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Miscellaneous meanderings and philosophical ramblings. The title from a spiral notebook I used to jot down my thoughts on religion and other matters some years ago. I like to write, think and express my views on various issues. Robust discussion is welcome.

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I will not submit. I will not surrender.
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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sincerity vs political calculation

While it is expected that a politician will make decisions based, at times, on mere political expediency, there are moments when such calculations are no better than working an abacus with your eyes closed and after a drunken frat party. If only Barack Obama had that as an excuse and also didn't have another political candidate whose actions can be looked at for comparison.

In a previous post I noted how Barack Obama canceled a visit to see wounded American soldiers while he was in Germany. There has been some further discussion about that matter with various responses from Obama's campaign.

One military official who was working on the Obama visit said because political candidates are prohibited from using military installations as campaign backdrops, Obama’s representatives were told, “he could only bring two or three of his Senate staff member, no campaign officials or workers.” In addition, “Obama could not bring any media. Only military photographers would be permitted to record Obama’s visit." [...] (source)

Thanks to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air who writes:

This makes the decision track very clear.  Obama and his team set up the visits to military installations before going overseas.  After seeing how the media got excluded in Iraq and Afghanistan, they decided it wasn’t worth traveling to Ramstein and Landstuhl to visit the severely wounded troops because they couldn’t bring the campaign and get the photo ops they wanted.  Instead, Obama went shopping in Berlin. [...]

As noted, this amounts to nothing more than it being less than politically rewarding, therefore Obama decided not to do it, despite the Obama campaign attempt to spin it.

[...] "Senator Obama did not want to have a trip to see our wounded warriors perceived as a campaign event when his visit was to show his appreciation for our troops and decided instead not to go,'' Gration said.

But the Pentagon said that wasn't true, that Obama was more than welcome to come, it was just that he couldn't bring the media or campaign staff. [...] (source)

A bit of background to that spin:

[...] Pentagon officials say Gration was the campaign's point of contact at Landstuhl in arranging Obama's visit and "got torqued" when he was told he would not be permitted to join Obama. It was Gration who later suggested to reporters that the Pentagon short-circuited Obama's visit. [...] (source, thanks to DrewM at Ace of Spades HQ for this and the above)

So it's either self-centered priorities, or Barack Obama is so incapable of independent thought, he simply accepts the advice to reject this visit from one of his campaign's military advisors, who apparently was auditioning for the role of most irritating diva in politics.

Bad enough, but then John McCain has to go and visit someone that won't produce much votes and is guaranteed not to be attended to in person by several news anchors.

[...] So here’s John McCain, who “hates gooks,” going out of his way to visit the head of state and most visible spokesman of the Tibetans. He’d already spoken out in support of them (as had Obama, to be fair.) The visit wouldn’t get a lot of press coverage, really, and the number of new Buddhist votes he was going to get from the visit — literally dozens, no doubt — weren’t going to make a really big difference.

What it was, what it appeared to be, was an actual sincere visit to the leader of a people who, if they aren’t suffering genocide, are certainly enduring the next best thing. Offering support to people who just wanted to live their own lives. [...] (source, thanks to Glenn Reynolds)

Perhaps the more knee-jerk Obamatons/trolls out there will see this as proof of how poor a candidate McCain is, in comparison to the oh so crafty, sort of black guy, racial reconciliation avatar, slayer of Hillary Clinton, knight in shining armor, vapors inducing candidate they support. McCain just isn't smart enough/too old to play politics very well and their candidate is obviously superior in that regard.

Hey, if they want to elevate political calculation above sincerity, that's fine with me. After all, their candidate, Barack Obama, is doing a pretty good job of it himself.


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