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Contentions

Well, Here Is an Issue

There’s a limit to what John McCain can add to Snob-gate. Sure he can get in a barb or two. ( “It’s hard to keep a straight face when you’re accused of being out of touch by a guy who thinks the whole country is worried about the high price of arugula or that you hunt ducks with a six shooter.”) Still, it will be up to Hillary Clinton to do the heavy lifting in there.

Foreign policy is another matter. He issues a statement today blasting Jimmy Carter’s decision to meet with Hamas. It includes this:

“The very idea that a former President of the United States and Commander-in-Chief would meet with a terrorist organization demands a clear stance from all presidential candidates. Refusing to take a stand, as Senator Obama has done, is not the strong leadership we need today. If Senator Obama is not decisive enough to condemn former President Carter, how can he be strong enough to deal with the threat they pose to America and to our allies?”

McCain can effectively use the issue of standing up to our enemies to contrast himself with Obama. Voters may be divided over Iraq, but having lunch with dictators may make voters, especially independents and moderate Democrats, queasy about whether Obama really will be a replay of the Carter administration.

Playing off one of Clinton’s current themes (Obama is not ready for prime time as a nominee), this seems to be an effort by McCain to get voters to ponder whether he is also unprepared for the major leagues of international diplomacy. There may be advantages in striking while Obama has his hands full, but by the same token McCain’s volley likely won’t get much attention from the media. After all they have their hands full just keeping up with Snob-gate.


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