answers or the public's positive reaction to them.

The more Obama tries to look presidential, the more he highlights his lack of presidential qualities and speaking of highlights, if it turns out he is graying his hair, that really would be the end of his being taken seriously by any but the Kool-Aid drinkers.

To quote Rush, this really is more fun than a human being should be allowed to have.

joe shropshire said...

Yes, Ronald Reagan had a very easy time. All he had to do was point at Jimmy Carter, laugh and say I'm not that guy. And you can accept the fact that some people might nurse a grudge over this for thirty years. Certainly Carter has, and I suppose he's not alone. But, a grudge is not a strategy. People might hate George Bush, but that is not going to turn John McCain into Jimmy Carter.