The latest political conversation is most confusing. It revolves around the question of Senator Obama's trip overseas, and oil. My feeling about all the rhetoric is, you can't have it both ways and, once again, perception is reality.
The McCain people need to make up their minds about exactly what they want Obama to do. First they say he doesn't know anything about Iraq, Pakistan, or Afghanistan because he hasn't ever been there. Then when he goes to these places and is well received they say, it's all a political ploy and why did he need to go there. Do they want him to be schooled in the way of the world or do they want him to just stay at home and be a long distance decider. They have released so many conflicting commercials that I'm no longer sure they know what they want. Are the same people making and buying the media for these spots-it looks like there may be two different campaigns doing the buy. The commercial I saw this morning first shows Obama with the troops having what looked like a pretty good time. But the point of the spot was that Obama spurned the wounded troops in Germany when he didn't stop by and say hello.
Additionally, the energy ads are also confusing. McCain cannot talk about the energy crisis (he doesn't suffer from it because he's a rich guy), while talking about drilling for more oil, rather than funding research and development for alternative energy resources. The ads that blame Obama for the oil crisis are ludicrous. To actually think the American people will believe that any Senator is responsible for the high cost of oil is ridiculous. While it may be true that if people want more oil they have to elect John Sidney McCain, it is only because he will allow his friends in the oil companies to make more money and continue to keep us dependent on this substance oh so foul. (What about the commodity speculators) Personally, I think they should both be talking to T. Boone Pickens, who seems to have an actual, sensible, alternative energy plan.
The Obama campaign explained that up until the time they got to Jordan, he was on a Congressional delegation so they could visit whomever.. not the Palestinians- but whomever else wanted to chat. They insist that, although the Pentagon didn't say they couldn't visit the troops, the campaign felt that (since by the time they got to Germany they were using campaign funds), it would be viewed as using the wounded vets for political purposes - is this confusing enough? Anyway, they didn't go and McCain feels terrible because Obama dissed the men and women who have served the country so well. Nevermind it was a needless war based on a lie and McCain continues to support it). We know, however, that if Obama had gone, McCain would be screaming about using those who have served the country so well, for political gain.
What I find a bit disturbing is the rhetoric of both campaigns. Obviously, I think McCain is desperately trying to get some attention and thinks he has traction here because wounded Vets not getting the attention they deserve tugs, at our hearts. If only McCain had thought about this before, there would be no wounded Vets, but that's another conversation. Clearly, there will be no agreement about whether Obama should or shouldn't have gone, but when Robert Gibbs (no longer Communication Director or Press Secretary, now Senior Campaign Strategist), says Obama would never have used the "wounded warriors for political gain," and repeats that four or five times you know he's talking from campaign script and if it is not dishonest, the repetition of script is certainly annoying.
Here's what I think is happening and they all better be careful because they are treading on the sensibilities of a frustrated and pissed off electorate. The McCain people are crafting a picture of John McCain as a "straight talking loveable down home guy who will always tell the truth." This is happening at the same time they are painting a disturbing portrait of Obama as a guy who can admit when he's wrong, and doesn't get what real people think or feel. And, in some ways the Obama people are playing right into their hands because their script is sketchy and inadequate. Two examples of this come to mind: the success of the surge, and no visit to the ‘wounded warriors" in Germany. For whatever Obama's rhetoric about the two subjects, the impression is just what McCain wants it to be. It smacks of Hillary's inability to say she was wrong when she voted for the war. It doesn't matter what the reason is ... the perception IS reality. Someone in the Obama campaign needs to write a new "change" script and modify using the "experienced" Republican tactic of repeating the old script enough times that the public finally says "OK, I believe, I believe" and just moves on to the next topic. No one can have it both ways-- no matter right or wrong. We're just sayin