July 9, 2008


Obama, Clinton Split on FISA Vote (Siobhan Gorman, 7/09/08, WSJ: Washington Wire)

Obama said he would work to eliminate a provision to grant conditional immunity to phone companies alleged to have participated in the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance program, but amendments attempting to pare back or strip immunity from the surveillance bill were defeated Wednesday, as expected.

Obama won the nomination, in part, by running to Clinton’s left, but he has been tacking right since clinching the nomination in early June–which today landed him to Clinton’s right on the spy bill, which overhauled the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Obama’s own campaign Web site has become a hotbed of debate over his support for the compromise bill, spawning four groups in which opponents of Obama’s position vastly outnumber supporters—22,957 to 38. The “Get FISA Right” group blog on MyBarackObama.com was flooded with disappointed supporters after Wednesday’s vote, with more than 60 writing in within 90 minutes of the vote.

...between needing the looney Left to help retire your campaign debt and needing normal people to vote for you if you're to keep it competitive in the Fall. Change the nomination results and the votes would be reversed. Although, we can take him at his word that he worked to have the proviso removed. The result, after all, would be consistent with his other "work" in the Senate: ineffective.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 9, 2008 5:14 PM

Obama: What is the fuss? They love me, they really love me. I will be in the White House this time next year.

Posted by: ic at July 9, 2008 6:35 PM

Hillary initially voted with Obama on the immunity-stripping amendment. Then the cloture vote came up and both voted for cloture. But at the last moment Hillary changed her cloture vote from yea to nay, and Obama had no time to react.

Obama was now stuck in a dilemma. If he voted nay on the final FISA bill it would be a Kerry-esque event ("He voted for it before he was against it!") and underscore his tendency to flip-flop. Or he could grit his teeth and follow through and watch the netroots howl. ("He wants to shred the Constitution! He voted with Bush!")

Hillary made sure that Obama was screwed either way.

Posted by: Gideon7 at July 9, 2008 8:13 PM

I guess this is what happens when you take an unloaded gun to a knife fight.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at July 9, 2008 8:50 PM

Raoul: comment of the year.

Posted by: ratbert at July 10, 2008 11:39 PM
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