Patterico's Pontifications


Obama Adviser Speaks Candidly (Updated)

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 10:50 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Barack Obama has campaigned on the theme he will change how things are done in Washington. He asks people to believe in change and he’s even run an ad entitled Candor.

In keeping with that promise, his foreign policy adviser Susan Rice spoke candidly regarding “the foreign policy credentials of both Democrats against the tableau of Mrs. Clinton’s 3 a.m. phone call advertisement about who would be best prepared for an international crisis” while our children sleep:

“Clinton hasn’t had to answer the phone at three o’clock in the morning and yet she attacked Barack Obama for not being ready,’’ Ms. Rice said. “They’re both not ready to have that 3 a.m. phone call.”


H/T Instapundit.

UPDATE: See Beldar’s comment that explains the context of Ms. Rice’s comment and shows her point was that only an incumbent can know what it’s like to answer the 3AM phone call.


23 Responses to “Obama Adviser Speaks Candidly (Updated)”

  1. Are we SURE this person is paid by Obama? I mean, jeezus…


    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  2. This is an example of why I wanted Obama to be the nominee and I especially wanted Hillary to be soundly defeated.

    Obama (and his staff) are novices and they will make more mistakes than Hillary and her staff. He is also more liberal, and Americans don’t like extremists on either side. His extremism will become more clear by the general election because he hasn’t been pressed or vetted, just as Hillary claims. On the other hand, she can still successfully move to the center for the general election where she will split the older voters with McCain, leaving her single-mother-supporters to put her over the top.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  3. I’m confused: Rice is Obama’s foreign policy advisor? On Obama’s staff? And is doing everything in her power to endorse and encourage votes for her guy?

    And the public is expected to vote for one of two people who are not ready for that 3 a.m. phone call????

    Just checking.

    Dana (b4a26c)

  4. And…Johnny Mac has his first campaign add. Everytime Obama or his wife, Omarosa, or some idiot from their campaign open their mouths is Christmas morning for Republicans.

    Lamontyoubigdummy (b5d02f)

  5. What did I tell you about the matriarchy? Black women, no less than white women, want to humiliate and humble the black man and prevent him from achieving his potential.

    nk (7b0075)

  6. Bad news for B HO.

    Neo (cba5df)

  7. By the same standard, neither Bush (II) nor Clinton were ready when they were elected.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  8. Haw haw haw haw…. maybe the real thing to worry about isn’t Obama’s inexperience, but the experience of the people he would surround himself with if he became Prez.

    EdWood (c2268a)

  9. Out of the mouths of young morons comes the truth.

    Mike Myers (31af82)

  10. Like when Bill arrived in DC with a tag-along group of kids who he set loose to “run” the White House and the country.

    It is about the candidate and those he will elevate to positions of power and influence. Scary when neither Dem candidate can run their own campaigns in a fiscally and policy competent way, yet believe they deserve to become President.

    in_awe (edc795)

  11. Aphrael,

    I wish I could find a transcript or the rest of this video. I’m sure Ms. Rice meant her statement to be prefaced by the condition you used, e.g., “by that standard …”, and it’s obviously true for all candidates except incumbents. Nevertheless, these kinds of self-inflicted mistakes hurt.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  12. The NYT blog (oxymoron) to which InstaPundit originally linked has now supplemented with more context. Indeed, Ms. Rice immediately went on to say that neither Clinton, Obama, nor McCain has had that “3 o’clock phone call” — more or less restricting that phrase to mean a call that could only be received by a sitting president:

    Mr. Carlson: So Hillary Clinton runs this ad, the famous red phone ad, that says when the phone rings at 3 o’clock in the morning, you know, who do you trust to make those snap decisions that could hold all of our lives in the balance? And the Obama campaign, I thought very wisely, came back and said, name one that you — you know name a situation where you’ve judged a foreign policy crisis, and she couldn’t.

    I’m going to ask the same question to you. Where has — Barack Obama been in a position where he has to make those kinds of decisions?

    Ms. Rice: He hasn’t and he hasn’t claimed that he’s been in a position to have to answer the phone at 3 o’clock in the morning in a crisis situation. That’s the difference between the two of them. Hillary Clinton hasn’t had to answer the phone at 3 o’clock in the morning. And yet she attacked Barack Obama for not being ready. They’re both not ready to have that 3:00 a.m. phone call.

    The question is and what Barack Obama raised is, when that phone call is received for each of them for the first time, who’s going to make the right judgment? Who is going to make the right decision?

    On the critical foreign policy issues of the day, whether it was a decision to go to war in Iraq or the decision to give President Bush the benefit of the doubt and beat the drums of war with Iran, Hillary Clinton has made the same wrong judgment as John McCain and George W. Bush. Barack Obama has made a very different judgment.

    So neither one of them, and nor John McCain for that matter, have had that 3 o’clock phone call that others have had. And I think we have to be honest about that.

    Beldar (433d17)

  13. Thanks, Beldar. I’ll link your comment in the main post.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  14. There’s a quote in the Richard Reeves’ biography of JFK where Kennedy admitted that “nothing prepares you for the presidency.”

    And here was a man who traveled extensively through Europe, whose father was Ambassador to England, fought in WW II, served in Congress for six years, the Senate for eight more, et cetera.

    If he wasn’t prepared for the job, no one can be.

    I think, though, that of the men and women in leadership today, McCain clearly has the best possibility of being ready.

    Who knows?

    SteveMG (3061db)

  15. I disagree, by the way, with her restriction in meaning. It’s entirely possible to have had the experience, and yet not be “ready”: Jimmy Carter had a series of such calls (e.g., Iranians’ seizure of embassy hostages, Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, crash at Desert One rescue staging point); he was unprepared, and he never got any better.

    By contrast, George H.W. Bush was objectively as well prepared as any human being could be upon entering the presidency, with a history that included service as a war hero, successful businessman, congressman, party chairman, CIA chief, and two-term vice president. Most of us think he also did pretty well with the 3:00 o’clock a.m. phone call advising that Saddam had invaded Kuwait (and even those who fault him, generally fault him for the back-end failure to go beyond the Coalition’s mandate of expelling Saddam’s forces from Kuwait).

    It’s easy to rank the three remaining candidates in terms of their objective qualifications, based on past experience, to handle foreign policy, national security, and military crises: McCain has not only his own military command experience (apart from his courageous POW experience), but the longest experience in Congressional oversight of such matters (mostly through committees). Among his accomplishments have been the bipartisan (with John Kerry) normalization of relations with Vietnam and his ongoing, conspicuous, and essential support for the Surge and continued actions in Iraq that are now paying off. Hillary had the opportunity to observe Clinton-42 Administration responses to crises from a privileged position, even if she wasn’t often a direct participant, and she has, by all reports, generally been a diligent senator during her term and a third when it comes to doing committee work. Obama, a first-term senator, was gifted with a major subcommittee chairmanship relating to the ongoing war in Afghanistan, which both he and Hillary characterize as “the real war” that we “shouldn’t have taken our eye off of” and now need to “win” — and he has yet to bother to conduct even a single pro forma meeting of that committee. They have pertinent and credible life histories on this subject; Obama has, as Clinton has pointedly observed, an anti-Iraq invasion speech that he gave as a state legislator in 2002.

    Beldar (433d17)

  16. Candor? Obama’s stonewalling about Rezko reminds me of “Operation Candor,” a not very encouraging precedent.

    Bradley J. Fikes (63ed80)

  17. As I think Beldar was gently suggesting, when something — here an apparent slip of the mask — seems too good to be true… it usually is.

    There is no need to rush; it’s worth taking time to thoroughly investigate that nice gift of a horse statue the Democrats are offering up before hauling it inside the walls.


    Dafydd ab Hugh (db2ea4)

  18. Thanks for spoiling our fun, Beldar.

    Oh well, the clip will still work well in a Republican attack ad.

    Daryl Herbert (4ecd4c)

  19. #15 Beldar, its interesting reading your ‘credible life histories’ references… it strikes me that as none of the three have faced that three a.m. call, age might well be an advantage for McCain. By virtue of having lived more years he’s had that much more time to experience and learn from more decisions, pressure cooker situations, and critical decisions…not all of course sucessful ones.

    Reverse ageism? Obama just hasn’t had time to earn the creds.

    Dana (3b723a)

  20. Having been in on some “interesting” early morning phone calls years ago while on active duty, I know the type of pressures which surface as one works one’s way through the situation. Given that experience, of the three remaining candidates, I think only John McCain has the experience, the knowledge, and the common sense necessary.

    Bill M (00e589)

  21. That Susan Rice, she is not so good.

    JD (626b4c)

  22. This is not the first time, nor will it be the last time that she opens her pie hole just so she can jam a Jimmie Choo in it.

    JD (626b4c)

  23. i love that “my candidate is just as not qualified as Hillary”

    chas (fb7ad4)

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