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Obama Watch

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2007 at 12:11 am

This week, Barack Obama came out ahead in the polls in Iowa – see below – the “all important” first stop in the up-coming Democratic primary. Now, I’m not a stickler for polls, but I found it interesting that most of the news reports announced that the Dems — Obama, Clinton and Edwards – were in a statistical tie in Iowa. (This, after months of hearing Clinton was the obvious front-runner, the one to beat.)

Perhaps the more interesting info was that Clinton received very few second-choice votes from people who favored Edwards or Obama (the second-choice is actually a factor that gets consideration in the Iowa caucuses). Basically, if she doesn’t come in first in Iowa, she probably won’t be in the top 2. Not the kind of start a front-runner hopes for.

So, out on the offensive, Hillary Clinton called into question Barack Obama’s ability to lead at this complicated time in the nation’s history, citing of all things Obama’s globe-hopping as a youngster. “Voters will have to judge,” said Clinton, “if living in a foreign country at the age of 10 prepares one to face the big, complex international challenges the next president will face.”

This statement seems so ripe with irony that I first thought I was reading it grossly out of context. Is Clinton really suggesting that the early experience of living abroad (in the largest Muslim nation on the planet, no less) and attending schools alongside South-East Asian Muslims – in conjunction with a Harvard degree and pivotal years spent in the U.S. Senate – may in fact make Obama less equipped to “face the big, complex international challenges the next president will face”?

One may as well ask: Can a person of mixed ethnicity truly face the challenges of leadership in a multi-cultural society? What are the chances that a bilingual person could really be capable of leading a nation that is increasingly bilingual? Can a person younger than 50 possibly be expected to relate to people his own age and younger who are increasingly called upon to fuel the new economy, even while prospects of job security and health care for themselves and their families are diminishing?

I don’t know. Perhaps Hilary Clinton was merely trying to differentiate herself from a candidate she feels has less experience. In which case, I think I’ll defer to the candidate with the experience and judgement that told him the current war was ill advised from the get go, rather than the candidate that authorized the war without reading the available intelligence and later plead she was misinformed.

… please discuss ….

ABC News/Washington Post Poll 11/16/2007
In Iowa
Barack Obama 30%
Hillary Clinton 26%
John Edwards 22%

obama Watch