Obama on Iran: Bush-Cheney Lite Sounds Great

Ben Smith’s got an item about how Barack Obama is backtracking on his pledge to meet with Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadenijad. You can watch that here.

It was one of the most memorable moments of last summer’s campaign, one that many thought would torpedo Obama’s chances.

Here’s what Smith quotes Obama as saying now: “‘There’s no reason why we would necessarily meet with Ahmadinejad before we know that he was actually in power,’ ” he said. ” ‘He’s not the most powerful person in Iran.’ ”

Smith rightly points out that Obama stood by his answer well into the primary season, calling it “an effective point of contrast with Hillary in the primary.”

Having spent much time up in New Hampshire last summer, I remember Obama taking it even further.

Last July, I drove up to Concord’s Eagle Square to see Congressman Paul Hodes endorse Obama. Here at Gitell.com, I observed “there’s no question that Obama’s willingness to meet with the despots of Iran, Syria, Cuba, North Korea and Venezuela is electrifying the progressive grassroots, particularly in New Hampshire.”

Reporting for The New York Sun, I noticed that Obama not only stood by his pledge, he upped the ante on it. His direct quote, using the word dictator, reinforces the fact that he was specifically referring to Ahmadinejad.

“It is no longer sufficient to trot out the old formulas, the old tired phrases. If we want fundamental change, then we can’t be afraid to talk to our enemies. I’m not afraid of losing the p.r. war to dictators,” Mr. Obama said to prolonged applause. “I’m happy to look them in the eye and say what needs to be said… I don’t want a continuation of Bush-Cheney. I don’t want Bush-Cheney lite, I want a fundamental change.”

In presidential politics, it’s long been commonplace for candidates to move leftward to win Democratic primaries and caucuses and then tack to the center to win general elections. But it’s not exactly a new kind of politics. It’s the same kind of politics we’ve always had.

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4 Responses to “Obama on Iran: Bush-Cheney Lite Sounds Great”

  1. Boston Patriot Says:

    Not surprisingly, Obama speaks with forked tongue. One prong of the fork is naivte, he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. The other prong is the fork of arrogance. He thinks he knows everything and heck it doesn’t matter anyway because EVERYBODY worships the ground I walk on.

  2. michael castaldo Says:

    i see open toed sandals aka “flip flops” showing up on the trail in the future!

  3. Mark Shaw Says:

    There is a choice to be made in November, change or four more years of Bush/McCain. Is the latter what you really want, more of our kids killed in needless wars, billions of war dollars leaving the country when we could use that money here, an economy that is on the brink of disaster, incompetence at every level of the administration, etc? Is this what you really want.

    Senator Obama may be flawed, no question about it. But c’mon, why not hit the positives, why not try to influence his views, why not try to help him change a government that is crumbling by the day.

    This is not a Democrat or Republican issue, this is a save our country issue. Give this some thought while asking this question: can you name one single accomplishment of this administration other than our not having been invaded again? I’ll bet you can’t and if you can’t, then isn’t it time for change, real change? If you agree, then begin by writing of your concerns to the Obama camp, and then you will become part of the solution not the problem.

  4. starfish20 Says:

    i am not a amarican i am from canada. but i think Obama seemslike the best choice for your guys from whati hav seen.

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