Obama Official

Is tomorrow the crest of the Obama wave?

I previously wrote last week:

The Media will eventually finish off what's left of Obama. Interestingly enough because it was the media that gave Obama political center stage.

And now guess what?

The Politico has an article today -- Undoing Obama: Inside the Coming Effort to Dismantle a Candidate:

Barack Obama’s free ride is ending.

The charismatic Illinois senator has enjoyed a lifetime of hagiography, starting with an 800-word story in The New York Times the day after his election as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review.

Now, Obama’s about to endure a going-over that would make a proctologist blush. Why has he sometimes said his first name is Arabic, and other times Swahili? Why did he make up names in his first book, as the introduction acknowledges? Why did he say two years ago that he would “absolutely” serve out his Senate term, which ends in 2011, and that the idea of him running for president this cycle was “silly” and hype “that’s been a little overblown”?

Andrew Sullivan, over at the Atlantic, laments:

Inevitable, I guess. But I wish Obama the best. He's a fresh voice, apparently sincere, with an ability to speak bravely about tough issues with civility and insight. That's not en endorsement, I hasten to add. But it is a hope.

This is it. It's over. And it will serve as a future model on the political-media complex.

Posted by Mike Tate at February 9, 2007 1:19 PM
Comments
Comment #207334

Who needs a brain surgion?If Obama has enough experiance to become President of the United States of America I have enough experiance to Operate on your Brain!If I screw up there is one life at stake If Obama screws up the entire population of the United States of America is at stake.Let the Operation Begin.

Posted by: gw at February 9, 2007 1:37 PM
Comment #207351

Mike:

There you go again, trying to tear down Obama before he makes his big announcement.

Of course, he will be attacked by Republicans. This is the main thing Republicans are good at. And they have people like you to help them with their smears.

As I said before, do you have anything substantial against Obama?

Posted by: Paul Siegel at February 9, 2007 2:35 PM
Comment #207358

I have nothing against Obama,

I am just predicting what will happen.

Posted by: Mike Tate at February 9, 2007 2:55 PM
Comment #207360

As I said before, do you have anything substantial against Obama?

Posted by: Paul Siegel at February 9, 2007 02:35 PM

Paul, my question; Do you have anything substantial to show that Obama could run the country? Anything substantial to prove his ability to run the largest (business) government in the world? I want to vote for someone with proven leadership experience. My vote will not be against anyone…but for the best leader. The American President, above all, must be a leader. Obama talks a good game, but can he “walk the talk”? Jim

Posted by: Jim Martin at February 9, 2007 3:00 PM
Comment #207362

gw, I suppose experience is important, but if candidates could only get elected on the basis of experience, Bush would never have become president.

Not that I would necessarily be against that I suppose, but keep everything relative. If you do not think Obama has the right experience, who do you believe does?

Posted by: Zeek at February 9, 2007 3:03 PM
Comment #207364

Quite honestly i’m not an Obama fan myself, but in the same thought i would rather have an inexperienced politician in office.

The role of the executive is to make decisions, these decisions are made from council of advisors and then choosing the correct path.

In the role of president you have the entire country to choose from to get the best and brightest in their chosen field to work for you, all the president need do is to listen to their staff and make an informed decision from all the information.. if a perfect world it would work this way. Unfortunatly though the best person for the job may be from the opposition party, and inthe case of career politicians some of their supporters in some effect may “expect” a cabniet post.

Posted by: Rhancheck at February 9, 2007 3:11 PM
Comment #207366

Fact is that the Republicans are NOT going to be tearing down Obama, and that’s because it’s not in their interests to. The Republicans don’t want a main rival to Hillary cut down before there’s been a nice round or two of damaging infighting among the Democrats.

Be on guard, though. There will be a LOT of nasty stuff thrown at Obama, mostly unattributed, and the media as well as the Hillary camp is going to claim that it all originates with those mean Republicans. That way, they kill two birds with one stone—they smear ther rival Obama and their rival Republicans at once.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 9, 2007 3:16 PM
Comment #207369

We will have had, in 2008, eight years of a president ill-prepared to do his job. I would have to look at Obama long and hard before I would vote for him. There are numerous candidates, both republican and democratic that bring more to the process. I like Ms. Clinton ( a two fer oner, maybe a three for oner if bill hasn’t grown!!), chuck hagel, joe biden (very smart man), even McCain or Giulliani might be better. I like Kucinich (never win, but i like him).
Whenever I hear Obama i always think “man that guy is articulate” but I can never quite understand what he said (that might be a personal problem, i don’t know.) It’s like, his book “The Audacity of Hope” I understand what all the individual words mean but the big meaning of the phrase seems to escape me.

Posted by: Charles Ross at February 9, 2007 3:25 PM
Comment #207372

Mike Tate,

Well, duh.

Of course there is going to be an effort to discredit Obama. There will be also be an effort to discredit Clinton, McCain, Giuliani, etc. That goes with being a serious candidate

Posted by: Woody Mena at February 9, 2007 3:32 PM
Comment #207375

I see nothing mentioned that would derail his campaign. I predict the opposite will happen. The more people are exposed to him the more they will like him.

Posted by: Max at February 9, 2007 3:42 PM
Comment #207385

Just a couple of comments.

Plaglarist Joe Biden is a hoot. He can’t even pull off a Kerry cleanly.

Barack and Hillary are both sheep. The of course need a shepherd.

The poor man’s candidate, John Edwards is building a $6,000,000 house. That should be good enough to feed and house how many people on a rotating basis. That’ll be the day.

Guilliani handled NY post 9-11 and has a grin that some people buy. After that nothing.

McCain is tring to waddle (he’s in his 70’s) to the right, but not enough people will buy that.

That is one whale of slack to pick by both parties. It oughta be fun for several months. It will probably be like a bar room brawl for awhile, Then everybody will have to call a time out for another round on the house (we are paying for all this dilly-dally nonsense).

Posted by: tomh at February 9, 2007 4:37 PM
Comment #207392

You know, this issue of Joe Biden and his big mouth brings up a larger problem, i think. We live in such an instant information age that people cannot say anything without it being instantly broadcast and dissected. Nicole Smith dropped dead yesterday and today everybody is hanging on to every word about what the autopsy revealed, If info is coming at us that quick about such a non-newsworthy event just think about what it means for the political process. We’ve just come through a time in which primarily the republicans have produced a tightly controlled message, where everything said is backed up by a talking-points paper with words employed to defuse real meaning. So it’s no longer social security and medicare, it’s “entitlements”, it’s no longer the estate tax, but the “death” tax, it’s not a war in Iraq, it’s a “war on terror”, from the dems it’s not amnesty but “a comprehensive solution” to immigration. I’m sick of it. It’s primarily from the republicans but I’m sick of it from anybody. Biden, at least, speaks his mind, he’s available, unscripted, willing to engage. It is refreshing, actually.

Posted by: charles Ross at February 9, 2007 5:07 PM
Comment #207394

Well since everyone so far seems to be talking out of their asses, I might as well join the fun.

I like Obama. But that could very well be that I only know his positions on a few key issues. I like that he was smart enough to vote against Iraq from the get-go. In that sense, he’s got more non-partisan grit than Biden, Clinton and Edwards put together. I’ve yet to hear any substantive criticism other than the muslim school BS that only the most unthoughtful and unresearched ditto-heads mention.

And I’d like to know what anyone has against Guiliani other than guns and abortion (of which even the president has very little control over anyway). I lived in NYC under Giuliani, and I loved him as a leader. I didn’t agree with everything he did, but the leadership and results speak for themselves.

I love the question someone posed about proof of Obama’s capability to lead the nation. Obviously there is no proof that anyone can be a competent president until they are in office. Asking someone to “prove” anything at this stage is just being adversarial.

And I so wish all you die-hard straight ticket voting republicans would hold your beloved Bush to the same standards as everyone else. It really would have been prudent to do so, don’t you think? I guess we can chalk it up partisan BS…once again.

Anyway, I’m really annoyed by the petty partisanship repeatedly demonstrated in this thread. We all need to stop pretending to know who is better, and start trying to actually learn something meaningful about these people. Maybe even hold their feet to the fire on some things. Instead, all I see is ridiculous “I’m made of rubber, your made of glue…” crap that gets us nowhere.

There are serious issues to be addressed. Blind loyalty to something as meaningless and superficial as a political party in a two-party system is counter-productive and retarded seeing as how both parties are severely divided at the moment on every important issue of the day.

Anyway, I’ve already wasted way too much time in this thread…and I feel dumber as a result.

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 9, 2007 5:25 PM
Comment #207399

gw
Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagen, Bill Clinton, George W. What experience at running the country did any of these have when they were elected President? Did you or do you like any of them? Do you think any of them did a good job?
I’m not big on Obama myself. But if your gonna insist on experience I reckon you didn’t like any of the above presidents.

I don’t see Obama has a chance against Hilliary. And that’s to bad. We sure don’t need the likes of her anywhere near DC.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 9, 2007 5:43 PM
Comment #207403

On NPR today there was a discussion or editorial about Obama.
Not sure because I tuned in in the middle of it.

Juan Williams was saying that the blacks do not like Obama because he isn’t black enough. They played a bite of an ex-political rival who was a Black Panther. He said Obama hasn’t bled for African Americans.
He doesn’t fight the whites the same as a true black.
Funny thing … it was said that if he wins the nomination they- the black voters will rally behind him?

So.. if he gets the nomination, he is then ‘black enough’? or is it just the ‘D’ after his name.

Any chance we could actually vote a PERSON in who really puts the country first - not the party, or race, or sex, or whatever????

I don’t care that Obama is not white. I do care if his only qualification is to articulate like all the rest of the career politicians we so obediently vote for over and over and over….

Posted by: dawn at February 9, 2007 6:20 PM
Comment #207410

So several have said articulate the issues.

Ok. Let’s start with constitutionalism. What issues do all of the candidates articulate on that are in accord with the US Constitution. Health care is not an issue the federal government should be dealing with. They do not have the power under the Constitution to deal with it.

Poverty. Nowhere in the US Constitution does the federal government have the power to deal with poverty.

Education. Nowhere in the US Constitution does the federal government have the power to deal with education.

To keep it simple those are only three items.

I would be excited if one candidate ran on a platform that dealt with issues that the US Constitution gave the federal government authority to deal with.

Both parties are guilty of usurping more power and growing the federal government. We need a candidate to run on a platform that consisted on shrinking the size of the federal government by a extremely huge margin.

Posted by: tomh at February 9, 2007 7:14 PM
Comment #207412

Rhancheck, I agree with you. At the most basic level if Obama surrounds himself with high quality inviduals, with a proven track record, and that appeal to Americans (not parties) I think he will be a very viable canidate.

He might set a new record asking the question “And why does it work that way?” over a 48 month period.

Posted by: Honest at February 9, 2007 7:36 PM
Comment #207415

Tomh-

There is little doubt that the feds have proven themselves basically worthless in dealing with health care, education, and especially when they make any attempt whatsoever at wealth re-distribution. But there are many other issues as well. We could stand to reduce the size of the federal court docket a bit couldn’t we? Eliminate the war on drugs, any regulation of anything outside of the constitutional mandate, including a more narrow and practical interpretation of the commerce clause. Now we’re getting close. The states, I have little doubt, will fill the voids as they feel necessary.

Both parties are guilty of growing the size of the federal government, that is true. It is how you win election…make promises. That’s also why any candidate who ran on a platform of putting poor hard-working socially responsible government workers out of a cushy job would face an uphill battle at best. (They’d get beaten down by some smooth talking party favorite like Obama, who would then lose the general election to a finger-to-the-wind republican like McCain, or some smooth talking “likable” puppet like Reagan or Bush2.)

Anyway, I just wish we could talk about these guys without all the partisan crap attached. Bringing up the war on poverty, education and health care are partisan issues that, frankly, I think most people feel take a back seat to terrorism. To effectively fight it, in most people’s view, means getting the hell out of Iraq, fixing, re-arming, and re-deploying the troops to places where we can fight terrorists without playing mediator of and facilitator to an ancient and ongoing civil war. It also means more intelligence, and more surveillance…both internal and external. We all know this. We just get all caught up in name-calling and baseless accusations, and the real debate gets lost. We should be talking about how to do this stuff without having to create a new department of the executive branch. Instead, we argue about how to best grow the fed. govt.

We can talk about a fiscally responsible budget and a responsible federal government, but we need to talk honestly and on a level playing field. That requires both parties to admit guilt.

But partisan warfare demands everyone leave the room yelling about “Appeasers” or “Orwellian Fascists”…Clinton this…Bush that. THAT really gets tiring after a while.

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 9, 2007 8:22 PM
Comment #207417

speaking of war on terror. When China tested its missle it was certainly ironic tht one of our satellites quit in a timely manner.

Posted by: tomh at February 9, 2007 8:45 PM
Comment #207419

uh…ironic? sure. speaking of the war on terror? I’m not so sure.

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 9, 2007 8:57 PM
Comment #207420

Regarding partisanship. I don’t think that’s the real issue as far as communication problems on blogs such as this. This is a blog that comes from a conservative/republican point of view. I’m a fairly liberal democrat. In order to have a conversation there has to be some level of partisan tension. Heck, I could turn on “democracy now” and log on to “move on” but what fun is that? I guess I could stir ‘em up on immigration and mayby how unfortunate it is that saddam’s head didn’t fall of when they hung him but that’s about it.
I think it is more of a problem that much of what is said on this blog is inaccurate, half true, or spun in such a way that the import of true information being provided is distorted. When you are writing on this blog you can concurrently research (google?) what you claim, to find out if (and how) it is true. The problem with lies, half-truths and spin on a blog is that it is really, really boring.

Posted by: Charles Ross at February 9, 2007 9:30 PM
Comment #207425

Charles Ross-

What you call “lies, half-truths and spin”, I call partisanship. I think we’re talking about the exact same thing.

“Lies, half-truths and spin” for the sole sake of defending a political party (in a TWO party system nonetheless), is indeed just plain boring if you are trying to get somewhere.

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 9, 2007 9:44 PM
Comment #207440

Kevin23:

I like Obama. But that could very well be that I only know his positions on a few key issues. I like that he was smart enough to vote against Iraq from the get-go. In that sense, he’s got more non-partisan grit than Biden, Clinton and Edwards put together.

I didn’t realize that the Illinois Senate, where Obama was serving at the “get go” of the Iraq War, voted on the matter at all.

Sounds to me that you know even less about him than you say.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 9, 2007 10:40 PM
Comment #207441

Partisanship and spin on a partisan blog. How depressing. At least we can all cheer up in the knowelege that niether party can possibly pick a worse president than we have now.

Posted by: BillS at February 9, 2007 10:53 PM
Comment #207477

Zeek I hate to keep using this But this is a Completly differant world we live in today.Every little danger that we as a Country faced in the past has grown by leaps and bounds.The reason for this is the fact that every President in the past forty years has passed our problems on to the next President to keep from going to war.In all reality America has been financing our enemy for years just to passify them.Well in poker terms we are all in.There is no other choice but to win in Iraq.Yassar Arafat stood on the United Nations Floor and gave the world a choice the freedom fighters rifle or a fake Olive branch and the U.N. gave him a standing Ovation.Iran took Americans as Hostage and they paid no price.The first World trade center attack sent a blind Sheik to prison but those who financed the hit and those who plotted the attack paid nothing.What do you expect from Islam?They have made it plain their Goals and that is to kill Americans and Jews.The Liberal left and the liberal media has chosen to help Islam Acheive their Goals.As in Viet-Nam we could have won this war in Iraq with the Quickness but even the enemies lives are sacret to the United States of America.That is what makes America Great but it also extends wars by years.So you can hate George Bush you can hate those who agree with him but the George Bush’s of the world has allways been there to save our bacon weather we want it or not!!

Posted by: gw at February 10, 2007 12:39 PM
Comment #207481

LO-

He was publicly against the war. Why does it matter where he was working at the time? The accidental use of the word “voted” doesn’t change anything. I think you need to keep your eyes on the ball here.

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 10, 2007 12:56 PM
Comment #207527

sigh…of all elections to be my first…one as stupendously confusing as this one. At least the last one was just grammatical incompetence versus grammatical incompetence slugging it out to see who would make less of a fool of himself.

Now we’ve got:
Obama, who talks nice but doesn’t really address issues (debates should solve that quickly enough) and doesn’t have any administrative experience. (for good or ill)

Hillary, who supports both Iraq and abortion, two big pro-life issues for me. But she has experience.

Edwards, who talks about taking care of the poor, which is the biggest issue for me as a Christian. But that 6 mil house irks me.

Richardson, who probably won’t stand a chance in the more liberal Dem primaries b/c of his moderate stances. But I like him.

For republicans:
McCain, who seems too unsure of himself and is losing the straight-talking moderate position in an attempt to woo the right wing of the Reps.

Guiliani, who doesn’t stand a chance in the Rep primaries for his abortion and gay marriage stances but is a hero for 9/11. (Why couldn’t Ray Nagin have been like him during Katrina?)

Romney, who has crossover appeal, but is a Mormon, which apparently some Christians can’t live with. (grumble…) And he’s getting attacked as a flip-flopper over gay marriage. (What’s so darn important about that anyway? Human rights-fighting terrorism, poverty, and rights abuses seem far more important to me.)

Sigh…My favorites are Romney and Richardson. How inconvenient that my favorites come from different parties. Well, have at it. Lots of people will probably argue my assessments, on partisan grounds. Huzzah for free speech!

Posted by: Silima at February 10, 2007 7:32 PM
Comment #207538

Silma, I wonder which of those you listed has a net worth less than the 6 mil house you are irked by?

I haven’t researched it, nor do I really care, but my guess would be zero. Poor folk need not apply for the job.

Posted by: gergle at February 10, 2007 10:36 PM
Comment #207558

Gergle, “net worth” isn’t the issue.

Edward’s problem is that his stump speech is all about the gap between the rich and the poor, a gap which no one better than himself exemplifes.

I mean, here we have a lawyer with something like 150 million dollars in assets who has never in his life taken a pro bono case (which many far less successful lawyers do as a matter of routine), and HE of all people pretends to be a champion of the poor?

The poor, in his tearful version of reality who can’t afford winter coats for their children they send to bed hungry… and meantime he builds a palace for himself worthy of Saddam Hussein?

That is a serious problem on the PR level if nothing else.

Also, the left is just wrong about Guliani’s appeal to the religious right. It’s far less simple than they believe, and polls show that he’s extremely popular among the religious right despite his positions. So long as he makes the right promises about the kinds of judges he’ll appoint, he’ll be fine on that score.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 11, 2007 1:54 AM
Comment #207597

gw, this is mostly off topic but I will say just a few things on your post.

First and foremost, I do not hate President Bush. I do believe he is thoroughly misguided, but that is a huge can of worms that we will open some other time.

The world we live in today is not a whole new one, which you have more or less stated. Yes, there are changes that have been brought about by technological development, but basic fundamental rules governing human interaction are no different. The way America is treating everyone, including its allies, only serves to alienate us further and make our own position in the world more dangerous.

If you want to believe “victory” in Iraq is absolutely essential to our survival, you are of course free to believe that. However, I still think having allies and friends in the world is more valuable, and I have never really seen what the argument for staying there is.

You do bring up an interesting point though, with financing our enemies. I do not think you realize that this is going on even today. The individuals that are perpetuating this are the ones in the White House. So it is admittedly very important to have the most capable man or woman in the presidency.

But none of that gets back to my original question (or indeed the thread topic). I asked who you believed to have the “right” experience. I also pointed out that President Bush did not have what you would consider “the right experience,” but you skated right over that, preferring instead to say what a great job he has been doing.

Well, if President Bush is indeed doing such a great job with as little experience in international relations as he had, why cannot Barack Obama be the same?

Posted by: Zeek at February 11, 2007 1:17 PM
Comment #207608

“Is tomorrow the crest of the Obama wave?”

I seriously doubt it. Obama gave a very good speech when he announced yesterday. You can all watch it here:
BarackObama.com

All anyone needs to know about how good a president Guilani would be is to wrap your minds around the fact that he was the guy who decided that the best place for the emergency command and control center for the whole city of New York, was the World Trade Center — after the location had already been attacked by terrorists, but before it was utterly destroyed by terrorists.
Heckuva job, Rudy!
What’s funny about this in a sick and twisted way is the fact that everybody thought it was just wonderful how he was seen wandering all over the place on 9/11 holding a cell phone — not realizing that the only reason he ended up on the street was because of his own appalling stupidity. If he had still actually HAD a command and control center, that’s where the man WOULD HAVE BEEN. Not trying to run things FROM THE STREET WITH A CELL PHONE.
New Yorkers and the rest of this country can give thanks, and be impressed by the truly amazing job by the NYPD and Firefighters from NY and NJ, in spite of, not because of, Guiliani.

By the way, Guilani loves the job Bush has been doing and wants to be just like him. From an article in the LA Times:
Giuliani praises Bush’s Iraq policy, foresight

Quote from the article:
America, is “very fortunate to have President Bush.”

“Presidents can’t do nonbinding resolutions. Presidents have to make decisions and move the country forward, and that’s the kind of president that I would like to be, a president who makes decisions.”

Yeah, doesn’t really matter if Bush or Guilani make the RIGHT decisions. Just be a Decider — and you’ll SEEM really strong and forceful, even when you’re a complete idiot.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 11, 2007 2:54 PM
Comment #207621

Adrienne,
Thanks for the link to the Obama speech. I just finished reading his first book. If nothing else, he is a powerfully eloquent writer.

If he continues getting his message out, the little guy just might rise up and srike a blow. Should be interesting. Barack Obama could be the real deal.

Until I read Rudy’s opinion of the shrub, I considered him a backup option. The idea of a real moderate; socially liberal, fiscally conservative, strikes me as a formula for bringing us all together. Isn’t that what we all say we want? To unite as one country, to move forward together?

Posted by: steve miller at February 11, 2007 4:03 PM
Comment #207639

Adrienne-

I don’t think you understand how things work in NYC. Revitalization has been the ongoing story of Manhattan real estate in the last few decades. There were many reasons why the city and Port Authority, as well as many other local and state agencies were located in the WTC. First because it stood atop the biggest downtown hub for public transportation. Second, it needed tenants during the late 90’s because so many businesses (internet, etc.) were popping up in random places, and there was much less push for an expensive NYC offices. Downtown was being revitalized (Battery Park City, Soho, etc.). When the WTC needed tenants in the face of public apprehension, the city and state stepped up to the plate and showed confidence.

The big mistake was not putting command center in a logical place that may have been riskier in one way (terrorism)…that made sense under the totality of the circumstances. In fact, Rudy was rightfully applauded for those types of gutsy decisions…and his doing so resulted in much more good than bad. The city is clean, polite, and relatively crime free (check the numbers). The new construction never stops and foreign investment is at an all time high. That is more due to Giuliani than any one other factor.

Everything else you complain about is not a problem for me at all when looked at in the context of a man with partisan ambitions. Of course he’s going to stand behind the president…of course he’s going to rail against political activism when continually asked about his stance on abortion and guns. What else can he do?

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 11, 2007 9:12 PM
Comment #207642

Adrienne-

Also, don’t forget that there were more forces at work in the push for building that “command center” than just lonely old Giuliani. In fact, I don’t see how any mayor would fight against it.

http://edition.cnn.com/US/9906/07/terrorism.response/

http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=complete_911_timeline_060899commandcenter#complete_911_timeline_060899commandcenter

http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a1096stratesec#a1096stratesec

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 11, 2007 9:23 PM
Comment #207653

I’m sorry Kevin, but you just couldn’t be more wrong. It really was Rudy’s decision and he was advised against putting it there, but moronically went ahead with it anyway. Read this interview with two different authors who wrote books about Giuliani, it’ll give you all the facts you need to know.

Btw, though I’ve lived in Northern California for many years, I was born and raised a Jersey Girl. I know New York City like the back of my hand and a great deal about how it operates. Not only because I spent a lot of time there, but because I still have friends who live and work there. I lost a very dear friend in the North Tower on 9/11, and while nobody could have saved his life, I’m very painfully aware of the fact that many others might have lived through that horrible day, if not for the many wrong decisions that Giuliani made.

We’ve had one assinine Decider, we can afford to to suffer with another president of that caliber. Giuliani is absolutely NOT presidential material, nor does he deserve the heroic reputation he’s acquired because of 9/11.
Just my (strongly felt) opinion.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 11, 2007 10:30 PM
Comment #207666

Kevin, just so you know that what I’m saying isn’t straight out of left field, or breaking news to the people of NYC, I searched for more links to bolster the criticisms I’ve made about Giuliani.

New York Times: 9/11 Commissioners Say They Went Easy on Giuliani to Avoid Public’s Anger

Some quotes from this article:

The independent federal commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks did not pursue a tough enough line of questioning with former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani during a hearing two years ago because its members feared public anger if they challenged him, according to a new book written by the panel’s leaders.

“It proved difficult, if not impossible, to raise hard questions about 9/11 in New York without it being perceived as criticism of the individual police and firefighters or of Mayor Giuliani,” wrote the chairman and vice chairman, Thomas H. Kean, a Republican, and Lee H. Hamilton, a Democrat, in their book, “Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission.”

“We did not ask tough questions, nor did we get all of the information we needed to put on the public record,” they wrote.

The commission’s gentle questioning of Mr. Giuliani during his May 19, 2004, testimony at the New School University in Greenwich Village was “a low point” in its handling of witnesses at its public hearings, they wrote.

The 10-member commission was established by Congress in 2002 to investigate the government response to events leading up to and including the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Mr. Kean and Mr. Hamilton said the commission had failed to ask Mr. Giuliani more probing questions partly because of criticism of a comment by one commission member, John F. Lehman, at the previous day’s hearing that New York’s disaster-response plans were “not worthy of the Boy Scouts, let alone this great city.”

The commission has been criticized for its delicate treatment of Mr. Giuliani, particularly by some relatives of Sept. 11 victims.

During his testimony at the public hearing, Mr. Giuliani and others were interrupted by audience members imploring commissioners to ask Mr. Giuliani about trouble with radio communications and other problems the day of the attack.

One man shouted, “My brother was a fireman, and I want to know why 300 firemen died,” adding, “Let’s ask some real questions. Is that unfair?”

Several people were removed from the hearing.

NY Daily News: Time to downsize Rudy 9/11 myth

Downtown Express: City must admit and learn from mistakes of 9/11

Posted by: Adrienne at February 12, 2007 12:35 AM
Comment #207679

Adrienne-

Saying NYC could have been better prepared for the specific threat of the twin towers collapsing is one thing. But saying that Giuliani made bad decisions is something else and requires context. Hindsight is 20-20. No administration can provide enough security to cover every possibility, and even if they could, I wouldn’t want to pay for it all.

Fact is, there will be even more office space in the new trade center sight than ever before. Why? Because it was the only way to fill space at the moment, and give the public the confidence to follow suit. Maybe we’ll be even more vulnerable to one specific type of attack in the future. But that doesn’t mean it is not the right decision to make, and we should not be transforming our entire way of life. We don’t need to live by the 1% doctrine. And you, being from NJ, should want NYC to keep building and growing unhindered by fear. You know how resilient NYC folk are. They wanted to rebuild the next day after 9/11. It is more important for the city to continue to be prosperous than it is to secure every square inch of it (which is impossible anyway).

And I’m sorry, but the the two authors attacking Giuliani don’t say anything prolific or new. They just gave a laundry list of things that could have been better. Adrienne, I lived there, worked there, have friends there, and have a politically ambitious friend who shares a lot of stories with me. I also read the NY Times daily, and have since the early 90’s. Things just aren’t as easy as you claim them to be (warn mayor, mayor acts). The police unions, the city council, neighborhood/citizen advocacy groups, and judges all have a say in the budget and the allocation of funds (that’s why police make 25K a year to start to this day…talk about scary). There are a lot of people who dropped the ball on preparing for a large scale disaster. In a city of that size, there is a lot at play. The unions wanted to keep their cushy benefits, and in exchange, had to do more with less. It went way beyond Giuliani. In fact, I’d say Giuliani was a positive force for mutual citizen/police/city hall respect.

But NYC is still in desperate need of help if they are to be as secure as you and some other people are going to want and expect them to be. It is a unique city in America in the sense that there are so many ways to cause devastation. I don’t know too many people in NYC who would say that Giuliani did not earn their respect for the overall job he did in making NYC a safe and booming place again. No one can honestly say they expected the towers to fall.

Yes, he is a politician. If you want to criticize him for doing the same things everyone else does, then we need to at least say that up front. Otherwise there is no context. And if we’re criticizing his priorities as mayor, we can’t use 9/11 as a backdrop. It was an extra-ordinary event. Blaming him for firemen using outdated radios is like blaming the Queen of England for the Titanic not having enough lifeboats.

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 12, 2007 2:27 AM
Comment #207680

I’m sorry…the second paragraph should begin:

Fact is, there will be even more government leasing of office space in the new trade center sight than ever before.

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 12, 2007 2:30 AM
Comment #207698

Kevin:
“Saying NYC could have been better prepared for the specific threat of the twin towers collapsing is one thing. But saying that Giuliani made bad decisions is something else and requires context.”

I gave you that context. Did you read any of the links I gave you? Giuliani DID make bad decisions, against the recommendations, indeed in spite of the STRONG OBJECTIONS of the top brass of the NYC police and fire depts. to locate the command and control center on the 23rd floor of 7 World Trade.

“Fact is, there will be even more office space in the new trade center sight than ever before. Why? Because it was the only way to fill space at the moment, and give the public the confidence to follow suit.”

Yes, but the COMMAND AND CONTROL CENTER for the city WON”T BE THERE — because that was the decision of an idiot. Instead, command and control will be located over in Brooklyn, where not only the police and fire depts. wanted it, but also where Giuliani’s own top security advisors and the head of his own Emergency Management team had previously recommended it be located after the first attack on the WTC. Which is incidentally where Bloomberg has since that time located it.

“And I’m sorry, but the the two authors attacking Giuliani don’t say anything prolific or new. They just gave a laundry list of things that could have been better.”

Actually I made a mistake there. One was an author who knows Giuliani well, the other made a documentary film about him. And yes it is stunning information for most people to learn, because that laundry list never came out. Instead the 9/11 commission treated Giuliani with kid gloves rather than expose his horrendous decisions for what they were to the American people. And as a result of not bringing those facts forward, Giuliani was given the chance to hold himself up as the macho mayoral hero of 9/11 who takes no blame for anything, and who just can’t think of anything he should have or would have done differently. Sound familiar? It should.
Giuliani will a decider just like Bush. Make terrible decisions and then try to claim they were the only way forward.
It also sounds like he’ll be getting plenty of people who want to make excuses for him. It’s always easier to worship a fantasy hero than to see public figures for what they are: regular people who can and who do make horrible decisions and terrible mistakes. Or to demand that these leaders are actually are what they should be in the first place: of higher than average intelligence, extremely responsible, open to the expertise, opinions and suggestions of others and more than ready to be held accountable for their decisions.

“And if we’re criticizing his priorities as mayor, we can’t use 9/11 as a backdrop. It was an extra-ordinary event.”

It was slightly different but not extraordinary. They had already experienced a bomb attack at the exact same location before. It was well known to be a target.

“Blaming him for firemen using outdated radios is like blaming the Queen of England for the Titanic not having enough lifeboats.”

Bullsh%t. This reminds me of what Republicans have said about our troops and their need for decent armor. Relatively inexpensive, small scale, vital improvements like updating the radios (which they’d been asking for, for a long time) and making sure that all the Ground Zero rescue and clean up workers had respirators to wear is exactly the kind of thing that the mayor of a large city can easily focus on, and directly address. But of course that would mean he has to be far more concerned with public and workers safety, and with creating real efficiency in an emergency situation, than be more focused on looking macho and getting his egomaniacal mug on television.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 12, 2007 10:59 AM
Comment #207706

Adrienne-

Having lived through 9/11, and having seen firsthand what the situation was like on the ground, I cannot disagree more with your assessment. I also gave you context on why he made the decision to put it there…and if you read the links I gave you, you’ll see that many recommended he put the Command Center in the WTC. Again, no one predicted collapse. That is extraordinary in every sense of the word.

Rudy is no saint. But he did a lot of great things in Manhattan which, I believe, more than outweigh the bad. Like I said before, the city is safer, cleaner, more polite, and has more money than ever before. Much of that is because of Giuliani. Calling him an idiot is the same as calling a vast cross-section of NYC officials and most of the populace idiots too, because they were “in on it” as well by not crying foul or raising a stink.

Supplying radios is not the job of the mayor…like I said, there are many more forces at work in these types of decisions.

“Bullsh%t. This reminds me of what Republicans have said about our troops and their need for decent armor.”

You need to slow down here and think about it. A commander in chief sending an army to fight without armor (a glaringly obvious need seeing as the only foreseeable role for the troops is combat) is much different than a mayor not micro-managing one of his many departments in preparation for a HIGHLY unlikely collapse of the WTC buildings.

I don’t want to sound like I’m working on Giuliani’s campaign or anything. He has many shortcomings, in my view. But I’ve yet to see them expressed here. The links I gave you can lead to many of them. Your take on this so far has been far too emotion-driven, in my humble opinion.

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 12, 2007 11:52 AM
Comment #207715

Zeek as I see it every major Country on the face of this earth are pondering who they will join in this war on Terrorism.As the United States Of America gets weaker it will be hard for them to choose the side of the U.S.Even though we have the Fire Power some Countries do not beleive we have the determination to use it.As the leaders of our Country split on every detail about the war in Iraq it weakens the president of the U.S.As the media paints a picture of nothing but loss’es in Iraq the American people can not see the picture as a whole.As for G.W.s experiance Not a living soul had any experiance for what happened on 9-11 because we had never faced such an attack before in our history.How ever he was smart enough to see that we were facing an enemy that had one objective and that objective was to wipe out our economy and wipe out as many ifedels as possible.The left likes to make the case that America is the culpret who changed these sons of Islam into extreamest all though their very first lessons are to chant death to America.The whole world heard loud and clear the words of George Bush after 9-11.He said we will go after those who are terrorest,those who support terrorest and those who harbor terrorest.Saddam paid $25.000 dollars to families of suicide bombers which made him one of those that support terrorism.Saddam snubed his nose at 17 U.N. resolutions,tried to assasinate a former President and led the world to beleive he had weapons of Mass Distruction.Its very easy to be a monday morning Quarterback but this is the real world.AS to who I think can handle the presant situation Im not sure that any current candidate has that potentual.I do know one thing for sure this is not a time for a dove.We need to keep killing the enemy untill we come up with a more workable solution.Educating the youth of Islam is our best weapon but that will take time.Time is an Important factor in the fast food world we live in.So as this situation we are in took many years to develope right before our very eyes it will take many years to win this war.If you want to place blame please put it where it belongs put it on the mistakes of the past put it on America if you like but please do not make George Bush a fall guy for decades of mistakes by many differant administrations.

Posted by: gw at February 12, 2007 12:42 PM
Comment #207725

gw-

Pick any one sentence from your last post. Now please provide factual support for both the statement itself and its underlying premises. I’m betting you can’t and won’t.

You idea of keeping up the killing while we ponder our next move and end-goal is horrific and revolting to anyone with a conscience or unselfish faith in God. Or does the bible say: “Thou shalt not kill unless there is an indefinable and indeterminate threat looming around somewhere”? I don’t know, its been a while since I read Exodus. All I know, gw, is that if you call yourself a “good Christian” and write what you just did with a straight face, then Christianity is just as dangerous as Islam. Maybe even more so seeing as how we’ve got more money, mobility and firepower. Obviously the will to destroy is there.

Doing what you say, and saying what you mean are two different things. Bush is great at the former, terrible at the latter. Calling people Monday morning quarterbacks may sound funny in a snippy sort of way, but it is not reality. The reality is that most people saw this coming. The administration chose not to listen. They blindly over-committed to Iraq and made certain they got congress to rubber stamp it through fear mongering and convincing the public this was the only solution to the problem. Many are to blame, but the buck should stop somewhere, don’t you think? Like maybe the self proclaimed “liberator” of Iraq? Hindsight is 20-20. But in this case, good foresight existed, and was willfully ignored, and even demonized. That is not leadership, it is righteousness. And there is a reason why righteous people, the Pope for example, should not have a military at their sole command. Now combine this with a willingness to attack others based only on the perception of a threat. Its dangerous, and leaves little room for error. It is not prudent. It is reactive, short-sighted, and counterproductive. And we’re currently making future generations pay for it…is this why forethought has become an after-thought? Because it is not OUR money?

Terrible policy and precedent all the way around.

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 12, 2007 1:49 PM
Comment #207731

Kevin23 Pick one sentance in my post that is’nt true.Son you just do not get it.This is a war against the white male.We are more indangered than the rarest animal on the face of this earth.We are just too blind to see it.Yes the enemy kills those of all races including their own but as long as the white man exists their Idea’s of what history should be in their eye,s will be impossible.Our enemy understands that the liberals and liberal media of our Country will do half the work for them.So keep living in the land of Oz its your right as an American!

Posted by: gw at February 12, 2007 2:44 PM
Comment #207736

gw-

I think ALL of your statements are false, gw. Thus my challenge.

Thanks for reacting exactly as I expected, though. Heaven forbid you let us in on the facts behind your assertions, right? Us poor white males are just suffering all sorts of oppressions, aren’t we?

And you are not my father, gw. Not even close. My father has the integrity to not try and pass wild and irresponsible speculations off as facts. And when asked, he will actually tell you why he believes what he does. Most importantly, he does not believe in partisanship for the sake of partisanship. Something as stupid as party affiliation in a TWO party system is a really bad way to identify one’s self, let be used as a basis to make sweeping generalizations and assumptions.

I’m just sick and tired of hearing the partisan crap. I’d love to see some PROOF when someone erratically and passionately claims that mass occupation in Iraq is the only option for winning the bigger war on terror. Instead, all I hear is I’m supposed to prove the opposite. Well, it is not me who advocates violating international law, putting thousands of Americans in harm’s way, and babysitting and even facilitating the Iraqi sectarian wars at my grand children’s expense. I think the only thing I need to “prove” is that your laughable justifications for war are fear-based, unreconciled with reality, and motivated primarily by partisan hackery as opposed to genuine and careful thought. I can do that with one simple statement:

Show me proof!

Otherwise, go back to listening to Rush Limbough or whatever partisan hack job you get your opinions from.

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 12, 2007 3:45 PM
Comment #207792

Kevin:
“Having lived through 9/11, and having seen firsthand what the situation was like on the ground, I cannot disagree more with your assessment.”

Kevin, were you a first responder? Police or Fire Dept.? Were you a member of the crews that were sent in to do search and rescue, or who participated in the clean up work? If not, then you have no call whatsoever to disagree with my assessment.

“I also gave you context on why he made the decision to put it there…and if you read the links I gave you, you’ll see that many recommended he put the Command Center in the WTC.”

But none of the people who should have been listened to.

“Again, no one predicted collapse.”

Wrong. Bombs had previously been detonated there. Collapse would have been a factor in risk assessment for Giulani’s emergency management team. The head of that team told him they didn’t think that the command and control center should be located at that site for that reason. There is a memo that documents this fact. Uncovering that memo and many others of significance were the basis for Wayne Barrett’s book “Grand Illusion: The Untold Story of Rudy Giuliani and 9/11.” who was featured in that Democracy Now link I put up earlier. Maybe you should read it too.

“That is extraordinary in every sense of the word.”

Yes. The stupidity is really extraodinary.

“Rudy is no saint.”

Kevin that man has so many Achilles heels, that if he becomes the front runner for the GOP, they’re going to have to clone him some brand new feet. And it won’t be a case of vicious swiftboating, it’ll be a simple case of truth revealing and uncovering.

“But he did a lot of great things in Manhattan which, I believe, more than outweigh the bad. Like I said before, the city is safer, cleaner, more polite, and has more money than ever before. Much of that is because of Giuliani.”

That’s all great, but it doesn’t matter what he did for the city if he didn’t also make damn sure that an emergency wouldn’t turn the whole city into chaos in a few moments time because the police and firemen had old, broken and poorly working radios and therefore couldn’t communicate. Or that he wouldn’t end up wandering around on the streets holding a cell phone to his ear because he located the emergency command and control center in the worst place possible. The glaring truth is, he didn’t take the right steps to prepare the city for emergencies, even though NY would naturally be a terrorist target, even though an attack on his city had already occurred as he was entering office, and even though he’d spent an enormous fortune on the 7 World Trade facility that was quickly destroyed.
Additionally, after the fact he claimed that there was nothing different he could have or should have done better. This automatically makes him poor presidential material since we’ve seen more than enough of that attitude from our current no-account president.

“Calling him an idiot is the same as calling a vast cross-section of NYC officials and most of the populace idiots too, because they were “in on it” as well by not crying foul or raising a stink.”

I’m sorry if what I’m saying has offended you, but what can I say? I believe New Yorkers should be raising a giant fuss. Not only because the mayor didn’t do his job correctly, but because the 9/11 Commission didn’t uncover all the mistakes and risks and other vitally important factors that need to be understood and dealt with in a transparent fashion so the next emergency doesn’t kill as many first responders as 9/11 did. These things endanger all of you, even all these years later, and that should really piss you off!

“Supplying radios is not the job of the mayor…like I said, there are many more forces at work in these types of decisions.”

His emergency management team should have seen to that. I can’t think of anything more important to dealing with an emergency than having good well-working communications equipment. But perhaps they did tell Giuliani about it, but he didn’t bother get them the money they needed to deal with the problem. After all, he didn’t listen to them when it came to where the command and control center should have been located, so this request too may have been ignored, or somehow fell through the cracks for him between his many TV news appearances.

“You need to slow down here and think about it. A commander in chief sending an army to fight without armor (a glaringly obvious need seeing as the only foreseeable role for the troops is combat) is much different than a mayor not micro-managing one of his many departments in preparation for a HIGHLY unlikely collapse of the WTC buildings.”

I’ve thought about this plenty. What’s more, I grew up with a father who was for many years the emergency response co-ordinator for the NJ health dept. He was a first responder who often risked his life alongside of other first responders (of the police and fire depts.)in our state. So I do know what is important here — saving lives, and protecting first responders as much as possible by giving them exactly what they need to do their jobs right.
I also fully realize just how poor a job Giuliani did preparing for emergencies of all kinds in NYC, including those potentially caused by terrorism. After the previous attack, there really isn’t any excuse.

“Your take on this so far has been far too emotion-driven, in my humble opinion.”

Kevin, if you think I sound emotional, you haven’t seen anything yet. I can practically guarantee you that if Giuliani becomes the GOP front runner there will be commercial spots featuring the family members of police and firemen who lost their lives due to Giuliani’s willful incompetence.

Again, I’m sorry if my replies have offended you. The fact that I think Giuliani is an idiot is in no way intended to be any sort of reflection on you.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 12, 2007 10:12 PM
Comment #207795

gw- “every major Country on the face of this earth are pondering who they will join in this war on Terrorism.As the United States Of America gets weaker it will be hard for them to choose the side of the U.S.Even though we have the Fire Power some Countries do not beleive we have the determination to use it.”

I do not quite see how you work this one out. Having big guns is not a way I have ever used of getting friends; I do not see why it would work on the international level.

“As for G.W.s experiance Not a living soul had any experiance for what happened on 9-11 because we had never faced such an attack before in our history.”

That is not what I was referring to. I mean that President Bush’s international experience at the time of his first election was about zero. In that regard, as well as in waging war, he and Barack Obama are comparable. That is why I want to know how anyone that supported Bush can legitimately claim Obama has too little experience.

“How ever he was smart enough to see that we were facing an enemy that had one objective and that objective was to wipe out our economy and wipe out as many ifedels as possible.”

I see we are again in disagreement. I furthermore think that the Bush administration does not believe this either. I believe that they understand that terrorists know they have no chance of doing either of those things, and that their main goal was to spread fear. Regrettably, I also believe that President Bush used the fear in American citizens to his own political advantage to mount an invasion that would have otherwise been publicly unpopular. But that is neither here nor there.

In the interest of staying more to the topic, I have skipped ahead to this quote:

“Im not sure that any current candidate has that potentual.I do know one thing for sure this is not a time for a dove.We need to keep killing the enemy untill we come up with a more workable solution.”

And herein lies the problem. If that is all we need, than a monkey would suffice. If all we need is an instinct to kill, to destroy, and to dominate, a mere beast would more than fulfill our needs. But that is not what will solve our problems. You go on to say:

“Educating the youth of Islam is our best weapon but that will take time.Time is an Important factor in the fast food world we live in.So as this situation we are in took many years to develope right before our very eyes it will take many years to win this war.”

And you think that by continuing an unpopular war, killing civilians, and alienating not only the Islamic world but the world at large, that we will be able to accomplish this? Unless the kind of “education” you are referring to is brainwashing, I do not think that our present course will at all bring the Islamic youth to an amiable relation with the U.S.

Bringing this around to the topic, I do believe that a more diplomatic individual such as Obama would indeed advance the very goal you have listed: getting the young minds of the Middle East on our side.

“If you want to place blame please put it where it belongs put it on the mistakes of the past put it on America if you like but please do not make George Bush a fall guy for decades of mistakes by many differant administrations.”

I hope I have not fallen into playing the blame game, or making anyone a fall guy. I have looked back on my comments and think you may have misconstrued my reference to the White House to be a specific attack on President Bush. It is not.

I am, however, saying that almost every president we have had since WWII has made the fundamental mistake of playing up our role of power as a bargaining tool rather than using actual diplomacy.

I honestly do not care whether I am voting for a Republican or a Democrat. Those words mean very little to me since either can be a very good or a very poor negotiator on the international level. Bringing this around once more: I believe Obama has at least as much skill in this area as any of his competitors. As you have pointed out, it may very well be that NONE of the candidates for the presidency are truly fit to navigate us through these critical times. In that case, I will go with a lesser of the evils here and support Obama.

Posted by: Zeek at February 12, 2007 10:42 PM
Comment #207800

Adrienne-

Lets just take everything each other said as truth for a moment.

He didn’t do a great job at planning for emergencies.

He oversaw the revitalization in almost every way of greatest city in the world.

Sounds like he’d make a pretty decent president to me. Better than any of the other clowns. Obama is the only democrat I’d consider over Giuliani at the moment. And that’s mostly due to his “outsider” status. If the democrats are smart, they’ll save a dark horse for later. At the moment, I’m underwhelmed by both sides.

I’m not even going to address the emotional and judgmental parts of your post. I read them. And I think that’s enough of that for one sitting. It’s subjective and unverifiable anyway. I take no offense, but I think you are too eager to dismiss my knowledge of the response and the workings of the NYC political machine. Folks assuming they have the ultimate perspective on things is exactly what gets us into debacles like Iraq. A battle of the resumes just takes away from the real discussion.

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 12, 2007 11:03 PM
Comment #207802

To clarify, I don’t advocate having a president who is not good at emergency planning…I just believe the role of chief executive to be more about policy-making than about who does what, when and how. Looking forward with optimism is the best way to lead. Looking forward in fear is the worst and least effective…although it is sometimes necessary - the trick being to only do it when danger is universally recognized as inevitable….then it can become a unifying force.

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 12, 2007 11:10 PM
Comment #208669

The Chinese year of the pig. They say anyone born on the year of the pig will have good luck but it will be a year of bombings, murder and more terrorism. The say if you are born in the year of the pig you tend to get help from others your whole life and that brings up this observation.

Hillary Clinton was born in the year of the pig. It is the last year of the Chinese Lunar Calendar and this could only mean one thing. Hillary will get support from other pigs which can only mean that the ladies of the View will support her especially other pigs such as Rosie O’Donnell. I am sure pigs such as Katie Curic and the like.

Pigs rejoice and pigs unite, this is your year and you should squeal loud and clear.

I bet Pelosi goes in there somewhere with the rest of the dim women.

I know that Ted (ride with me and end up dead) Kennedy and his ilk on the dims side will support her but not our troops. After all he is a bore.


Posted by: im at February 18, 2007 7:13 AM
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