5/03/2007

One thing Obama got right in debut debate...


Joe Scarborough, former-Republican Congressman and host of MSNBC political talkshow Scarborough Country, wrote on his Huffington Post blog of Barack Obama's performance in the first Democratic Primary debate, "Let's face it, the guy wasn't JFK or Bobby last night. He wasn't even Mario Cuomo. Instead, Barack Obama acted like a candidate who was a state senator last time a presidential debate was conducted."

Senator Barack Obama has had more impressive performances than his recent debut as a national candidate in MSNBC's first debate for the crowded Democratic primary field. He stammered out a pathetic response to a question from moderator Brian Williams about how he would react to another 9/11-scale attack on the United States, instinctively citing federal failures in response to Hurricane Katrina, failing to jump all over the obvious opportunity offered him to assert his heretofore unimpressive qualifications to be Commander in Chief.

When questioned about which three allies he thought to be the United States' most important, some commentators have accused Senator Obama of making another political gaffe when he named off the European Union, NATO and Japan. The Senator has come under fire from much of the liberal mainstream because of his obvious omission of Israe l, which would have likely been the first word most, maybe all of the other candidates would have uttered in response to that same question. However, I believe that essentially the Senator answered the question correctly. Though Obama may wish he could go back and insert Israel for NATO, I am glad to hear that he instinctively left Israel out, and it makes me less weary of an Obama White House.

The reality is that Israel is in fact one of the major catalysts for anti-Americanism in both the Middle East and the European Union, places where the prevailing political wisdom is to view the Jewish state with suspicion. US policy concerning the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict has been deeply flawed and irreparably harmful to the United States' interests since the Truman Administration. I believe that this is a point-of-view shared by an overwhelming majority of young voters (under-30) and any candidate that clearly articulates an alternative policy for engaging the Israeli government on terms that hold it accountable for demonstrating tangible progress on the "road map" for peace, would have a decided advantage in a general election.

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