Talking Politics

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Democratic front runners are clashing over how we confront enemies like Iran. Washington Post National Politics Reporter Anne Kornblut looks at the difference in philosophy between the candidates.


Anne Kornblut

Comments [31]

bob from brooklyn


What has Venezula done to make it an enemy of the United States? Is it the fact that Venezula which provided heating oil to the people in need in the U.S.,at much more affordable and lower prices,during last winter,a reason. Maybe the reason is that,Chavez has become the no.1 enemy of the IMF in the region. Venezula has become a major creditor for latin american countries and offered an alternative form of credit without any conditions. It seems that Hillary Clinton wants to continue with the U.S. policy of demonizing those developing nations who try and act in there countries best interests.

Jul. 31 2007 06:05 PM
John Baker from Brooklyn

incorrect. They do not agree. obama replied that he would "absolutely' meet with the leaders of all 5 countries. There was a difference and it is not nitpicking. i think these differences although subtle in samantics are indicative of a greater divide.
i don't know why our country has become so uncomfortable with healthy debate. Why was it wrong of her to critisize him on a pressing question?

Jul. 30 2007 04:42 PM
TCR from New York City

Obama and Clinton agree on this issue. Obama gave a short form answer to the underlying question "Would you continue Bush the administration's policy and refuse to negotiate with Iran?" His answer, and Clinton's, is "No." Neither of them is asking
Ahmadinejad to lunch.

Clinton took advantage of a clumsy locution to gain a debater's point. Her argument against Obama is that he is inexperienced, and she deliberately spun Obama's response to advance that political agenda.

We need to stop playing "gotcha" and get back to the issues.

Jul. 30 2007 04:04 PM
John Baker from Brooklyn

The last debate proved that Ms. Clinton has a wonderful command over the issues. She appeared poised, confident and honest. Obama on the other hand looked green. I consider myself a liberal and I am truly confused as to why so many people are bemused with Obama. What is his vision? What are his goals? He seems to evade questions of substance and rarely offers a plan that seems reasonable or sound. I'm also confused as to why people view him as a visionary. He has been labeled a "progressive" but his ideas are quite moderate. He touts himself as an anti war candidate but just like Howard Dean he didn’t have to vote on the resolution. Even now, his military views are aligned with Clinton’s more hawkish stance.
Regardinbg the debate, many of you may think Obama’s answer was exploited in the press but I think he deserved the blunt. I believe it is outrageous to commit to talks with adversaries before having further knowledge of their intentions. Clinton’s response was detailed and I agree with it. The United States cannot just support diplomacy without strategizing a plan. I think this compasrison is evident of a deeper issue. Hillary answered the question comprehensively, she included “all the players” whereas Obama looked like a child trying to find the right answer.
Also, has anyone investigated Obama’s strong ties to Christian conservatism? He is almost in the same camp as Harold Ford Jr. I will not allow another president to use religion as a mechanism for policy. At least Hillary keeps her religion to herself.
I just feel that voters leave little time for research instead they respond to impulse. it scares me that Obama's 'youth" garners so much attention. He is inexperienced and his intentions seem questionable. I am sick and tired of people saying that 8 years as a first lady doesn’t merit Hillary with the label of experience. Obama is a former community organizer and a short term senator and now he's running for president? Seems strangely opportunistic, at least Hillary, Richardson and even Kucinich have earned their place on the stage.

Jul. 30 2007 02:23 PM
Nick Lento from NJ

Spitzer's "apology" is a weak/lame joke.

Bruno and his posse won't accept it; they are hell bent on destroying Spitzer and they'll gleefully Swiftboat/Whitewater him to death over the next four years.

Spiter MUST go on the offensive. Whatever "sins" Spitzer, or his crew have committed here are relatively venial compared to the mortal sins of Bruno's "side", i.e. the absolutely thoroughly corrupt status quo of legalized bribery.

Spizer is like a cop jaywalking to arrest a serial killer.

Any outcome in which one of these two pols is "left standing" will be a whitewash/compromise/cover up.

If THIS situation isn't sufficient motivation for Spitzer to go at Bruno's political jugular; then the Republican rap on him that he's just a phony ambitious game player will have been proven true...I don't believe that now and I'd really hate to be forced to believe it.

Bruno is really just a symptom of an body politic riddled with toxic infected pustulent tumors...the corruption is so endemic/systemic that it is actually LEGAL!!!


Jul. 30 2007 12:08 PM
sg from NYC


I think it's amazing how Democrats (other than Spitzer) bow to the right-wing when this "story" hit. Where are the people defending Spitzer? The New York Post is the Fox News of papers and it's ridiculous to take their reporting seriously.

Let Cuomo handle it. I trust him.


Jul. 30 2007 11:34 AM
Shannon from Cincinnati, OH

As a long-time Democrat, a liberal, and a woman, I really wish I liked Hillary more... I do. My thoughts on how she comes across are obviously subjective and I don't assume Obama is without contradictions.

... I agree w/ Nick - no matter who the Democratic Party nominates, that person as President will be a positive step for our country!!!

Jul. 30 2007 11:31 AM
Nick Lento from NJ

As for the Google-ization of the portable cell/computer realm: yes it's going to have to happen IF people demand it.

The professor made a point in a "matter of fact" manner that the FCC does NOT represent the American people.

Of course anyone who understands the way campaigns are financed results in legalized bribery knows why the FCC and every other aspect of governance is owned and operated by monied interests.

THAT FACT really should be THE topic/theme of the Brian Leher show for a full MONTH!!!

You could go a month discussing/exposing a different aspect of pay to pay legalized bribery every single day...hell you could do a YEAR on it!!!

Virtually every law, every rule, every policy and every regulation (and the way they are all enforced) is determined by the interests of those with the money to buy politicians as opposed to the interests of individual voters/citizens/residents/etc.

Oh, and btw....all of the above also applied to the themes underlying the whole Spitzer v Bruno fiasco.

Jul. 30 2007 11:30 AM
Derek Wong from NYU

The alleged "Brian bises" are what a few here always whine about because their own biases are only expressed on WABI and not on WNYC.....
boo hoo....

Jul. 30 2007 11:18 AM
Derek Wong from NYU

It's foolish to presume that somehow Obama somehow isn't as ambitous as Clinton. Anyone who has looked into his career can clearly see that, like most successful politicians (or people) he too shows arrogance, and duplicity at times. Welcome to the real world....

Clinton's point of not giving propoganda victories to rogue regimes, even as one seeks out conversations with others in that country including government members, is correct and failry obvious - but definitely not a non-issue.

Jul. 30 2007 11:14 AM
Rebecca from New Haven, CT

Totally agree with Neil. Did anybody catch on Morning Edition today the snippet about "language" in the $20 bn arms deal to Saudi Arabia that reassures Israel that the arms won't be used against them? Forget about language - BBC reported over the weekend that we're increasing military funding to Israel by $30 bn - a 25% increase - as a direct "reassurance" effort because of the Saudi deal. I wonder why Morning Edition felt that this little fact should be left out of the report...

Anyway, I hope that Brian can keep his biases far enough out of his reporting so that Obama's opinions are fairly and truthfully represented. For anyone who watched the whole debate last week and then saw the CNN coverage afterwards, you probably saw how much the media skews what the candidates actually said. We need all the help we can get and my faith in Brian to report with as critical an analysis as possible wanes daily.

Jul. 30 2007 11:12 AM
Nick Lento from NJ

What follows is something I wrote earlier that addresses these issues...

Clinton v Obama? Nahhh, It's USA v Bush/Cheney!

Obama, was indeed off in his response.

Clinton caught the nuances better (she also had more time to think since Obama answered first)...and if Obama ever becomes President; I strongly doubt he would actually have "unconditional" summits with the likes of Kim Jung Il.

On the other hand Hillary really should admit that she made a mistake in allowing Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rove con to her into the vote to give Bush "authorization" to invade/occupy Iraq.

We were taken to war, to use Thomas Friedman's phrase, "On the wings of a lie".

Hell they even managed to con/manipulate Colin Powell into lying, see:

Hillary and Obama need to ease up on each other and shed all that intellectual LIGHT/firepower on the Bush administration and challenge any Republican who dares to enable/support these criminal lying traitors.

It's no accident that most Americans STILL believe that Saddam Hussein was, somehow, behind 9-11.

This bloody wasteful war is the biggest boondoggle in the history of mankind; it's all about money, corruption and ego.

Even the crazed vicious violent mad dog terrorists are pawns in this game of profit for the a global military-industrial-petrochemical-financial complex.

It's all about divide and conquer. Who is being divided? Who is "conquering"/profiting?

Follow the money.

Who benefits from the status quo?

Who benefits from "Staying the Course"?

We're into Iraq to the tune of nearly a TRILLION BORROWED dollars!!! It'll take a generation to pay the full bill...and the meter is still running.

Any one of the Democrats running would be a major improvement over any of the Republicans who have not yet thouroughly condemned the Iraq policies of Bush et al.

If and when the American people become more fully informed about just how and why all this blood and treasure have been wasted in Iraq; the call for impeachment and removal from office will be the least of Bush/Cheney's problems.

Hell, if I were Osama Bin Laden and I wanted to see American democracy/prosperity/power belittled and destroyed I would be doing all I possibly could to keep the Bush policies in effect in perpetuity.

What we have in Iraq is a confluence of corrupt/self serving interests that does not require a conscious overt "conspiracy" to reinforce the current dysfunctional (yet perversely /extremely profitable for some) dynamic.


Jul. 30 2007 10:59 AM
Andrea Bobrow from New York

I was listening to your discussion on if and when to start talking with so called enemy states.

Why are e.g. Cuba, Venezuela on the 'enemy states' list Are they threatening to invade or terrorize us? Are they considered 'enemy' only because their political and economic systems are different from ours? Is that enough reason not to talk and improve relations with them? What is/are the criteria for a country to be our friend or enemy?

Jul. 30 2007 10:55 AM
Neil Fazel from Manhattan

It's a no brainer that we should talk to Iran. Iran supported the Northern Alliance against the Taliban; Iran helped the US in Afghanistan; Iran has supported the government in Iraq. Iranians are also by and large big fans of America and its culture.

Iran is not a US enemy. The intellectual momentum in Washington against Iran is largely a product of Zionist lobbying efforts. In this they are putting Israel's interests ahead of America's. Shame on them. They are only driving a potential ally into the arms of China and Russia.

Jul. 30 2007 10:45 AM
chestine from NY

I think Obama is going to see new things when he arrives in the White House that Hillary already knows, having been married to a two-term president - and teh new info will cause Obama to change his tune. Like that it isn't politics running the world but the arms business.

Jul. 30 2007 10:43 AM
Shannon from Cincinnati, OH

Hillary reminds me of that really ambitious student looking foremost for recognition & high grades, then the interest in learning the material & participation is less important... if you've taught in some capacity (school teacher, sports coach, workshop leader, etc.), you understand what I'm saying.

Jul. 30 2007 10:39 AM
t.vijay from brooklyn

Thanks Brian

Friends or enemies

now it is
truths and Lies

the next should be
love or hate

hang on I am on U'r side

I do not know how to bridge the philosphical with reality!!!!

Jul. 30 2007 10:39 AM
Robert from NYC

Hillary lost my vote for good. I just do not trust her especially where gay politics are concerned. She IS an opportunist and does not really take a stand except on her refusal to say she was wrong about going into Iraq. We need to talk to our "enemies" instead of just bombing them without making at least an attempt to talk with them. Is that what we teach our kids??!! Does that hit home?

Jul. 30 2007 10:35 AM
Jay from Greenwich, CT

Why is the portion of the question " order to bridge the gap that divides our countries..." irrelevant? It seems to me that in this age of globalization that the so called leader of the Free World should be primarily concerned about bridging gaps. Realistically, how would the president look naïve regardless of who the president decided to meet with? Willingness to meet with people paints you in a light of trying to understand, reconcile and come to terms with solving problems. Am I wrong? Please Explain.

Jul. 30 2007 10:34 AM
John Lumea

Kornblut is incorrect. Stephen Sorta did not ask: Would you promise...? He asked: "Would you be willing...?

In any case, when Barack Obama told Andres Oppenheimer of The Miami Herald the day before the debate that "[u]nder certain conditions, I always believe in talking," the "conditions" he was talking about are the same conditions he was talking about in his debate response, which are themselves the same conditions that Sorta had in mind when he framed his YouTube question in the first place, using the example of Anwar Sadat in 1982.

These "conditions" are simply that previous low-, mid-, and high-level diplomatic efforts have failed to produced the desired result, proving that direct leader-to-leader talks may be the only way to move the relationship forward in a way that is satisfactory to the United States.

Once Obama has made the judgment that THESE "conditions" have been met -- that the United States has exhausted all other diplomatic options -- he will pursue direct leader-to-leader talks and will impose no FURTHER conditions -- "preconditions," if you will -- before coming to the table.

Jul. 30 2007 10:31 AM
t.vijay from brooklyn

reminds me of the 'godfather'
keep u'r enemies closer than U'r friends
when U'r friend does not want to do what U want... Gordon to the rescue.. promising closeness.

And then .. we arm the saudis and doing so after 9/11

???? does it mean to have a friend or enemy?

Jul. 30 2007 10:30 AM
Lorenzo from NY

Experience is the name we give to our mistakes.. Hillary would not be where she is if it weren't for her husband + the Democrat's political machine backing her. Obama is both smart and pragmatic
(see NY Times article today), the combination you need when confronting un-precedented emergencies.

Jul. 30 2007 10:30 AM
Dee from Queens

I don't know where people get this idea that Clinton has more experience then Obama. She has only been a senator a few more years then him. What foreign policy experience does Clinton actually have? I like the idea that Obama wouldn't respond with guns blazing after an attack but would actually think first. If Clinton wants to come off as the "War President" light she should be called out on that as we see the negatives of such a mentality.

Jul. 30 2007 10:26 AM
John O'Hara from Brooklyn

This "Vote for the War" was really a vote for Bush to have that stick in his pocket while dealing with Iraq. Bush just ran with the stick out. That's how I remember it... What happened?
Thank you
John O

Jul. 30 2007 10:24 AM
David from Bridgeport, CT

I also perceive Brian as Pro-Hillary. I noticed his tendency to favor candidates without explicitly saying so when he rolled over last fall for Joe Liberman and let Joe dictate the timing and questions for Brian's interview. He really owes it to the audience to divulge his sentiments instead of pretending to be objective.

Jul. 30 2007 10:24 AM
tom j from nyc

it was definitely an oppurtunistic attack. i thought we could get past this stuff.

Jul. 30 2007 10:22 AM
Huw from Brooklyn

If I have to choose between a naive Obama and a war criminal Clinton, I'll choose naive. Clinton should be in prison for crimes against humanity -- along with most of the current executive and legislative branches.

Jul. 30 2007 10:19 AM
Shannon from Cincinnati, OH

It seems Brian is very pro-Hillary...

On a side note, I'm still waiting for Hillary's health care plan before I even consider voting for her.

Jul. 30 2007 10:18 AM
sara from Brooklyn

The question of "how to talk with our enemies"
seems important and relevant at this time,
not only internationally, but as regards the extremes of left and right in our own partisan politics.

Jul. 30 2007 10:14 AM
Jeffrey Slott from Queens, NY

Clinton is an opportunist, two-faced BSer and Obama isn't, pure and simple. And your guest just deliberately mis-interpreted Obama's statement into matching Clinton's. Very interesting.

Jul. 30 2007 10:14 AM
Michael Winslow from Inwood

This is such a non-story.

Please there are more important things to discuss than this non-sense!

Jul. 30 2007 10:10 AM

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