Hillary: Even I’ve been to the war zone more often than Obama

posted at 11:40 am on May 30, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

While Barack Obama tries to cast John McCain’s invitation to tour Iraq into a “political stunt”, Hillary Clinton recalls with fondness her trips with McCain to both Iraq and Afghanistan. Hillary apparently sees the same opening for attack against Obama’s lack of interest in the actual ground situations in both countries and has no hesitancy in exploiting it. She doesn’t mind giving McCain a little boost at the same time:

McCain, who has visited Iraq eight times, has used the issue to criticize Obama’s foreign policy credentials. Obama, he says, “does not have the knowledge or the experience to make the judgments. Presidents have to listen and learn. Presidents have to make judgments no matter how popular or unpopular they may be.”

In her campaign stops, Clinton customarily pauses to praise McCain for his service to the country before going on to criticize his policy positions and cast them as a continuation of the Bush administration. But as she campaigns in South Dakota in advance of its Tuesday primary, Clinton added an extra recollection to her intro. “I have the highest respect and regard for Sen. McCain, he and I have actually gone to Iraq and Afghanistan together,” she said. “And I honor his service to our country and his patriotism.”

At her second stop of the day, she again reminded the audience of her journeys to conflict zones with the Arizona senator. As for her thoughts on Obama, Clinton continued on her current course — saying nothing.

Obama has a problem brewing on this front. His rhetoric last year on Iraq matched the tone of the press coverage — despondent, angry, and pessimistic. With Iraq stabilizing and Maliki gaining control of the north and south, the situation has obviously changed tremendously, and the American media is even reporting it. Obama’s rhetoric hasn’t adapted to the new reality at all; it’s as if he’s arguing from, say, January 2006.

His initial refusal to go to Iraq to meet with General David Petraeus made him appear irrationally close-minded. He modified that stance to say that he would go on his own, making it seem as though McCain presented some sort of obstacle to getting a clear idea of the situation. Hillary’s jab strips him of that excuse, and reminds voters that she found it essential to get her own information on both Iraq and Afghanistan to reach her own conclusions, and not that of her handlers and the military geniuses at MoveOn and International ANSWER.

Oh, and has Obama held a subcommittee meeting on Afghanistan yet? No? Why not?

Hillary’s slam will put even more pressure on Obama to hold a meeting in Iraq with Petraeus, probably this summer. He will want that as private as possible, to preserve the maximum latitude of spin available afterwards. Expect John McCain to go immediately before or after Obama’s trip to pre-empt the spin.


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Presidents have to make judgments no matter how popular or unpopular they may be.”

That’s the part that scares me.

kcd on May 30, 2008 at 11:43 AM

the situation has obviously changed tremendously, and the American media is even reporting it.

Where? Where?!!!

kcd on May 30, 2008 at 11:47 AM

Maybe he SHOULD tap her for VP! It would be such fun to watch!!!!!!!!!! Man-oh-Man!

Can I get a second on that?

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on May 30, 2008 at 11:48 AM

I’m surprised Hillary hasn’t him on this before.

CP on May 30, 2008 at 11:49 AM

I’m surprised Hillary hasn’t hit him on this before.

CP on May 30, 2008 at 11:49 AM

Hillary: Even I’ve been to the war zone more often than Obama

Yes,she certainly has. And here’s the proof.

Connie on May 30, 2008 at 11:52 AM

McCain needs to announce a date now of when he will be travelling to Iraq, then when BO announces his own trip McCain can knock him for making taxpayers pay for two flights when it could easily have been one. Cheap victory.

murty on May 30, 2008 at 11:54 AM

Yes,she certainly has. And here’s the proof.

Connie on May 30, 2008 at 11:52 AM

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!

RushBaby on May 30, 2008 at 11:55 AM

So going to a warzone with the presumptive republican candidate is a politcal stunt?

How very bipartisan of him

Butters on May 30, 2008 at 11:58 AM

Can I get a second on that?

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on May 30, 2008 at 11:48 AM

I would, just for sh!t& and giggles, if McCain were 20 years younger. : )

kcd on May 30, 2008 at 11:59 AM

Where? Where?!!!

kcd on May 30, 2008 at 11:47 AM

here.

Quisp on May 30, 2008 at 12:02 PM

Hillary Clinton. America’s greatest war hero.

morganfrost on May 30, 2008 at 12:03 PM

Did anyone shoot at her?

Chuck Schick on May 30, 2008 at 12:03 PM

Two words: Sniper fire.

:D

Ryan Gandy on May 30, 2008 at 12:03 PM

Clinton added an extra recollection to her intro. “I have the highest respect and regard for Sen. McCain, he and I have actually gone to Iraq and Afghanistan together,” she said. “And I honor his service to our country and his patriotism.”

Was that a subtle backhand slap at BHO? not doing the Pledge of Allegiance or hand over his heart? or is that too much reading into that..

DaveC on May 30, 2008 at 12:06 PM

Hillary for McCain’s VP! They make the same arguments.

ThackerAgency on May 30, 2008 at 12:08 PM

Presidents have to make judgments no matter how popular or unpopular they may be.”

That’s the part that scares me.
kcd on May 30, 2008 at 11:43 AM

Presidents know more than we do. And thats a good thing. They are shown classified material that if made public, can cause the death of the people involved in collecting this information. In the case of an enemy, it is vital that they don’t know what has been compromised.

The president often has to make a judgement that is unpopular to the general public that is misinformed(no thanks to people in the press who report on their opinion to the public, not the facts) or ignorant to the full facts of a matter. It’s much better in some instances for a president to make a unpopular decision that is in the best interests of America. As long as that president is in fact making these decisions correctly. As longs as – and that’s the most important thing.

wise_man on May 30, 2008 at 12:08 PM

McCain needs to announce a date now of when he will be travelling to Iraq, then when BO announces his own trip McCain can knock him for making taxpayers pay for two flights when it could easily have been one. Cheap victory.

murty on May 30, 2008 at 11:54 AM

McCain can also say that he tried to reach out but BHO wanted to be decisive in the issue..

DaveC on May 30, 2008 at 12:08 PM

BO is a Marxist on the doorstep to the POTUS. I think I need to barf, again.

kirkill on May 30, 2008 at 12:08 PM

As for her thoughts on Obama, Clinton continued on her current course — saying nothing.

True.

And I don’t believe it’s because she wants to be on the ticket as Barry’s VP. I’m convinced she doesn’t want it and the Obama’s, the Mrs. in particular, don’t want Hill and Bill within earshot of the WH.

That leaves one reason for remaining so silent of late. Hill has made a decision not to make waves, not to directly attack Obama, as a sign of playing nice with the DNC. They were plenty PO’d that she hung around, and didn’t hesitate to let Hillary know she should STFU and bow out gracefully.

She hasn’t bowed out gracefully, but she is acting more graceful now in the eyes of the party faithful. She’s no longer the mean, sore-loser attack machine, embarasssing the Dems. She’s above the fray, more composed, more thoughtful, more presidential.

She’s staying in to the bitter end folks. She’s letting Barry trip over his own gaffs. She looks better every day and he looks weak and confused, very unpresidential. She’s just stocking up ammo, with the first volley coming tomorrow at the delegate free-for-all. She’ll follow that up with a winner take all death-cage match at the convention.

It ain’t over til the brat lady sings.

fogw on May 30, 2008 at 12:10 PM

Knowing Senator Obama’s penchant for screwing up warzones. I could see him getting off the plane and say “It’s great to be in Iraq”…when in fact he’s in Afghanistan. Kinda like when a lead singer screws up at a concert.

Also as a side note. Is it too much to start calling him Senator Blutarsky? I mean put his famous German’s and Pearl Harbor quote under Obama and his pictures and play a guess who said that game.

I got another RNC ad. “Our President just makes up words, your candidate makes up history.”

Butters on May 30, 2008 at 12:11 PM

Expect John McCain to go immediately before or after Obama’s trip to pre-empt the spin.

Right on the money Ed.

Theworldisnotenough on May 30, 2008 at 12:16 PM

Obama plans to go to Dearborn as the second best choice.

profitsbeard on May 30, 2008 at 12:16 PM

I suppose as a compromise with Hillary, Obama could announce he’s going to Tuzla.

jon1979 on May 30, 2008 at 12:30 PM

Ummm… bigger question…

Obama is head of the Subcommitee for Afganistan…

Has he been there? When?

Has he spoken to the General in charge of Afganistan?

Better attack as he already has the Job on Afganistan, and if he is not doing that job at all, then what can we expect of him as President?

Iraq he can stand on his stance of being anti Iraq war, but he is PRO the Afganistan conflict…

Romeo13 on May 30, 2008 at 12:31 PM

I’m surprised Hillary hasn’t hit him on this before.

CP on May 30, 2008 at 11:49 AM

Notice Hillary only comes up with this crap AFTER McCain or someone else has brought it up. If she had any balls and really wanted the nomination, she would be the one bringing it up first.

Vigilante on May 30, 2008 at 12:35 PM

Obama plans to go to Dearborn as the second best choice.

profitsbeard on May 30, 2008 at 12:16 PM

That’s Dearbornistan.

Theworldisnotenough on May 30, 2008 at 12:50 PM

I figure Obama will go to Cuba to meet with the Castros before he sets foot in Iraq and meets with our troops.

Rick on May 30, 2008 at 12:58 PM

Maybe McCain should invite Hillary to travel to Iraq with him, and she could momentarily suspend disbelief while meeting with General Petraeus and ducking sniper fire.

If Hillary refused, McCain could then say that she was all talk and no action, and that he (McCain) is the ONLY candidate willing to meet with the generals on the ground to find out the reality about Iraq.

If Hillary accepted, but still didn’t win the Dem nomination, McCain could then use the argument that Obama personally, and not Democrats in general, is wilfully ignorant about Iraq, and is unfit to be Commander in Chief. During the lead-up to the Dem convention, Hillary would become McCain’s “ally” in criticizing Obama on Iraq.

Steve Z on May 30, 2008 at 1:07 PM

Maybe he SHOULD tap her for VP! It would be such fun to watch!!!!!!!!!! Man-oh-Man!

Can I get a second on that?

I might for queeg in that case!! :) although I don’t think he could stand someone tougher than he is on the ticket!!

right4life on May 30, 2008 at 1:34 PM

Obama, he says, “does not have the knowledge or the experience to make the judgments. Presidents have to listen and learn. Presidents have to make judgments no matter how popular or unpopular they may be.”

“The next three to six months will be critical.” – John McCain , Sept. 10, 2003.

“…we will probably see significant progress in the next six months to a year.” – John McCain, Dec. 4, 2005.

“MR. RUSSERT: Bottom line for John McCain is if there’s no consensus to send more troops to Iraq and, “win”…

SEN. McCAIN: Mm-hmm.

MR. RUSSERT: …then, rather than delay withdrawal for a year and let others die, bring the troops home.

SEN. McCAIN: I, I think you—it’s—I can’t say that specifically, but I certainly wouldn’t support a proposal that leads to eventual defeat—that I am convinced that would lead to eventual defeat. And, look, if you talk to most military experts, we’re in a critical and crucial time. We’re either going to lose this thing or win this thing within the next several months.

MR. RUSSERT: But, senator, people are going to make a judgment about your judgment.

SEN. McCAIN: Mm-hmm.

MR. RUSSERT: Less than a year ago, you were saying this, “Overall, I think a year from now,” which would be now, “we will have made a fair amount of progress [in Iraq] if we stay the course.” That’s proven not to be correct.

SEN. McCAIN: That’s proven not to be correct. And I also said three years ago if we don’t have more troops over there, and we don’t do what’s necessary, we are going to be doomed to failure. I gave a speech this—foreign relations—Council on Foreign Relations that said basically that. And I’ve been saying it all along, in every hearing, and I’ve been saying you are going to face this situation we’re facing today if we didn’t have a more robust presence, and a better strategy. And that’s—and I proved to be right in that respect.” – John McCain and Tim Russert, Nov. 12, 2006.

“But while the job of bringing security to Iraq is not finished, as the recent fighting in Basra and elsewhere vividly demonstrated, we’re no longer staring into the abyss of defeat and we can now look ahead to the genuine prospect of success. Success, the establishment of a peaceful, stable, prosperous, democratic state that poses no threats to its neighbors and contributes to the defeat of terrorists, this success is within reach. And with success, Iraqi forces can take responsibility for enforcing security in their countries, and American troops can return home with the honor of having secured their country’s interests at great personal costs and of helping another people achieve peace and self-determination. That’s what I hope every American desires for our country in our mission in Iraq. Yet should the United States instead choose to withdraw from Iraq before adequate security is established, we will exchange for this victory a defeat that is terrible and long-lasting. Al Qaeda in Iraq would proclaim victory and increase its efforts to provoke sectarian tensions, pushing for a full-scale civil war that could descend into genocide and destabilize the Middle East. Iraq would become a failed state. It could become a haven for terrorists to train and plan their operations. Iranian influence would increase substantially in Iraq and encourage other countries to seek accommodation with Tehran at the expense of our interests.” – New York Times, April 8, 2008.

Yoosaion on May 30, 2008 at 1:52 PM

Oh, and has Obama held a subcommittee meeting on Afghanistan yet? No? Why not?

Because he’s been too busy trying to achieve his lifelong ambition to be the first black U.S. President.

AZCoyote on May 30, 2008 at 1:53 PM

By no means am I the first to suggest this idea, but it occurs to me that Senator Obama and John McCain should agree, not only to travel together to Iraq, but also to hold the first general election debate there.

Each man aspires to be the Commander-in-Chief, and this would give to our troops an immediate acknowledgement of the high respect that we feel for them as our defenders, regardless of our, or their, party affiliations.

Certainly Senator Obama does not believe that holding and participating in any debate is a stunt, having participated in literally scores of them during the primary season, and having, thereby persuaded a majority of the voters and caucus participants in his own party to favor his candidacy over that of Hillary Clinton. She was, after all, the overwhelming favorite at the beginning of the primary campaign season.

What greater legacy could we Americans leave to this fledgling democratic state in the Middle East, than to vividly demonstrate how politics can be a respectful clash of ideas which we engage in in order to choose our own leaders and our own destiny? When this process is done, we will have selected a new President, House of Representatives, and a number of Senators, and we will move on. The people in the other states in the region would witness it with attention as well.

And what better vivid reminder and demonstration to the American people of the important role we have played in Iraq in fighting alQaeda terror?

Trochilus on May 30, 2008 at 2:12 PM

Somebody recently gave me this great saying…

“The Party that can’t loose is about to nominate the man who can’t win.”

I think Iraq will be Obama’s Waterloo and Ed, you hit the nail on the head when you say that Obama’s parroting of the media’s negativity 1 year ago is going to blow up in his face. By November, life in Iraq is going to look an order of magnitude better than it did 1 year ago.

Wise Golden on May 30, 2008 at 2:57 PM

Oh, and has Obama held a subcommittee meeting on Afghanistan yet? No?

This is yet another log on the fire for Obambi. His repeated claims to want to abandon “meaningless” Iraq in favor of playing cowboys and Indians in Afghanistan turn a little sour when you realize that he a) has never been there, b) knows nothing about the place or the war there, and c) doesn’t even bother to show up at the brainless Senate Foreign Relations Committee meetings where he might accidentally get briefed on the situation there.

Lying.Leftist.Douchebag.

Jaibones on May 30, 2008 at 3:33 PM

She’s been there alreight. Go here and scroll down a little to see how she was received.

Akzed on May 30, 2008 at 3:44 PM

Oh, and has Obama held a subcommittee meeting on Afghanistan yet? No? Why not?

Because he’s looking for a way to start the meme that we should pull out of Afghanistan also. Don’t forget: all of the works of the evil Bushitler must be undone.

baldilocks on May 30, 2008 at 3:44 PM

He has been to a war zone, many times…try not following Michelle O’s orders…incommmmmminnng!

right2bright on May 30, 2008 at 3:46 PM

This may be off-topic, but Hillary’s remark about wanting to stay in until June, and that “anything can happen” might be based on something else besides the possibility that some nutjob might “bump off” Obama, like RFK in 1968.

Does Hillary, or one of her supporters (a certain Larry Johnson comes to mind) have inside information about the Rezko trial, and believe that Obama might be INDICTED before the Dem Convention? After all, Hillary grew up in the Chicago suburbs, and probably knows what goes on there, and Rezko’s prosecutor is the same guy who managed to convict Scooter Libby of perjury over the Plame case, where no crime was committed, and Tom DeLay was indicted over far less.

If Obama were indicted, his candidacy would be toast, and the “damsel in distress” could ride in and save the Democrats from defeat in November. Is THIS why Hillary stays in, waiting for Obama to be “frog-marched” out of the Senate? (if he ever sets foot there)

Steve Z on May 30, 2008 at 4:36 PM

“Expect John McCain to go immediately before or after Obama’s trip to pre-empt the spin.”

Question is; will he take Senator Lieberman with him and keep him on his right elbow, near his good ear?

J_Gocht on May 30, 2008 at 5:50 PM

“Steve Z on May 30, 2008 at 1:07 PM

Senator McCain had a bit of a rough go on his last trek…

Recently during his last brief visit with Senator Lieberman, Saint Mc confused the difference between Sunni and Shiite and the fact that al Qaeda wasn’t training in Iran.

Then Senator Mc Cain wanted to go back to that same Shorja Market place [he had visited in April of 2007] and was informed; “it is no longer safe for an American in that open aire market.”

Dammit, I hate when that happens!

J_Gocht on May 30, 2008 at 6:19 PM