Category Archives: Elections

Obama to Make Berlin Speech?

To some conservatives, Obama’s habit of invoking Reagan’s name on the campaign trail in an admiring, deferential way, has come across as self-serving and transparent. I suppose it’s akin to former vice-President Dan Quale’s mention of Kennedy in the debate with the “what’s his name” he ran against the first go-around. Even though, honestly, I didn’t see the harm in it.

So, I’ll give Obama a pass for his opportunistic use of the father of modern conservatism’s name, though it’s tedious nonetheless. However, I wouldn’t be inclined to forgive a speech at the site of one of the greatest addresses by a President.

From Der Spiegel:

Plans for a visit by Barack Obama, the presumed Democratic candidate for president of the United States, have moved forward — slowly — in Berlin, where he may give a speech before the Brandenburg Gate this summer.

Evidently, Germany’s ambassador is keen on making it happen.

Germany’s ambassador to Washington, Klaus Scharioth, has reportedly worked for weeks to convince Obama’s campaign that the candidate’s only large European appearance should take place in Berlin.

I wonder if the Ambassador has been in touch with the McCain campaign to inquire about his European schedule, if he has any. Hmmm. I’m also curious if there is any historical precedent for a US Presidential candidate making campaign speeches to foreign audiences.

Kennedy and Reagan both made major addresses, but on both occasions they were delivered by Presidents, not aspirational wannabes.

Update: Looks like the Chancellor’s office has put the brakes on the planned speech:

From Der Spiegel:

“The Brandenburg Gate is the most famous and history-rich site in Germany,” the Chancellery source said. In the past, the location has only been used on very special occasions for political speeches by world leaders. In the past, the location has been used only on very special occasions for political speeches by world leaders. And it has been reserved for use only by elected American presidents, not candidates. And it has been reserved for use only by elected American presidents, not candidates. The decision on whether the Democrat can speak at the location ultimately lies with the Berlin state government. The decision on whether the Democrat can speak at the location ultimately lies with the Berlin state government. Chancellery officials are concerned that the Brandenburg Gate could be turned into an “arbitrary stage” that other campaigns could also seek to use in the future. Chancellery officials are concerned that the Brandenburg Gate could be turned into an “arbitrary stage” that other campaigns could also seek to use in the future.

It’s a traditional practice for US presidential candidates to visit Germany before the election. It’s a traditional practice for U.S. presidential candidates to visit Germany before the election. However, the source pointed out that agreements can only be made with elected presidents. However, the source pointed out that agreements can only be made with elected presidents. The source also noted that a the German federal government would also be equally pleased to play host to a visit by Republican candidate John McCain. The source also noted that a the German federal government would also be equally pleased to play host to a visit by Republican candidate John McCain. The door is just as open for him, the source said. The door is just as open for him, the source said.

Wesley Clark: The Audacity of Stupid

From the Politico :

“He has been a voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee. And he has traveled all over the world. But he hasn’t held executive responsibility. That large squadron in the Navy that he commanded — that wasn’t a wartime squadron,” Clark said.
“I don’t think getting in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to become president.”

Had the above criticism come from former Secretary of State Powell or Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf instead of a failed NATO chief whose chronic addiction to Presidential runs has proven tedious, the foolish outburst might have been taken more seriously. But given the erstwhile General’s track record, the disrespectful remarks just fit right in with his arrogant profile and his affection for fantasy.

In 2003, Rush Limbaugh gave us a history lesson, when he compared Clark to another wartime officer in Civil War General McClellan. It was a great psychological dissection, but I was more interested in Clark’s achievements as a prominent military figure in the 90’s.

As NATO chief, Gen. Clark, on the other hand, urged his Pentagon bosses to let him introduce ground troops into the war against Serbia, and he even was willing to use military force to stop the Russians from occupying an airport at Pristina, Kosovo.

But Gen. Clark was badly wrong on both counts. If he had not been overruled by his superior, there would have been unnecessary casualties resulting from the deployment of ground troops. And if his subordinate, British Gen. Sir Michael Jackson, had not refused Gen. Clark’s order to confront the Russian troops–who wound up cooperating with NATO peacekeeping efforts–the outcome could have been disastrous.

In 1994, while nearly one million Rwandans were being slaughtered, Gen. Clark advised President Clinton against America’s intervention, despite the U.N.’s unwillingness to stop the holocaust. But Gen. Clark speaks glowingly of NATO’s success in stopping Milosevic’s ethnic cleansing, for which Mr. Clinton awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. And now, he dismisses the liberation of nearly 25 million Iraqis from Saddam Hussein’s murderous rule as a Bush foreign-policy failure.

He reportedly circumvented both Secretary of Defense William Cohen and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Henry Shelton on numerous occasions in speaking directly to the media and the president. In fact, the situation got so bad that Gen. Clark was relieved of his NATO position several months before his term ended, and in a major snub, neither Mr. Cohen nor Gen. Shelton attended his retirement ceremony.

Mr. Clark should take a moment of self-reflection before making any further ill-advised attacks. Does he honestly think anyone with an iota of intelligence would believe him over the scrappy, sometimes maddening, but always sincere, war hero who just might defy all odds to become President?

Something positive did result from the interview, however. ‘Face the Nation’, the Sunday show no one watches, might have three viewers next week instead of two.

Obama’s Secret Weapons

Tiger Woods dons a red shirt on tournament Sundays. Michael Jordan never forgot to put on his North Carolina Tarheel shorts underneath his Bulls uniform. The long-standing relationship between athletes and their superstitions, good-luck charms and pre-game rituals is considered largely innocuous by sports fans, rather a side-note to the victories and defeats. Sure they might get a mention during a half-time feature, but for the most part, their pre-match voodoo goes unnoticed and unreported.

We might not care if our athletes or next door neighbors are superstitious, but our Commander-in-Chief, the nuclear passé-partout daddy, carrying around lucky stones, golden monkeys and little eagles for luck?

Are American voters aware that the “yes we can” candidate, is so unsure that he can, he is jiggling some stones in his pocket hoping that he will?

The Global Scelto: Barack Obama

Like I explain in my book, The Absentee Ballot, recognizing traits unique to the United States and Americans became easier after I had been abroad for a while. I didn’t notice our idiosyncrasies because they bombarded me daily.

One of the most glaring American deficiencies is our obsession with acceptance. We are consumed by wearing the latest trend, living in the most beautiful house and driving the best car. I was reminded yesterday when I parked outside of a golf shop and sat in the car while my husband went inside. I watched a man exit the store and open the car door of a late model black Mercedes, with shiny rims and windows with a gangster tint, sitting in the spot adjacent mine. His hair was perfectly coiffed, his clothes spiffy and a diamond encrusted Rolex sparkled on his wrist. My mind then drifted to a Milanese Rolex dealer who once told me that Rolex only makes the diamond face for the American market; Europeans would never wear them. Sure, they might buy a watch costing five-hundred thousand Euros, but it wouldn’t contain diamonds and no one would ever know.

This story does have a point, apart from materialism. The diamonds we wear, the Guccis we carry, and the BMWs we drive aren’t for our benefit. They are for the benefit of the guy at work and everyone else we come in contact with. Like this psychological need to impress, we have become unhinged in our recent desire to re-curry favor in the international community. It’s like there are three hundred million Sally Fields standing on the world stage demanding “like me, really really like me.”

Barack Obama isn’t just the first black American to receive a major party nomination; apparently he’s the only one who can make the world like us again. A Washington Post article starts out by pointing to our tattered reputation abroad. It goes on to explore the global reaction of Obama’s nomination.

From India: Sunila Patel “A black president of the U.S. will mean that there will be more American tolerance for people around the world who are different.”

It’s nice that Ms Patel is concerned about our racial tolerance, but maybe she should worry about the fissures within her own community. Just how tolerant are the Hindus toward the Muslims and vice-versa. And how evolved is a society based on a caste system and one in which males having more value than females.

From Britain. “Obama is the exciting image of what we always hoped America was,” said Robin Niblett, director of Chatham House, a British foreign policy institute.

What were you hoping America was? Tolerant? Racially diverse? Multicultural? Compassionate? One question. Who was the last black, or nominee of Indian or Pakistani descent to become Prime Minister of Britain? Maybe I missed him or her in my history books. Perhaps Mr. Niblett is simply excited at the possibility of having a fellow socialist in the Oval Office.

From Germany: Obama also has strong support in Europe, the heartland of anti-Bush sentiment. “Germany is Obama country,” said Karsten Voight, the German government’s coordinator for German-North American cooperation. “He seems to strike a chord with average Germans.”

Which average Germans would those be? Is she referring to “evolved” citizens like herself who work in think tanks and universities, or the ones desecrating Jewish graves and inciting racial violence throughout the Fatherland?

I voted twice for Bush, and he has proven worthy of a spot in a ‘who is the worst President in the last hundred years?’ debate. The dollar is a shadow of its former self, healthcare costs have skyrocketed, gas prices have ballooned, relations with our allies have suffered, wages have stagnated, and our federal budget has expanded to unprecedented levels. And for all of the Bush apologists who point to an increase in security, try traveling internationally. While machine gun toting and profiling Italian police roam Malpensa airport in Milan, our security asks us to take off our shoes. I’ve smuggled cheese each and every trip and until they catch my cheese, I won’t admit that the country is safer.

Bush’s poor performance aside, when did a President become a reason to celebrate or despise a country? Do we hate Venezuelans because of Chavez? Are Iranians evil because of Ahmadinejad?

It is too simplistic to characterize a nation based on the election of its President. It is also unhealthy for Americans to elect a President based on a desire to be liked.

Wrightous Bitterness?

I tuned in for part of Wright’s appearance at the Detroit NAACP dinner and thought I was watching a comedy sketch, not a serious speech. Moreover. his remarks concerning what constitutes ‘classical’ music were downright bizarre. Evidently, it’s now racially insensitive to associate Bach, Brahms and Beethoven with classical music. Why? Because they were European, and horrors, they were white. I suppose we should educate ourselves on Zulu tribal music from the eighteenth century.

This morning in D.C., Obama’s minister added to his symphonic lecture of last night by appearing before the Press Club to rail against the U.S. and its atrocities. Instead of shying away from his unfortunate new-found celebrity, he has embraced the limelight and welcomes the scrutiny.

And I stand before you to open up this two-day symposium with the hope that this most recent attack on the black church is not an attack on Jeremiah Wright; it is an attack on the black church.

I’ll ignore the third person reference, but I cringe whenever I hear anyone refer to themselves in the third person. For me, it’s always a sign of arrogance or lunacy.

The most recent attack on the black church, it is our hope that this just might mean that the reality of the African-American church will no longer be invisible.

What is the reality of the black church? What is he talking about? No one is attacking the black church; they are attacking lunatic ministers who espouse racism and propaganda from their pulpit. I don’t tolerate it from my church, so why should I tolerate blatant lies, politicization and anti-Americanism from Obama’s minister?

Our congregation stood in solidarity with the peasants in El Salvador and Nicaragua, while our government, through Ollie North and the Iran-Contra scandal, was supporting the Contras, who were killing the peasants and the Miskito Indians in those two countries.

He neglects to mention those murdered by the Sandinistas. And what about the FARC, those smarmy communist rebels in central and South America who are responsible for child-trafficking, kidnapping, drug-running, rape and murder? He probably doesn’t want to mention them. Because according to laptops recovered by the Colombian government, the FARC are praying Obama will win the election so they can resume their guerrilla war that has been hampered by Colombian President Uribe and his relationship with the current White House.

And the Reverend had more communist/terrorist shout-outs to offer. Apparently, he was annoyed by Bill Moyers’ attempt to make his interview as controversy-free as possible.

So what I think about him, as I’ve said on Bill Moyers and it got edited out, how many other African-Americans or European-Americans do you know that can get one million people together on the mall? He is one of the most important voices in the 20th and 21st century. That’s what I think about him….Louis Farrakhan is not my enemy. He did not put me in chains. He did not put me in slavery. And he didn’t make me this color.

Boy, that whole paragraph is littered with inaccuracies. From the ridiculous term “European-American” to the claim that Louis Farrakhan is one of the most important voices in the 20th and 21st century, his reality is truly warped. And, is the Reverend a slave? Was he ever a slave? I thought slavery ended with the Civil War.

His bitterness continued…

Britain has apologized to Africans, but this country’s leaders have refused to apologize. So until that apology comes, I’m not going to keep stepping on your foot and asking you, “Does this hurt? Do you forgive me for stepping on your foot?” if I’m still stepping on your foot.

Understand that? Capiche?

First of all, Mr. I speak five languages, Italian must not be one of them, because capiche is a slang form of hai capito or capisci, and is only spoken in southern Italy and “Godfather” movies.

The Reverend seems awfully obsessed with the Romans and, as he calls them, “garlic nosed Italians”?

The Roman oppression is the period in which Jesus is born. And comparing imperialism that was going on in Luke, imperialism was going on when Caesar Augustus sent out a decree that the whole world should be taxed. They weren’t in charge of the world. It sounds like some other governments I know.

Actually Reverend, the Romans were in charge of the world, and your comparison is rather off-base. Instead of taxing the world, the United States gives more to feed, clothe and medicate than any other country.

But in all seriousness, Jeremiah Wright’s Monday appearance before the Press Club in D.C begs the question: Is Wright really this loony or is he simply trying to make it easier for Barack Obama to cut him loose and disavow his outrageous positions?

Two Year Itch…Four Year Nightmare

The return of conservatives to power in Italy was inevitable. Immigration, high unemployment and a stalling economy have mercifully ended their two-year flirtation with the Italian left. Really, the only reason Prodi and the other “former” communists were able to take over and last two years was Berlusconi’s inability to follow through with promised reforms during his second stint as Prime Minister. The popular war in Iraq didn’t help either.

By giving a whopping nine point victory and an unmistakable mandate, the Italian people also issued an unmistakable warning to any American who dares to believe that a liberal Democrat can solve what ails America’s economy. Out-going PM Prodi never brought the much needed economic reforms to Italy. He couldn’t. Because what Italy needed was antithetical to his (and most liberals) core beliefs. Stripping power from unions and reforming entitlements weren’t exactly enticing undertakings for a “former” communist.

As I warn in The Absentee Ballot, America’s struggles can only worsen with a liberal captaining the ship. And to those leftists who point to the struggling U.S. economy: the last seven years cannot be blamed on conservatism, because conservatism didn’t fail. George Bush failed conservatism. It was the largest expansion of federal government since LBJ along with irresponsible spending, that have sent the economy and the greenback falling—not conservative governance.

For America’s sake, I just hope it doesn’t take a four-year flirtation with Senator Obama.

Clooney, Obama and Veltroni-The Communist Cupola

I just read an interview with George Clooney in Italy’s La Repubblica, a leading Italian newspaper, and about fell out of my chair. In it, he discusses his new movie and a commercial he filmed for an Italian politician, Veltroni, a former communist and foreword writer to the Italian version of Obama’s Audacity of Hope. When I read it, I was surprised, not because he filmed a commercial for a communist, but that he actually said something in Italian considering the fact that he still doesn’t speak it, despite calling Italy “casa mia,” or my home. I know. Amazing. He doesn’t speak the language, he spends less than half the year there, and yet he finds time to film a commercial advocating a candidate, a communist one at that. It’s funny, he advocates a “hands-off” approach when it comes to minding other countries’ affairs, yet he wastes no time violating his own rule.

I was relieved when I looked up the YouTube video of the commie ad. It simply showed his photo along with a quote that read in Italian, “I’m with Obama, I hope that after the many errors, my country will heal. And Italy, it’s my home, and Veltroni (the communist, sorry, reformed communist), he is a good friend.”

If only McCarthy were alive…He’d have a field day with Penn and his admiration for FARC backing Chavez. Oliver Stone, Spielberg, Danny Glover and all of the other thespians that I have neglected to mention who trip over themselves to praise Castro would merit special scrutiny as well.

Clooney? I’m not sure he’s as sinister as he is naïve. And I’m not sure what is more disturbing. Is it loony Clooney, or the fact that we might have the only U.S. Presidential nominee in history that has had a communist pen his introduction?

Clooney supports communist=Clooney is a communist.

Communist supports Obama=Obama is a communist.

Clooney supports Obama=Both are communists.

In my new book, The Absentee Ballot, I discuss how Hollywood affects Europeans’ opinions of the United States. It certainly doesn’t help enhance our image abroad when the most visible Americans are filming spots for communist politicians, while simultaneously indulging in a good dose of self-flagellation.