09 April 2008

Candidate's Scorecard

New thing--a scorecard for the candidate's. This time it will be their performance at the hearings on Iraq.

McCain--Stayed on message that surge was working and that it was somehow unpatriotic to leave Iraq until it was a good and safe place.

Clinton--Very careful in her questions. Did not press the points by the general and ambassadorof the "good" conditions in Iraq.

Obama--He was the most critical of the candidates. He was forceful on the money spent and the idea that all is well in Iraq.

In my opinion, Obama had the best performance of all the candidates in the hearings. However, I will say the Joe Biden's opening statement was an excellent one.

Clinton re-emphasized points she and Democrats had made before: that even with security gains, the Iraqi government has proved incapable of political reconciliation, and that U.S. troops tied down in Iraq are needed elsewhere.

"I think it's time to begin an orderly process of withdrawing our troops, start rebuilding our military and focusing on the challenges posed by Afghanistan, the global terrorist groups and other problems that confront Americans," the New York senator said during the morning hearing before the Armed Services Committee.
Obama, on the other hand, argued that both Petraeus and Crocker were setting the bar for success too high, making it nearly impossible to ever achieve goals or withdraw troops.

During the afternoon hearing before the Foreign Relations Committee, the Illinois senator argued for consideration of more limited goals: an Iraqi government that could contain if not eradicate Sunni Arab radicals and could hold its own against Iranian influences, if not expel them.

"When you have finite resources, you've got to define your goal tightly and modestly," Obama said.

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