During Obama’s fifth press-conference, Peter Baker, who I believe works for the Washington Post, had Obama in a “foot in mouth” moment regarding a question about Hillary Clinton. Then laughs about how he thinks the press is “having fun” with him over things he has said during his campaign. And that his justification for saying the things he did about Hillary during the campaign were due to the “heat of a campaign”, thus it was okay for Barack and Michelle to say things negative about Hillary and it was no biggie.
So by that same token, why is it that when things were said about Obama, his lawyers would threaten legal action or call it a “smear” campaign, thus it was not okay? [The word hypocrite comes to mind.. again.. about Obama.]
And one thought to ponder in all of this is when Obama can’t make good on his promises that he made during his campaign, is he going to fall back on the “heat of the campaign” excuse and not take personal responsibility for his claims and words?
Q: You talked about the importance just now of having different voices and robust debate within your administration. But, again, going back to the campaign, you were asked and talked about the qualifications of the – your now – your nominee for secretary of State, and you belittled her travels around the world, equating it to having teas with foreign leaders; and your new White House counsel said that her resume was grossly exaggerated when it came to foreign policy. I’m wondering whether you could talk about the evolution of your views of her credentials since the spring.
Obama: Look, I’m in – I think this is fun for the press, to try to stir up whatever quotes were generated during the course of the campaign.
Q: You quotes, sir.
Obama: No, I understand. And I’m – and you’re having fun. (Laughs)
Q: I’m asking a question.
Obama: But the – and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m not – I’m not faulting it. But look, I think if you look at the statements that Hillary Clinton and I have made outside of the – the heat of the campaign, we share a view that American has to be safe and secure and in order to do that we have to combine military power with strengthened diplomacy. And we have to build and forge stronger alliances around the world, so that we’re not carrying the burdens and these challenges by ourselves.
I believe that there’s no more effective advocate than Hillary Clinton for that well-rounded view of how we advance American interests. She has served on the Armed Services Committee in the Senate. She knows world leaders around the world. I have had extensive discussions with her both pre-election and post-election about the strategic opportunities that exist out there to strengthen America’s posture in the world.
And I think she is going to be a[n] outstanding secretary of State. And if I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t have offered her the job. And if she didn’t believe that I was equipped to lead this nation at such a difficult time, she would not have accepted. Okay?
WHAT DOES THE SECRETARY OF STATE DO?
The Secretary of State on the federal government level is officially responsibility is for foreign policy (i.e. equivalent to a foreign minister). The foreign policy is a set of goals outlining how the country will interact with other countries economically, politically, socially and militarily, and to a lesser extent, how the country will interact with non-state actors. Currently that position in the Bush administration is held by Condoleezza Rice.
A LOOK BACK
Now time for a bit of a time warp back to a few statements between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, with emphasis on Hillary’s foreign policy experience.
Nov 20, 2007 – Hillary Clinton on Barack Obama: “Now voters will judge whether living in foreign country at the age of 10 prepares one to face the big, complex international challenges the next President will face. I think we need a President with more experience than that.”
Feb 25, 2008 – Hillary Clinton on Barack Obama: “[Obama] wavers from seeming to believe that mediation and meetings without preconditions can solve some of the world’s most intractable problems to advocating rash unilateral military action without cooperation among allies in the most sensitive region of the world.” [..] “We’ve seen the tragic result of having a president who had neither the experience nor the wisdom to manage our foreign policy and safeguard our national security. We can’t let that happen again.”
Feb 25, 2008 – Hillary Clinton on Barack Obama (assumed): “The American people don’t have to guess whether I understand the issues or whether I would need a foreign policy instruction manual to guide me through a crisis…”
Mar 02, 2008 – Barack Obama on Hillary Clinton: “When it came to make the most important foreign policy decision of our generation the decision to invade Iraq Senator Clinton got it wrong.”
Mar 02, 2008 – Barack Obama on Hillary Clinton: “What precise foreign-policy experience is she claiming that makes her qualified to answer that telephone call at 3 a.m. in the morning?”
Mar 03, 2008 – Hillary Clinton on Barack Obama: “I think that I have a lifetime of experience that I would bring to the White House. I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience that he will bring to the White House. And Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002.”
Mar 06(ish), 2008 – Barack Obama on Hillary Clinton: “What exactly is this foreign policy experience? Was she negotiating treaties? Was she handling crises? The answer is no.”
Mar, 2008 – Susan Rice, Obama advisor, on Hillary Clinton: “There is no crisis to be dealt with or managed when you are first lady. You don’t get that kind of experience by being married to a commander in chief.”
For Obama to say, “Don’t think too hard about what I say, but always, whatever you do, assume the best of me,” is quite a dangerous proposition. Additionally, the man has no real world experience when it comes to foreign policy, or for that matter much experience in Washington DC. He’s had to resort to Clinton-administration retreads to assemble a cabinet using a person who he said previously had no real world experience in foreign policy.
I think Obama needs to learn the definition of a word.
1: a mania for great or grandiose performance
2: a delusional mental disorder that is marked by feelings of personal omnipotence and grandeur.
And you know, I could always say that Obama lies a lot however, I can’t. That is because I' don’t think I’ve ever heard him speak the truth; “a lot” seems to imply that he occasionally tells the truth.
But ultimately he made promises during his campaign, are those now going to be just stated in the “heat of the campaign?”
BTW, here is the translation from the Obama doublespeak stated during the press conference:
“You can not believe a damn word that comes from my mouth. I will do and say anything at all if it makes me look good and allows me to win elections that I am unqualified for. I am not to be held responsible for anything I have ever said, am saying, and/or will ever say.”
And yes, I’m back with a bad attitude.
Found this little tidbit from Campbell Brown on CNN… I’m not alone. Maybe Obama will learn to not piss off the press.
EDIT AGAIN.. well.. it seems this video has been removed from CNN… If you do a search for the video “This is fun for the press”, you will still find a link. However, the video never loads. And obviously below, the video is now “missing”… how “interesting”… and I’m not being a “tin foil” person here, but I find incidents of the press speaking negatively about Obama disappearing pretty quickly after publication.
But no worries… I happen to have the transcript of the video. :D See below.
BROWN: No one here needs to be reminded of how heated things got between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton during the campaign. She trashed him, saying he wasn't ready to be commander in chief. He trashed her, mocking her foreign policy experience as first lady. Well, now, of course, they have put all of that behind them, so that she can become his secretary of state. Naturally, given all that was said, this issue came up during an exchange with reporters today. This is worth listening to.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: You've talked about the importance just now of having different voices and robust debate within your administration. But, again, going back to the campaign, you were asked and talked about the qualifications of the -- your now, your nominee for secretary of state. And you belittled her travels around the word, equating it to having teas with foreign leaders. And your new White House council said that her resume was grossly exaggerated when it came to foreign policy. I'm wondering whether you can talk about the evolution of your views of her credentials since the spring.
OBAMA: Well, I mean, I think -- this is fun for the press to try to stir up whatever quotes were generated during the course of the campaign. No, I understand. And you're having fun.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: There we go again. The pesky media, all we want to do is have a little fun, stir things up for our own amusement.
I mean, really, how silly of that reporter to dare ask you, Mr. President-elect, how it is that you completely mocked Hillary Clinton's foreign policy experience just a few months ago and yet today you think there is no one more qualified than she to lead your foreign policy team? It's a clever device, treating a question so dismissively in an attempt to delegitimize it, but it is a legitimate question. As annoying how you may have found it, it is a fair question.
It was only in March of this year that Greg Craig, your new White House counsel, put out a memo over four pages long outlining point by point Hillary Clinton's foreign policy claims, calling them all exaggerated, just words, not supported by her record.
Now, look, maybe you regret what you said about Hillary Clinton. Maybe it was, as you suggested today, all just said in the heat of the campaign. If that is the case, and you are both now rising above it, then you deserve to be commended for that. And you could have been explicit in saying all of that today. You could have explained the evolution of your thinking, instead of belittling a question you didn't like.
Mr. President-elect, reporters, we hope, are going to ask you a lot of annoying questions over the next four years. Get used to it. That is the job of the media, to hold you accountable.
But this isn't just about the media. It's about the American people, many of whom voted for you because of what you said during the campaign. And they have a right to know which of those things you meant and which you didn't. Apparently, as you made clear today, you didn't mean what you said about Hillary Clinton.
So, what else didn't you mean? The media is going to be asking. And you were wrong today. Annoying questions are about more than just the press having fun. Annoying questions are about the press doing its job and the people's right to know.