Obama Hits Back

The Rapid Response.

That didn’t take long, and interestingly, just from reading Jake Tapper’s account, you can almost hear Obama getting a little steamed on this.

Look, he’s going to get parsed, especially in an election year when no one really has much nice to say about McCain.  Those people who would normally be making a positive case for McCain have also been shunted to attacking Obama, so this is all expected.

But I appreciate that Obama is refusing to back down on this, and most importantly, calling the McCain camp and the Republicans out on the carpet for exactly what this is:

What they are trying to do is what they’ve done every election cycle, which is to use terrorism as a club to make the American people afraid – to win elections – that’s what they’re trying to do.

This is kind of uncharted territory here.  Since Republicans first started using politics of fear tactics, I don’t think there has been a major candidate, definitely not one  on this scale, that is willing to blatantly call it out for what it is.  Perhaps, if he says it enough, people will listen and realize they are being duped.

Of course, I could just be a little naive here, too.

2 Responses to “Obama Hits Back”

  1. Mark says:

    As soon as I saw his response on this, I said to my wife that this was the first time in ages that I had seen a Dem politician actually recognize that the Dems can have the better of the debate on foreign policy – as long as they actually fight back rather than just trying to be Republican-lite. Not only is Obama right on this issue, this is also a politically smart move – by not conceding the issue of “anti-terrorism,” he is actually offering the voters a choice on the issue. This is closely connected to the “political branding” we discussed back in February, but to go back to that discussion: the Dems in recent years have mostly just tried to sell the American public RC cola on foreign policy and ‘fighting terrorism” against the Republican Coca-Cola classic. In that debate, the Dems were always going to lose – even if most Americans thought the Republicans were screwing up royally with their policies, they didn’t want to give the Dems a chance since all the Dems were selling was a half-a$$ed version of the Republican foreign policy. But this time, Obama has decided to sell Dr. Pepper, Sprite, and Mountain Dew on foreign policy and terrorism, in the process telling voters who are tired of cola that they now have a real choice while also calling the marketers of Coca-Cola a bunch of charlatans who want you to believe that cola is the only soda around (and that you are naive to believe otherwise).

  2. Love the analogy, and yes, this is exactly one of the key reasons why this candidacy has gotten me so excited. Here’s a guy who is basically not going to fall into the same trap that Kerry fell into where, when push came to shove, it was all, “I can be a tough guy too.”

    And that’s exactly why the McCain camp and the Republicans are going to do what they’re going to do. If people feel they have an actual choice on foreign policy, they’re going to make a decision. As long as McCain and Co. try to make it look like the only thing that Obama brings to the game is a bunch of lily-livered stupid, they’re going to choose McCain.

    Right now, polls show that McCain is still strongly favored on foreign policy and anti-terrorism, but I think that if Obama continues to push against this, and refuses to get bandied about by the same old Republican talking points, I think those numbers are going to shift drastically between now and November.


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