Keeping It Right

Keeping It Right is for thought provoking conversationist. It's for those who love to talk about today's issues, yesterday's history and tomorrow's future.

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Location: Moreno Valley, CA

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

RF 23 - Answer the Question, Senator...

RF23 - Answer the question, Sen. Obama!

Look I like Sen. Obama, I think he's a breath of fresh political air, for now, but now I'm thinking that maybe, just maybe he should have kept his self imposed boycott of Fox News. And maybe he should have picked a different interviewer, than Chris Wallace (Registered Democrat).

Yesterday, I took the time to listen to and look at the transcripts of the interview and I gotta say it, Wallace kicked Obama's ass and the bad thing is that these two weren't debating or as Jeremiah Wright said, [Wallace] talked about his momma. Obama came off looking bad and took the worst of wear. Check out the questions and Obama's well, um, responses...

Barack Obama on "Fox News Sunday": http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,352785,00.html


As you all know, one of the strongest themes of Obama is that, he's going around saying "change" and "unite." Well Wallace asked him about this "uniting":

Wallace: Senator, one of the central themes of your campaign is that you are a uniter who will reach across the aisle and create a new kind of politics. Some of your detractors say that you are a paint-by-the- numbers liberal, and I'd like to explore this with you.

OBAMA: Right. (did he just acknowledge that he is a liberal)

WALLACE: Over the years, John McCain has broken with his party and risked his career on a number of issues — campaign finance, immigration reform, banning torture.

As a president, can you name a hot-button issue where you would be willing to buck the Democratic Party line and say, "You know what? Republicans have a better idea here?"

(Remember the question is "Where YOU (Obama) would be willing to.....)

Obama: Well, on issues of regulation. I think that back in the '60s and '70s a lot of the way we regulated industry was top-down command and control, we're going to tell businesses exactly how to do things. (okay, what about YOU, senator, YOU would be willing to..)

And you know, I think that the Republican Party and people who thought about the markets came up with the notion that, "You know what? If you simply set some guidelines, some rules and incentives, for businesses — let them figure out how they're going to, for example, reduce pollution," and a cap and trade system, for example is a smarter way of doing it, controlling pollution, than dictating every single rule that a company has to abide by, which creates a lot of bureaucracy and red tape and oftentimes is less efficient. (Senator, senator the question, YOU, sir, YOU!! where are YOU!!)

I think that on issues of education, I've been very clear about the fact — and sometimes I've gotten in trouble with the teachers' union on this — that we should be experimenting with charter schools. We should be experimenting with different ways of compensating teachers that...

(So you're not going to answer the question - I know folks on JCP's board that could answer the question for you, Senator. So one more time, back to the question)

WALLACE: You mean merit pay?

OBAMA: Well, merit pay, the way it's been designed, I think, is based on just a single standardized test — I think is a big mistake, because the way we measure performance may be skewed by whether or not the kids are coming into school already three years or four years behind.

But I think that having assessment tools and then saying, "You know what? Teachers who are on career paths to become better teachers, developing themselves professionally — that we should pay excellence more." I think that's a good idea, so...

(okay so now Wallace still hadn't gotten his answer and decides to "dumb" down the question so Obama could tell us, where and how he plans to unite Republicans and Democrats, Liberals and Conservatives and so on...)

WALLACE: The gang of 14, which was a group, a bipartisan coalition, to try to resolve the issue of judicial nominations. Fourteen senators came together. You weren't part of it.

On some issues where Democrats have moved to the center — partial birth abortion, defense of marriage act — you stay on the left and you are against both.

And so people say, "Do you really want a partnership with Republicans, or do you really want unconditional surrender from them?"

OBAMA: No, look, I think this is fair. I would point out, though, for example, that when I voted for a tort reform measure that was fiercely opposed by the trial lawyers, I got attacked pretty hard from the left. During the Roberts...(Still no answer to the question)

WALLACE: John Roberts, the Supreme Court.

OBAMA: ... the John Roberts nomination, although I voted against him, I strongly defended some of my colleagues who had voted for him on the Daily Kos and was fiercely attacked as somebody who is, you know, caving in to Republicans on these fights.

In fact, there are a lot of liberal commentators who think I'm too accommodating.

So here's my philosophy. I want to do what works for the American people. And both at the state legislative level and at the federal legislative level, I have always been able to work together with Republicans to find compromise and to find common ground.

That's how I was able to provide health care for people who needed it in Illinois. That's how I passed ethics reform both at the state and the federal level.

That's how, you know, I've worked with people like Dick Lugar from here in Indiana on critical issues like nuclear proliferation.

It is true that when you look at some of the votes that I've taken in the Senate that I'm on the Democratic side of these votes, but part of the reason is because the way these issues are designed are to polarize. They're intentionally designed to polarize.

On an issue like partial birth abortion, I strongly believe that the state can properly restrict late-term abortions. I have said so repeatedly. All I've said is we should have a provision to protect the health of the mother, and many of the bills that came before me didn't have that.

Now, part of the reason they didn't have it was purposeful, because those who are opposed to abortion — and I don't begrudge that at all. They have a moral calling to try to oppose what they think is immoral.

Oftentimes what they were trying to do was to polarize the debate and make it more difficult for people, so that they could try to bring an end to abortions overall.

So the point I'm simply making is that as president, my goal is to bring people together, to listen to them, and I don't think that's any Republican out there who I've worked with who would say that I don't listen to them, I don't respect their ideas, I don't understand their perspective.

And I do not consider Democrats to have a monopoly on wisdom. And my goal is to get us out of this polarizing debate where we're always trying to score cheap political points and actually get things done. (never mind...)

and oh!! this is for Tom Joyner:

Wallace: Senator, for all your efforts to run a post-racial campaign, isn't there still a racial divide in this country that is going to make it very hard for you to get elected president?

OBAMA: Well, Chris, if you look at the general election polls, we are doing better against John McCain than Senator Clinton is. We are putting states in play like Colorado and Virginia that have not been in play for a very long time.

Here in Indiana, we just — you just saw polling by the Indianapolis Star showing me beating John McCain. And so, look. Is race still a factor in our society? Yes. I don't think anybody would deny that.

Is that going to be the determining factor in a general election? No, because I'm absolutely confident that the American people — what they're looking for is somebody who can solve their problems.

What they're looking for is somebody who can pull the country together and push back some of the special interests that can have come to dominate the agenda, who will tell them the truth about how we're going to bring down gas prices, how we're going to bring back jobs.

And if I fit the bill, then they will vote for me. If I lose, it won't be because of race. It will be because, you know, I made mistakes on the campaign trail, I wasn't communicating effectively my plans in terms of helping them in their everyday lives.

But I don't think that race is going to be a barrier in the general election.

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