Monday, June 30, 2008

Obama Surrogate Questions McCain's Military Qualifications [LINK]

In a very questionable political tactic, retired general and former NATO commander Wesley Clark questioned whether John McCain's military experience qualified him to be Commander-in-Chief. Clark attacked McCain's executive experience and said that he had never commanded troops in wartime.

In response to McCain's assertion that he had commanded the largest squadron in the Navy, Clark replied that it was not enough to qualify someone for the Presidency. Clark asserted:

"He hasn't been there and ordered the bombs to fall."

In response to interviewer Bob Schieffer's reminder that McCain had been shot down over Hanoi in the Vietnam War, Clark responded:

"I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president."

Schieffer then asked a logical and pertinent question; what executive experience does Barack Obama have? To this, Clark demurred and said that Obama "was running on the strength of his character and good judgment."

A couple of sure things can be noted from this interview. First of all, the obvious thing, Clark wants to be on the ticket as Obama's Vice Presidential candidate. It is no coincidence that the weaknesses he noted in McCain's resume' are things that are present on his. Clark is very ambitious and demonstrated in the 2004 campaign that he is willing to say just about anything to promote himself or attack an opponent. One clearly remembers his attack on George W. Bush only to have it revealed that he had totally supported him months earlier.

Second, Clark was speaking with the full approval of the Obama campaign. In this day of scripted campaigns, no one, especially someone with the aspirations of Wesley Clark, would make such a controversial attack without the complete acquiescence of Barack Obama.

This is an extremely questionable tactic for the Obama campaign to take. The old adage saying, "People who live in glass houses should not throw stones" is a good one here. Whatever McCain's executive experience might be, Obama has none. Whatever McCain's military qualifications may be, and they are considerable, Obama has none. Why would Obama attack McCain's strengths in an area where he has none himself?

I suspect that, as much as anything, this Clark interview was about Clark showing himself to be "the indispensible man" to the Obama campaign with all his military experience. That the Obama campaign would allow Clark to make these attacks demonstrates how weak they view themselves to be with regard to military matters.

--Submitted by B. Bryant

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