Obama’s Super Tuesday Coup

WASHINGTON – Post Super Tuesday, one thing we know. Pres. Obama won the day.

And the reason I called Ms. Fluke is because I thought about Malia and Sasha, and one of the things I want them to do as they get older is to engage in issues they care about, even ones I may not agree with them on. I want them to be able to speak their mind in a civil and thoughtful way. And I don’t want them attacked or called horrible names because they’re being good citizens. And I wanted Sandra to know that I thought her parents should be proud of her, and that we want to send a message to all our young people that being part of a democracy involves argument and disagreements and debate, and we want you to be engaged, and there’s a way to do it that doesn’t involve you being demeaned and insulted, particularly when you’re a private citizen. – Pres. Obama, Super Tuesday press conference

What a move.

Not only did Pres. Obama step on Super Tuesday with his press conference, but he showed Mitt Romney how you respond to a media bully, while doing a beautiful bank shot to hit chickenhawk Republicans on Iran.

Now, what’s said on the campaign trail — those folks don’t have a lot of responsibilities. They’re not Commander-in-Chief. And when I see the casualness with which some of these folks talk about war, I’m reminded of the costs involved in war. I’m reminded that the decision that I have to make in terms of sending our young men and women into battle, and the impacts that has on their lives, the impact it has on our national security, the impact it has on our economy.

This is not a game. There’s nothing casual about it. And when I see some of these folks who have a lot of bluster and a lot of big talk, but when you actually ask them specifically what they would do, it turns out they repeat the things that we’ve been doing over the last three years, it indicates to me that that’s more about politics than actually trying to solve a difficult problem.

[...] This is not just an issue of Israeli interest; this is an issue of U.S. interests. It’s also not just an issue of consequences for Israel if action is taken prematurely. There are consequences to the United States as well.

And so I do think that any time we consider military action that the American people understand there’s going to be a price to pay. Sometimes it’s necessary. But we don’t do it casually.

When I visit Walter Reed, when I sign letters to families that haven’t — whose loved ones have not come home, I am reminded that there is a cost. Sometimes we bear that cost. But we think it through. We don’t play politics with it. When we have in the past — when we haven’t thought it through and it gets wrapped up in politics, we make mistakes. And typically, it’s not the folks who are popping off who pay the price. It’s these incredible men and women in uniform and their families who pay the price.

“Popping off” described Mitt Romney on Iran perfectly.

Romney has said Pres. Obama hasn’t stressed “all options are on the table,” which he has, as I wrote about recently. But Romney also denied containment would work, which is not even Obama’s policy, though I’d prefer it. Then Romney whined about diplomacy and sanctions, saying Obama’s weak on Iran. What Mitt Romney doesn’t know about foreign policy would fill the Grand Canyon.

This is a huge problem for Mitt Romney, because by any objective analysis no one has been tougher on Iran in decades, not George W. Bush or Bill Clinton.

People can disagree with Obama’s foreign policy, which I do on Libya, Syria, targeted assassinations and other issues, but what is provable is that he’s been tough on Iran.

Pres. Obama’s point on our military men women paying the price is an important one.

The last time I looked Mitt Romney had five sons, none of whom are in the military.

It’s always the chickenhawks who are so eager to give up other people’s sons and daughters to gunfire. It’s one of the more despicable habits of Republicans in recent memory.

So, not only did Pres. Obama call out Mitt Romney by showing his understanding of women through his daughters, but he also took him to the woodshed on Iran.

High fives all ’round at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.



Taylor Marsh is the author of the new book, The Hillary Effect – Politics, Sexism and the Destiny of Loss, which is now available in print on Amazon. Marsh is a veteran political analyst and commentator. She has been profiled in the Washington Post, The New Republic, and has been seen on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, CNN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera English and Al Jazeera Arabic, as well as on radio across the dial and on satellite, including the BBC. Marsh lives in the Washington, D.C. area. This column is cross posted from her new media blog.

Photo credit: President Barack Obama talks with National Security Advisor Tom Donilon and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Oval Office, March 5, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  

8 Comments

  1. Obama is just in a different league than the clowns in the GOP primary. The number of times he’s said what I’m thinking about certain issues is uncanny. Yea he’s let me down on a several key issues, but overall I can’t come up with a more level headed or competent decision maker I’d rather have in his place. He is seriously going to wipe the floor with whoever the GOP nominates. The GOP was blessed with 2 candidates who actually say what they mean. Sadly those two are Ron Paul, who I actually like a bit, and Santorum who I absolutely don’t. Newt is an arrogant narcissist with delusions of grandeur and Romney is so wishy washy he’s lost just about all credibility he ever had.

  2. Heya slamfu.

    On Iran, Pres. Obama absolutely dusts the floor with Romney, while the others are so militant as to be unserious. Ron Paul’s views on foreign policy are often correct, but he simply is in the wrong political party to gain traction. As an Independent he could do something, but because of his son in the Senate he won’t pull that trigger. Paul also polls well against Obama, fwiw.

    I would caution everyone, however, that between gas prices, Netanyahu and Iran there are plenty of opportunities for November to look differently come the fall.

    However, right now, Pres. Obama’s fortunes for November have never looked better.

  3. Commenting system is still screwed up..

  4. President Machiavelli, ooops Obama, is good and I compliment him on his taking advantage of the rope a dope perpetrated on the Reps, over contraception. I also give kudos to the not so innocent, on the basis that she is an experienced advocate, Ms. Fluke.
    Obama is an expert at taking the high road until the rubber meets the road, then he is as pragmatic as any other president.
    All, in all, an excellent performance, I agree.

  5. I thought the wording was a little odd – telling a 30 year old woman her parents should be proud of her. Yeah we all want our parents to be proud of us, but for most 30-year-olds that wouldn’t be a big motivation.

  6. “Yeah we all want our parents to be proud of us, but for most 30-year-olds that wouldn’t be a big motivation.”

    Nothing odd about telling a 30-year-old woman that her parents should be proud of her and you bet it is a big motivation for 30-year-olds to be told so — unless my 40-year-old daughter and 40-year-old son-in-law are the exception rather than the rule.

    People have recently had the occasion to tell us (and them) exactly that. No “oddness” there — just pride, gratitude and motivation.

  7. “Yeah we all want our parents to be proud of us, but for most 30-year-olds that wouldn’t be a big motivation.”

    Maybe men are just totally different from women, because I honestly couldn’t disagree more. It was obvious in interviews after the call that Obama saying that her parents should be proud of her was the part of the phone call that meant the most to Fluke; she was visibly choked up. I’m about Fluke’s age, and my parents’ opinion of what I’m doing is one of the only opinions I care about besides my own. For many smart, well-behaved, driven young women, the first big scary fight with their parents comes when the folks find out their perfect little girl is having sex. Rush knew exactly what he was doing when he talked about Fluke’s parents and how disappointed they must be in her sluttiness. As ridiculous as it is (I mean, this young woman got to testify in front of Congress, she’s obviously quite successful, she’s eloquant and has held herself with grace throughout this ugly affair — there’s not a reason in the world her parents shouldn’t be glowing), it’s a hot-button and a sore spot for many women.

    I don’t find Fluke’s emotion at this, or Obama’s sensitivity toward it, surprising at all.

  8. dduck, you are quite the master of the backhanded compliment. So Fluke’s a political whore (hmmm) and Obama is Machiavelli, but gosh did they put on a show. Nice.

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