Saturday, December 1, 2007

Is Obama Tough Enough?

The proposition that American voters might not view Barack Obama as tough enough was discussed recently on a few nationwide television news talk shows.

Basically, the idea is that Barack Obama is viewed as a pushover and that he might be seen in the light of say, Jimmy Carter.

However, I don't remember seeing anything in the sense of poll data or opinion surveys that suggest Obama is seen as a weak figure. So it seems that much of this discussion is based on the personal opinions of various pundits.

A tough exterior does not necessarily translate into greater security or stability. George W. Bush cultivated the cowboy image, but that didn't stop al-Qaeda from launching a brazen attack on 9-11.

Even with American troops overextended on two battlefields, terrorist networks have continued to launch major attacks worldwide since the bombing of the World Trade Center.

It was during tough guy Bush's watch, that fundamentalist Iran has become the major power in the Middle East region, Hezbollah is now stronger than ever in Lebanon, and Hamas has come to ascendancy in Palestine.

On other fronts, the world's worse humanitarian crises in Darfur is mostly the result of military confrontation between Sudan and Chad.

Oil prices, long linked with U.S. security, are high at about $90 a barrel and many think they will eventually go much higher. High oil prices are often cited as one of the "failings" of a "weak" Carter administration.

In Asia, North Korea tested its first nuclear weapon against the warnings of the cowboy administration. Islamic fundamentalism has become a more serious problem in countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Malaysia, once seen as the shining example of a tolerant multi-cultural Muslim-majority state, has been moving at an alarming rate toward hard-line Islamism since the invasion of Iraq.

Russia, once seemingly on a benign path has been moving increasingly toward the right under the Bush administration igniting fears of a new Cold War.

So, tough images and tough action does not translate into security or stability. If America does not like to be pushed around, neither do people in most other parts of the world. And in not a few cases, they are willing to fight when pushed to a certain point even if out-gunned.

Good judgment, diplomacy and sound knowledge of the situation at hand trump cowboy images and tough talk.

Bush, for example, showed his ignorance of the situation in launching his attack on Iraq, when it was revealed that he was unfamiliar with the sectarian strife between Sunni and Shi'ite sects.

Obama, on the other hand, as shown an intricate knowledge in the area of international relations and foreign policy.

Likewise, Obama showed good judgment when he failed to accept the administration's case on WMD in Iraq. He spoke before the war began of the chaos that would ensue in the country.

An aggressive foreign policy will not work because it is not concerned with creating a win-win situation for everybody involved. It's only concerned with American interests at the expense of everybody else. Now, when those others decide not to cooperate, it turns into a lose-lose situation as we have today.

One of the strange things I've seen in this campaign, is that many people seem to be judging Obama's "toughness" on his willingness to attack Hillary Clinton on the stump. One has to wonder how this should translate to Obama's foreign policy performance if elected.

The world may not be a friendly place, but those perceived most unfriendly are the bullies. Everyone loves to take down a bully. Obama's approach, it would seem, would be to promote an environment where peace and stable relationships actually have a chance to flourish.

15 comments:

Ambmack said...

I don't agree with your basic logic that Obama is tough enough. He consistently voted "present" instead of yea or nea on too many votes in his State Legislature and no shows in the U.S. Senate. I am an Independent in voting history and have a real fear that Obama is too indecisive or reluctant to make tough decisions when required by the circumstance.
A recent cartoon I saw in a local newspaper showed the White House with "training wheels " on it. Struct me as a pretty strong analogy. Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE OBAMA AND HIS MESSAGE.
HE NEEDS TO RESPOND SUBTLY TO HELLARY AND NOT RUIN HIS MESSAGE, BUT HE NEEDS TO FIGHT HER, SHE'S DANGEROUS IMO...........ALL THAT REV. WRIGHT STUFF ON FOX NOISE IS KILLIN HIM. YET I SAW A YOU TUBE ON FOX NOISE 10 AM 2 DAYS AGO........SHOWING GOV. RENDEL?? OF PA PRAISING FARRAKAN.......ALSO, WHAT IS HELLARY'S REAL FAITH, RELIGION? RESEARCHING IT, YOU FIND ALL KINDS OF INFO, AND REV. HAGGEE.
SPELLING? ENDORSING MCCAIN AND AGAIN TODAY REPEATING HIS REMARKS.
MSNBC IS FOR OBAMA. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCKTnJjiE5U

Anonymous said...

YOU TUBE VIDEO OF http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCKTnJjiE5U
GOV. RENDEL AND FARRAKAN, WAS SHOWN ON FOX NOISE 2 DAYS AGO ABOUT 10 AM.
HAGEE AND MCCAIN, WHY AREN'T THEY SPOKEN ABOUT?? I KNOW THE CAMPAIGN WILL GET DIRTY.......AND OBAMA IS NOT FOR THAT, BUT ITS POLITICS AND HELLARY WILL DO ANYTHING. SEAN HANNITY HAS BEEN TALKING ABOUT REV. WRIGHT EVERY NIGHT FOR WEEKS. IS THIS HURTING BARACK?
PLEASE SOMEONE DO IT SUBTLY, AS MC CAIN DID IN NORTH CAROLINA....LOL
HE DENOUNCED THE MESSAGE, THEREBY ENABLING IT TO BE SHOWN EVERY 1/2 HOUR.......WE NEED OBAMA, 8 YEARS OF GOPS IS A DISGRACE!

ERIN said...

ENUFF WITH REV. WRIGHT HOW ABOUT HAGEE, GOV. ED RENDELL/PRAISING FARRAKAN ON YOU TUBE.....????

MC CAIN HAD NO PROBLEM, SUBTLY DENOUNCING THAT NORTH CAROLINA AD, AND NOW ITS POSTED EVERY 1/2 HR ON EVERY CABLE CHANNEL.

SEAN HANNITY FOR WEEKS IS HARPING ON REV. WRIGHT......WHAT IS HELLARY'S FAITH? RELIGION......SOMEONE PLEASE RESEARCH IT.......I HAVE BUT NOT CERTAIN WHATS POSTED IS REAL BUT BARACK HAS THE STAFF TO DO IT.
ITS DIRTY POLITICS AND OBAMA HAS TO BE SUBTLE BUT FIGHT BACK....8 YEARS OF THIS DISGRACEFUL PRESIDENT IS ENUFF.........THANKS FOR LISTENING.

Carol Pitner said...

I want Obama to fight Hillary all the way. She is a dangerous individual that we do not need in the White house. I believe in what Obama stands for however I think Obama is now being viewed as weak and they are stating he should come out stronger against Rev Wright more then he did. They are also saying he could not go to a church and not know how radical this Rev wright was. I have to agree with this statment. However I think Obama is what this country needs and I want him to fight and fight hard against Hillary. If he can win the primary then John McCain will not be hard to beat as John McCain does not have the fire in his belly to beat the democrates or stand up to Obama or Hillary...PS I am a republician and have voted as one for many years. This is a time for Change...Please Obama come out more firm and direct in your statements and denoucement of Rev Wright. Do not wait go on Fox news and go on O'Reily.......Please we need you! Carol

Anonymous said...

America, Americans love a fighter—especially in our leaders. Leadership is what this election has come to. People want to feel that you're going to truly fight for them. We want to feel comfortable that when things get tough that leader possesses the internal fortitute and resolve to do what is in the best interest of this country.

Now, almost more than any time in the history of this country we need leadership and a leader that possesses a strong relationship with their inner being, and is able to forcefully and unequivocally communicate GOOD.

Too often we misinterpret ego driven ideology for toughness. Senator Clinton was backed into a corner and she came out fighting. It was her resolve that I admired, not the way she's conducted herself in battle.

The Rev. Wright controversy has backed Senator Obama into that same proverbial corner, and now America is watching with baited breath to experience his resolve and witness his conduct in battle.

The battle that he must fight must come from his heart. He must forcefully and decisively communicate his GOOD. He must move ego and ideology out the way in order that GOOD might flow. GOOD, like TRUTH, is unmistakable.

GOOD, delivered from the heart will always find the appropriate tone, and body language in order that it might be heard. Let's continue to fight on to a victory in November.

The Indypendent said...

Obama’s Race Against Race
The Indypendent

A black man runs from a howling crowd. If he’s caught he’ll be torn apart. If he reaches sanctuary he’ll be loved. This ritual is the Sacred Lynching. It’s a scene from Olaf Stapledon’s science fiction book, The First and Last Men. Set in the future, humanity has mixed and few people are “white” or “black,” and the ritual is a nostalgic celebration of racism in a post-racial world. It resembles our own supposed post-racial politics, and I see Senator Barack Obama as that last black man on earth trying to outrun our media mob.

And the mob tries. At ABC’s Democratic primary debate in Philadelphia, hosts Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos tied trivia around Obama’s feet. What about your angry black pastor? Are you patriotic? Are you a friend of a Weathermen terrorist? Obama questioned their questions until they looked absurd. The audience caught his cue and afterwards, when the cameras blinked off, they heckled the hosts.

The media chase Obama because, if he wins the presidential race, he’ll break the last American color line, which is also the line between our repressed history and our collective consciousness. A nation, just like an individual, will repress images and ideas that conflict with its self-image. The violence that created who we are — enslavement of Africans, indigenous peoples marched off their land, workers hanged for unionizing — contradicts our self-image as the greatest nation on earth, so our media-represses it.

To read more:
http://www.indypendent.org/2008/04/25/obama%e2%80%99s-race-against-race/

Anonymous said...

Judging by his first campaign in Illinois, Obama might be considered tough enough by Chicago (or Washington ...) standards ... but not in the spirit of "A change we believe in." The candidate of hope is just another politician after all ... with little experience to boot! And this is the best candidate that we can find to represent our party in November?!

ronik said...

The only future problem I see for Obama, are the Hillary supporters that would rather vote for McCain than see him in the White House. They feel Obama and his church have created racial divides that have split the democratic party.

Then, there’s the question regarding a “whitey” video that is purported to have been made by Michelle Obama. It is said to have Michelle spewing racial narrative from the pulpit of the Trinity Church. Apparently, it is rumored to be in the possession of the republican party who is waiting until closer to the election to debut it.

Add that to a murder investigation currently underway in Chicago where Donald Young, the choir leader at Trinity was killed after claiming some rather nasty things about Obama. Not to mention the two murders that followed.

Don’t be so quick to get Hillary out of the race people! We may need her in it until the end if we are to retake the White House.

Anonymous said...

I think Sen. Obama may be tough enough but he needs some better guidance. For example, when the neo-cons made a big deal about his not wearing a flag lapel pin, instead of caving and wearing one every now and then, he should have worn the biggest, glitziest pin he could (2"x2")and then accuse McCain et al. of not being as patriotic as he. He should stop letting them dictate his actions.

Sandy Dumont said...

Obama is tough enough, but he needs an image consultant. I'm standing by to help! What he wore Monday in Hawaii was not good. Recently I was quoted as saying he looked good in black, but what I actually said was that he looked good in his black suit with a white shirt and red power tie.

Anybody know how to get a message to him? I'm a seasoned image consultant working with Fortune 500companies. Check my website: www.theimagearchitect.com

Sandy Dumont said...

Obama is tough enough, but he needs an image consultant. I'm standing by to help! What he wore Monday in Hawaii was not good. Recently I was quoted as saying he looked good in black, but what I actually said was that he looked good in his black suit with a white shirt and red power tie.

Anybody know how to get a message to him? I'm a seasoned image consultant working with Fortune 500companies. Check my website: www.theimagearchitect.com

Anonymous said...

I am not sure if I will vote for Obama or not.Does he have any experience with international politics?

Anonymous said...

Apr. 1, 2009...I am an Obama supporter and yet, I'm unsure about his 'toughness' too. I like the fact that he's willing to talk and make new assessments on old situations and old conflicts, but I really hope he has the balls to do what might need to get done (including standing firm against US geopolitical opponents). Obama reminds me of the kid in school who wanted everyone to be his friend...the world isn't that friendly, Barack. Unfortunately, we can't all be friends.

Paul Merai said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=k8TwRmX6zs4
this one alone should get you one billion votes.


 

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