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Obama not good on defense

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:10 am - October 25, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics

I’d been trying to flesh out this brainstorm I had Thursday night, but my failure to focus yesterday prevented me from getting an angle on this idea.  It’s all based on this notion that Obama’s not very good playing defense while the circumstances of the campaign have largely kept him on offense.

I might have saved the idea for a later date — or perhaps neglected it altogether had I not, just before turning in, noted Jennifer Rubin’s criticism of the McCain campaign for failing to “get into the math . . . of Barack Obama’s spending plans and explains.

For most of the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama has been on offense.  He was the challenger going after Hillary Clinton, his party’s nominee presumptive.  When she started going after him, he floundered, limping across the finish line to his party’s nomination.

Once the McCain campaign started its summer offensive, he became peevish, whining about his Republican opponent’s creative ads.  His campaign seemed to be coming apart in the days after the GOP Convention when Sarah Palin fired up the GOP base.

Only the financial crisis put McCain on the defensive as the candidate of the party in power.  Perhaps, had McCain more quickly hit Obama for failing to do anything while in the Senate to forestall the crisis, we might see a different dynamic today.

The Republican would, however, have needed the media to help him raise those questions.  And our media haven’t done a very good job of challenging the Democratic nominee.  They haven’t put him on the defense as they have John McCain and Sarah Palin.

That’s why Rubin’s post reminded me of my “brainstorm.”  Quoting economist Alan Reynolds who wonders how Obama, if elected, would pay for the trillions of dollars in new spending he proposes.  She concludes that “We don’t know, because he has never been grilled and never been forced to respond to the math.

Never been grilled.  Never been forced to defend his expensive agenda in light of current fiscal reality.  How might Obama have held up had the media been more aggressive or the McCain campaign more focused?



  1. Rick Warren is the sole questioner that has put Obama on the defensive. And Warren didn’t play hardball.

    The MSM knew all about Clinton’s bimbo problems and Tsongas tagged him as a Pander Bear in the primaries. Bush One didn’t take it to him and the MSM was busy not challenging him.

    The MSM knows all about Obama and Hillary and even Biden tagged him a thousand times in the primaries. Like Bush One, McCain can’t get the rhythm of how a victory dance works in debates and campaigns. And the MSM is so busy looking the other way they have lost all semblance of integrity.

    Comment by heliotrope — October 25, 2008 @ 10:36 am - October 25, 2008

  2. The Obamunists have a theory that Obama is the socialist Reagan, that he will come to power in a recession, the economy will turn around, and he will usher in an era of European-style social democracy (which even Europe is souring on).

    The flaw in their theory is that Obama’s economic policies will deepen and prolong the recession. It is simply not possible to tax your way out of recession. And I have yet to hear any Obamunist explain to me how Obama’s massive expenditure proposals… 47 million people added to Medicare, subsidies for fiscally irresponsible states that run deficits, massive infrastructure investments (1,000 Big Digs), college tuition subsidies, federalized daycare … can be paid for by raising taxes on only five percent of the population. Even if you throw in the proposed evisceration of the military, it doesn’t add up.

    If he increases Federal spending massively without raising taxes (highly unlikely), he explodes the deficit, sets off inflation, and contracts the available credit for business expansion. Meanwhile, in addition to new taxes, businesses will be crushed with heavier environmental regulations, energy costs, and employment regulations.

    Granted McCain is clueless about the economy, but he kind of knows he is clueless about it. Obama thinks he knows everything, but everything he thinks he knows is wrong.

    Comment by V the K — October 25, 2008 @ 10:40 am - October 25, 2008

  3. The only way to get the necessary funds to fund all the programs would require the American military to be gutted. Is the world really ready for the American military to be the size of Japanese defense force?

    Comment by Swampfox — October 25, 2008 @ 11:18 am - October 25, 2008

  4. Is the world really ready for the American military to be the size of Japanese defense force?

    Some parts of the world are… Russia, China, Iran…

    Comment by V the K — October 25, 2008 @ 11:52 am - October 25, 2008

  5. People, c’mon. These are CAMPAIGN PROMISES. Is there really anyone who expects either candidate to keep their promises?

    That’s why you generally look to the past to guess what the candidate might do in the future. Unfortunately, Obama has almost no past to look to, and what little there is, the MSM conscientiously avoids. And worse, McCain’s past seems to indicate he’d like to keep spending under control.

    Therefore, the MSM is avoiding any talk of the past as it might predict the future.

    I notice the MSM is not blaming Bush for the Fannie/Freddie mess, either. They leave that lie to Obama and his “failed economic policies of the Bush adminstration” mantra. And that, for me, has been one of the most frustrating things about this campaign. If the public really knew that most of the blame for the “crisis” should go to Carter’s Community Reinvestment Act, put on steroids by Clinton, pushed and protected by congressional Democrats, and effectuated, at least in part, by Obama and his ACORN trainees, they might actually begin to wonder how economically astute Obama really is. And if they knew that both Bush and McCain had at least tried to head off the crisis, perhaps they’d notice that all that talk of Bush’s “disastrous” economic policies is, at the very least, hypocritical.

    I guess there’s no way for them to find out though, huh? The MSM sure won’t tell them, and apparently Sen. McCain has put that issue off-limits, too, right along with 20-years of Rev. Wright, mentor to the next president.

    Comment by Polly — October 25, 2008 @ 2:39 pm - October 25, 2008

  6. This aspect of Obama is the most frightening: when he has been ‘tested’, it has been only very gently within a civilized election process.

    If he becomes President, he will find himself in a whole different world. Palling around with Ayers is one thing; palling around with Iran is quite another.. one in which nuclear weaponry is front and centre.

    Comment by heather — October 25, 2008 @ 3:43 pm - October 25, 2008

  7. […] Related:  Obama not good on defense […]

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  8. […] after news surfaced that Cheney was planning his.“  The contrast showed that Obama is not particularly good on defense (in the tactical rather than policy sense of the term) something that might come to haunt him […]

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  9. […] There is some method to the Administration’s madness.  Obama and his political team have always been better on offense than defense. […]

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  10. […] Basically, the media all but exempted him from going on defense.  In those few moments when during the 2008 campaign, their best efforts notwithstanding,  he was put on defense, he stumbled badly.  In the immediate aftermath of the GOP convention,* it looked like the wheels were coming off his campaign bus.  Barack Obama was not good on defense. […]

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