Tag Archives: palin
Barack Obama is a “decidedly liberal” senator “who was finding his feet, and then got diverted by his presidential ambitions”, according to a frank verdict delivered to Gordon Brown by the British ambassador to the United States
Sir Nigel Sheinwald, ambassador in Washington since last year, delivered his unvarnished assessment of the White House front runner in a seven-page letter to the Prime Minister, obtained by The Daily Telegraph, just before the Democratic nominee’s visit to Downing Street just over two months ago.
The candid letter, marked as containing “sensitive judgements” and requesting officials to “protect the contents carefully” gives a remarkable insight into how the Foreign Office views the political phenomenon who stunned Mr Brown’s inner circle by defeating their favourite, Hillary Clinton, in the Democratic primaries.
Although the picture Sir Nigel paints is a highly complimentary one – Mr Obama’s speeches are “elegant” and “mesmerising”, he is “highly intelligent” and has “star quality” – he also judges that his “policies are still evolving” and that if elected he will “have less of a track record than any recent president”.
The letter’s contents suggest that Mr Brown could initially find it difficult to deal with a President Obama because he remains a largely unknown quantity who “resists pigeon-holing” and the leak is likely to complicate relations.
Last month, the prime minister was forced to backtrack after an article written in his name broke with convention by showering praise on the Democratic candidate at the expense of his Republican rival, Senator John McCain of Arizona.
Sir Nigel traces the ambition of Mr Obama, 47, to reach the White House right back to his 20s or before. “He has talked at least since the 1980s about a shot at the Presidency.”
He also identifies several political vulnerabilities that Sen McCain will seek to exploit in the last month of his campaign against the Illinois senator. The leaked letter will provide him with welcome ammunition.
Mr Obama “can seem to sit on the fence, assiduously balancing pros and cons”, Sir Nigel wrote, and “does betray a highly educated and upper middle class mindset”. Charges of elitism “are not entirely unfair” and he is “maybe aloof, insensitive” at times.
“He can talk too dispassionately for a national campaign about issues which touch people personally, eg his notorious San Francisco comments [in April] about small-town Pennsylvanians ‘clinging’ to guns and religion.”
Mr Obama’s Democratic primary victory over the former First Lady showed that “he is tough and competitive. This is of course the Chicago school.
You don’t beat Clinton without being resilient” but “his energy levels do dip and he can be uninspiring e.g. in debates”.
Curiously, there is no mention of his wife Michelle – a central figure in his rise and his closest adviser – and little examination of his time in Chicago, where he had radical associations, or his background in Hawaii, essential to understanding why “Obama is cool”, as the letter puts it.
Sir Nigel detects a potential clash between Downing Street and an Obama administration over Iran.
“If Obama wins, we will need to consider with him the articulation between (a) his desire for ‘unconditional’ dialogue with Iran and (b) our and the [United Nations Security Council]’s requirement of prior suspension of enrichment before the nuclear negotiations proper can begin.”
But Sir Nigel – who described the Iraq war as “the Iraq expedition” and “Bush’s Iraq adventure” – briefed that Mr Obama’s Iraq policy gelled with Britain’s.
“Whatever the detail, our own proposed transition in south-east Iraq would be consistent with Obama’s likely approach. Obama’s ideas on a more expansive regional framework for Iraq would also fit well with our thinking.”
He wrote approvingly of Mr Obama’s “mainstream team of youthful economic advisers, with strong credentials [who] approach policy with refreshingly few prescriptions”, his “progressive position on climate change” and his ‘pragmatic realism” and “balanced approach to the big security issues”.
Sir Nigel concludes that searching for a deal between Israel and the Palestinians is “unlikely to be a top priority for Obama” and he expresses concern about his protectionist trade policy, while noting that he has “repositioned himself somewhat towards free trade”.
British officials said that since it became clear that Mr Obama would overcome Mrs Clinton, Sir Nigel had worked hard to dampen down what he viewed as “Obamamania” within Downing Street that had become so strong that he feared it might alienate the McCain campaign.
Sir Nigel’s letter, though initially drafted by his political staff, is an intensely personal assessment of Mr Obama and is based largely on the ambassador’s owns observations from the campaign trail.
He has travelled to rallies as far afield as New Hampshire and South Carolina – where he had a personal meeting with Mr McCain – and to the party conventions in Denver and St Paul, Minnesota.
Although he has the lowest public profile of any recent British ambassador in Washington, Sir Nigel has won respect for his range of contacts within the Bush administration and the campaigns.
The letter quotes Tom Daschle, a former Senate Majority Leader and Obama confidant who is hotly tipped to become White House chief of staff should Mr Obama be elected, from a private meeting with Sir Nigel.
There is a strong indication Sir Nigel also consulted Senator Richard Lugar, a Republican who has worked with Mr Obama on legislation and travelled abroad with him.
“Obama’s politics and policies are still evolving,” Sir Nigel wrote.
“His Illinois and US Senate careers give us only a few clues as to his likely priorities in office.
“In the Senate he took a low profile in 2005-6, but was a diligent member of the Foreign Relations Committee, respectful and friendly to the veteran Republican Senator Lugar, with whom he travelled to London in 2005.
“His voting record was decidedly liberal. But the main impression is of someone who was finding his feet, and then got diverted by his presidential ambitions.”
Sir Nigel later reiterates the point: “Although he has been a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for four years, and a regular attender of meetings in his first two, there is little Obama track record to refer back to.”
He highlights luck as a key factor in Mr Obama’s rise. “He was certainly lucky in having Democratic and Republican opponents for the US Senate in 2004 who were tarnished. He was lucky that Hillary Clinton had such a bad organisation in the primary campaign, and took so long to respond to Obama’s threat.”
A spokesman for the British Embassy in Washington declined to comment.
Shocking Video Unearthed – Democrats in their own words Covering up the Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Scam that caused our Economic Crisis
Democrats in their own words Covering up the Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Scam that caused our Economic Crisis.
At a 2004 hearing see Democrat after Democrat covering up and attacking the regulations to protect Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (their Cash Cows) that are now destroying our economy because the Democrats let them cheat.
Also read “A New Opportunity for McCain“
By Peter Ferrara
Published 10/1/2008 12:08:01 AMAccording to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the financial crisis is all due to the Bush Administration’s “right wing ideology of anything goes, no supervision, no oversight, no regulation.”
But at a hearing in the House in 2004, now available in video on YouTube, the Republicans sought to expand supervision and regulation, over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Federal regulators testified that the reckless financial practices of these two government-sponsored enterprises threatened the entire financial system. Republican after Republican called for a new regulatory authority to supervise Fannie and Freddie and impose standard bank regulation on them.
Franklin Raines, the former Clinton budget director who went on to serve as chairman and CEO of Fannie Mae, testified that the mortgage-related securities of these two organizations, which have now rocked the entire financial world, were “riskless.” During his tenure, Raines criminally led Fannie Mae to falsify its books so that he would qualify for excessive bonuses and compensation eventually totaling $90 million.
But the Democrats excoriated the Republicans for criticizing the wonderful practices of Fannie and Freddie that had been so successful in achieving their goals of affordable housing. The Republican concerns for safety and soundness were dismissed as trumped up efforts to frame the brilliant leadership of Mr. Raines, and said to show once again that Republicans don’t care about the middle class and the poor. Barney Frank, now chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, foolishly laughed off concerns over safety and soundness without offering any evidence to rebut these concerns. Instead, he shamefully led the Democrats in attacking the regulators, who had provided the evidence that Fannie and Freddie were increasingly threatening the safety and soundness of the entire financial system.
The following year John McCain was one of three co-sponsors of legislation to impose such regulatory supervision and controls over Fannie and Freddie. The Bush Administration supported this as well, in one of its four attempts to win legislative approval for such expanded regulatory authority. But the Democrats shouted these proposals down as an assault on affordable housing for the middle class and the poor.
So it was the Republicans who tried time and again to expand proper regulatory controls to prevent this crisis. And it was the Democrats who stopped them because such regulation threatened their policy of turning Fannie and Freddie into welfare programs. It is Chairman Barney Frank, not SEC Chairman Chris Cox, who should resign for his shameful and stupid role in creating this crisis. And if Franklin Raines is not prosecuted and sent to prison for his naked thievery, then we must let all of the Enron convicts out of jail and issue them a national apology.
Bob Hoffman in Kansas City on why Dumbocrats go berserk at Sarah Palin
The relentless criticism of Sarah Palin has more to do with her gender and conservative views than her qualifications.
Democrats are upset because John McCain didn’t get the memo that only Democrats are allowed to nominate women. Liberals are upset because McCain didn’t get the memo that only women with liberal views are worthy of representing women.
Democrats and liberals want desperately to keep Republicans in the imaginary box Democrats portray them in. For Republicans to deviate from the stereotype Democrats have conjured up about them is an outrage and must be stomped out quickly.
Democrats believe they have the exclusive right to promote the progress of women in politics. Now the Republicans have stolen the ball, and the unthinkable is now a possibility: The first woman to ascend to the White House may do so in a Republican presidency.
Finally someone with a bit of brain has figured out why our omniscient Democrats loose elections.
Losing the last two elections to George Bush and now running against his dismal eight-year record, a Democratic presidential victory would seem to have been theirs for the taking. However, one must not discount some undeniable truths.
Democrats are inept. They nominate candidates who do not appeal to the majority of American voters. Even Bill Clinton won each of his two elections with just a plurality. Now they offer Barack Obama, probably the least-qualified candidate ever.
Instead of introspection to determine what they are doing wrong, Democrats often react with unrestrained vitriol at their opponents. Even with support by most media outlets and that bastion of popular culture, Hollywood, they continue to fail.
Could it be that many Americans are turned off by the condescending, angry and self-righteous attitude of Democrats, and their minions, that they know what’s best for us?
Crosby P. Engel
When Gov. Sarah Palin told ABC’s Charles Gibson that — as governor of Alaska — she had never met with the leader of another nation, she apparently forgot about her meeting last year with Icelandic President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson.
By Hal Bernton
Seattle Times staff reporter
But Palin misspoke, perhaps forgetting about a meeting with Iceland President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson last October in Anchorage. The meeting was confirmed Thursday by Bill McAllister, Palin’s Alaska press secretary.
Iceland, a nation of some 300,000, has taken a lead in developing geothermal-energy resources, and Grímsson spoke at an Arctic energy symposium, and then had a private meeting with Palin. They talked for the better part of an hour, primarily about geothermal energy and Iceland’s expertise in developing that resource, according to Mead Treadwell, an Alaska Republican and Arctic expert who attended the meeting.
“[Grímsson] is a head of state, I know that,” Treadwell said. “And we have pictures of them together taken at the meeting.”
Gibson, in his Palin interview broadcast Sept. 11, grilled the governor on her foreign-policy experience, asking if she’d ever met with a head of state who can negotiate for that country.
“I have not,” Palin said, “and I think if you go back in history and if you ask that question of many vice presidents, they may have the same answer that I just gave you.”
McAllister said he hadn’t spoken to Palin about the remark. But he guessed that the governor was “probably thinking in terms of major events, thinking about Putin, and they seemed to be talking about issues on a larger platform.”
Just this week, Grímsson was back in Anchorage to attend another international forum on Arctic issues.
This time, he met with Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell while Palin was in the Lower 48.
“She would have probably met with him again had not circumstances intervened,” McCallister said.