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12:27 PM on 09/23/2008
Obama needs to state his main point First. In regard to the surge, i..e.,

The mission of the surge was to bring about political reconciliation, voting and resolution of the divisions in Iraq. Nothing has happened on this front

and, secondarily, he might mention that General Petraeus says one cannot use the word, "Victory" in regard to Iraq. There are no last hills to be taken, no border to the conflict, there are none of the old traditional markers that go with the word, "'victory", he says.
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Disabled Vietnam Vet
12:36 PM on 09/23/2008
How has the surged worked if only 1 / 3 of Iraq is secure ??????
Fox News is Watching Our Henhouse
01:35 PM on 09/23/2008
No. Obama has to tell the truth. The "success" of the Surge is not success at all and didn't achieve what events on the ground was already achieving. And besides, the Surge only occured in Bagdad. Improved outcomes elsewhere were unrelated to increased troops.
But maybe this wouldn't work - too many facts and realities for the viewers which will just be muddied up by the opposition.
The important thing is to quote Petreaus, Mullen and others about the still "tenuous" and "fragile" situation that still exists there, rather than the "coming victory" extolled by Palin.
Say " Senator McCain says he will achieve "victory" in the region. Then quote Petreaus and how unrealistic this promise is.
02:13 PM on 09/23/2008
Sen. Obama should bring up the ariel photo that showed a large part of where the surge was suppose to work had already be ethic cleansed, this is from our own Gov't,
12:27 PM on 09/23/2008
The Founding Fathers were determined that the role of Commander in Chief be held by the citizen class - not the military class. ..........................
old southern white liberal - an endangered species
12:50 PM on 09/23/2008
I agree with the basic idea that a person of the citizen class should be President, but the fact that Geo. Wash. was a founding father, a general, and the first president throws a shadow on your premise.
01:59 PM on 09/23/2008
Good point about George Washington. During the Whiskey Rebellion, GW donned his Revolutionary War uniform again and personally led 12,000 federal troops into Western Pennsylvania. To say that he took an active role as Commander in Chief is an understatement.

His successor,John Adams, had no military experience; and yet, he enjoyed prancing about in public in a gaudy Commander in Chief uniform, replete with ceremonial sword.

Our notion of the role of Commander in Chief has evolved over time.
12:26 PM on 09/23/2008
What's funny is that no one is really talking about the issues anymore. They're all talking about how the other one doesn't want to address the issues. I was watching CNN today and John Roberts asked an analyst what he thought of Obama's finance plan. The answer the analyst gave was all about how terrible he thought McCain's was, nothing at all about Obama's.
12:24 PM on 09/23/2008
Obama should remind McCain that his friend stupidly gave the Russians their excuse to invade Georgia and that nothing turned out there like he thought it would.
01:28 PM on 09/23/2008
Good one, BottomLine. He should also mention McCain's advisor/Republic of Georgia lobbyist as well. There's also the McCain bluster during the So. Ossetia crisis, which resulted in Vladimir Putin menacing Poland with nukes and threatening to shut off his oil spigots to the US, which resulted in a huge jump in oil prices the next day.
So much fodder, isn't there?
12:21 PM on 09/23/2008
Mc will probably even say that the town halls if he had agreed would have stopped this negativity - the most ridiculous statement ever but some of the pundits were actually agreeing with him!
11:59 AM on 09/23/2008
Ambassador Ginsberg, this is not complicated... it is not rocket science.

ALL Barak Obama has to do is ask Senator McCain (or force him to answer via moderator);

"Senator McCain, IF you are SO FOR CHANGE, WOULD YOU PLEASE EXPLAIN _WHICH SPECIFIC POLICIES_ of President Bush's administration WOULD YOU now CHANGE..."

"WHY do you NOW disagree with those policies, when you VOTED WITH BUSH 90% of the time"...

...."and if 'CHANGE' is SO IMPORTANT, why have you not been SHOUTING THOSE _SPECIFIC_ changes you would bring from the rooftops, for the past 8 months?"

Even in just 4 years as a Senator, Senator Obama has become partially corrupted by the Democrats' "play passive and don't say anything mean, nasty, much less accusatory" theme.

Just as, in today's House hearing, Treasury Sec. Paulson is never asked the tough question, "IF you were SO EXPERT as Goldman Sachs CEO as to deserve a $23-million TWENTY THREE MILLION DOLLAR departing bonus immediatly before you became Treasury Secretary, WHY did you NOT SEE THIS CRISIS COMING" (when others have), and why is your ONLY solution a MASSIVE TAXPAYER BAILOUT, when you have offered NOTHING for workers and homeowners affected by the mortgage crisis these past 16 months?"
Reality is not disney world
12:23 PM on 09/23/2008
sweet, I love what you said about Paulson...
I've come to regard you as people I've met
12:29 PM on 09/23/2008
11:58 AM on 09/23/2008
Nice list. Important points. But all Obama has to do is tie Foreign Policy to the economy. When McCain says, as he did the other day, "We are not leaving Iraq until we win!" Obama must reply with

"At what cost Senator?"

How many homeless Americans are going to be required to win the war?
How many soup kitchens will be opened to win the war?
How many people living without health insurance are required to win the war?
How many more unemployed Americans will be required to win the war?

"Senator, neither the American or Iraqi people want to win the war, they want to end the war. And quite frankly the nation can no longer afford your war. "

Make it McCains war, let him be proud of the surge, explain the economic consequences of bad foreign policy. Let MCain Hang himself with his own rope.

Get this comment to the Obama Camp ASAP
Reality is not disney world
12:27 PM on 09/23/2008
Obama can tie the Sunni Shia conflict historically, that it has been going on over 1000 years. The Irish Protestants and Catholics got serious about peace after 400 years....but they did it themselves it was not imposed on them...

It is about priorities, we spent an unknown quantity on the Iraq War and 15 billion (a pittance) on AIDs in Africa.
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Disabled Vietnam Vet
12:48 PM on 09/23/2008
Ask McCain why Joe Lieberman had to explain to McCain who the U.S. Military is fighting in Iraq 5 1/2 years AFTER THE WAR BEGAN ?????

Ask McCain who we are fighting in Iraq and why they are attacking our Troops.

They are attacking because we are there !!!!!!!!
11:50 AM on 09/23/2008
As for the surge--I think Obama has to spell out the enormous dollar cost of the surge--including what we are paying the Suni awakening fighters...this will be even more effective now with the current economic crisis. Ask and answer the questions: what has the surge COST Americans in blood and treasure; and, what have We bought? How much did we pay, and what did we buy? Can we now leave without the place falling back into civil war? Not likely. What about the price of oil? Any cheaper? Are we more secure at home? What about our reputation in the world. The point is the surge did nothing but help break the bank.
12:45 PM on 09/23/2008
Give McCain the surge and then go on. Don't argue about that tactic at all. The surge did something, but it is PAST and this is now and it did not do everything they said it would do or the war would be over. We are still in the quagmire and it's expensive.

I agree with those who say, "Tie this war to the economy." I think they will do that.
11:46 AM on 09/23/2008
If O is smart, he can now turn EACH Foreign Policy decision around to the economy. Of notable is the recent pledge Dick Cheny made to give $1 Billion to Georgia to rebuild its military after Georgia made a double triple dare to Russia and got creamed. Can we afford to keep that pledge now, in addition to $700 Billion?
Let me tell you--I believe that McCain's campaign staffer Shueneman (spelling), made a call and asked Georgia to attack its dissenters, to create a foreign policy crisis to make McCain look more presidential. And guess what, Putin thinks the SAME!
All that aside. This bailout is a BIG BLUFF to the democrats. Internal polling shows prospects of a landslide, for the democrats, and the Rs want to cover their tracks so they CAN'T be investigated afterward/ This is OBVIOUS to any thinking American.
Reality is not disney world
12:28 PM on 09/23/2008
agree with your points....
12:51 PM on 09/23/2008
I've been thinking pretty much along the same lines. If they can successfully tie up $700 Billion in the stock market, it will be very hard for Democrats to pass progressive social programs in the future.

It's awfully cynical, but after watching these birds since the early 70s, I wouldn't put it past them. They haven't shown they care about anything but money and power.
11:42 AM on 09/23/2008
"You know McCain will haul out the canard that you failed to convene any hearings as Chairman of the European Subcommittee and that is indicative of how little you cared about foreign policy when you were accorded the responsibility..."

This is kind of spooky. Apparently he was too busy to do his job. running for president, I guess.
12:29 PM on 09/23/2008
The word "canard" mean a LIE. Read the quote again.
11:36 AM on 09/23/2008
Senator Obama must take the offensive in the debates.

He must attack and keep attacking.
Reality is not disney world
12:30 PM on 09/23/2008
I would like to see Obama go on Saturday Night Live after the debates and have another mock debate with McCain....Obama is smart and funny and I am afraid that does not come across that well in the framework of the debates...
11:29 AM on 09/23/2008
So many armchair quarterbacks. Geez, like anything the poster or commenters have to say is going to reach Obama's ears. Everybody is an expert. Give me a break. Obama is very intelligent and probably a good debater. We all are going to have to trust him
11:41 AM on 09/23/2008
That's what the republicans said about Bush.
11:41 AM on 09/23/2008
Agree. Also, let's not forget McCain's tendency to become flustered and forget the names of world leaders or confuse them. I think we overestimate his ability to process details - especially when it comes to distinguishing between one country and another. At least Obama will know who Zapatero or anyone else who is mentioned is!
11:28 AM on 09/23/2008
Obama should point out that while the surge appears to be working it has done nothing to bring about political reconciliation and that a country that punishes it's citizens for visiting Israel is a Democracy in name only. It should also be brought up that WMD were never found in Iraq, invalidating any reason we had to be there in the first place. The cost of the war should be brought up, since the country is in a financial crisis the question needs to be raised if we can actually afford to continue to occupy Iraq. What is more important, America or Iraq?
11:11 AM on 09/23/2008
Obama has to channel CNN's Michael Ware for a pithy response to the surge. No nuance. All of this talk about the surge being the cause of the decrease in violence is a pipe dream. Ware tells that the decrease in violence was in part due to the fact that the U.S. military put some of the Sunni insurgent groups on the payroll. And the "peace" that currently exists is due to things like large barriers separating neighborhoods by ethnicity... not all that peaceful to me. The real results in the decrease in violence happened with mind over brawn. And even if you accept the "result," that still doesn't justify occupying a foreign country at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer, who is now being called upon by John McCain's president and John McCain's party to fork over another $700 BILLION to $1 TRILLION in money that we don't have.
11:26 AM on 09/23/2008
I hope Obama mentions that just about all of the military commanders were also against the surge. That included CentCom Commander General Abizaid, and Generals Dempsey and Casey as well as the divisional commanders on the ground. They felt it would prolong the Iraqi dependence on the US troops, and it would 'break' the military.
What Obama needs to stress is that what we have is one outome with the surge. Had Bush and McCain listened to the Generals, there may have been a far better outcome. The Iraqis would have had no choice but to get their act together, the US would have saved many lives and $120 billion for that year. The surge helped us to this result, especially the $30 million that has been surging every month to the ex-insurgents, but we do not know if it was the best result that could have been achieved.
11:09 AM on 09/23/2008
Brilliant post indeed! I am printing this out so that I can have it front and center when I watch the debates! Thanks!