May 23, 2008


Barack Clinton Obama: What's “change” is old again. (Peter Wehner, 5/22/08, National Review)

[N]ow Obama’s top advisers like Tom Daschle are saying, “I would not say that we would meet unconditionally. Of course, there are conditions that we [would] involve in preparation in getting ready for the diplomacy. . . . ‘Without precondition’ simply means we wouldn’t put obstacles in the way of discussing the differences between us. That’s really what they’re saying, what Barack is saying.” And Obama himself insisted that he didn’t necessarily have President Ahmadinejad in mind when he said he’d meet with the leader of Iran — and, anyway, “this obsession with Ahmadinejad is an example of us losing track of what’s important.”

This explanation is Clintonian. As Robert Novak helpfully pointed out in his column on Thursday, last September Obama was asked at a press conference whether he still would meet with Ahmadinejad. Obama replied, “Yeah . . . I find many of President Ahmadinejad’s statements odious. . . . But we should never fear to negotiate.” And in November, on NBC’s Meet the Press, Obama defended “a conversation with somebody like Ahmadinejad.”

Rather than admit he made a mistake, however, Obama now blames us for our “obsession” with Ahmadinejad. And as is so often the case, any criticism of Obama, on any grounds, is causing us to “lose track of what’s important.” One senses that Obama and his supporters, while happy to pound his opponents, believe criticism of him is indecorous and even illegitimate.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 23, 2008 10:08 AM
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