Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis: Why no speculation that Hillary's "Obliterate Iran" comment eroded her support?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Why no speculation that Hillary's "Obliterate Iran" comment eroded her support?

EVERYONE last night - every pundit, journalist, campaign supporter, etc...went on and on about how well Obama weathered the big, scary Rev. Wright issue. It was a question in the exit polls; it was continuously beat into the ground.

Heck, the only one on MSNBC who even mentioned Iraq was the dreaded Chris Matthews (known as "Tweety" in some Progressive circles). He actually stunned me by saying he felt that Hillary's vote on Iraq essentially sabotaged her campaign because it kept her from being the "change" candidate. She would always have that hanging over her head.

It was actually an excellent observation, but everyone ignored it.

Then, the MSNBC exit poll girl, Norah O'Donnell talked about how she couldn't understand what eroded Hillary's support among some blue collar voters and especially the Catholic voters. There was an over 10% dip in Catholic support.

I have a one-word explanation that no one seemed able to utter last night - Iran.

Didn't ANYONE think that Hillary's crazy warmonger talk about Iran could have been what eroded her support among blue-collar workers and Catholics...especially Catholics, who by-and-large are anti-war?

Maybe it's because Clinton's initial comments occurred immediately before the Pennsylvania Primary and perhaps folks thought that if they were an issue, we would have seen it reflected there.

However, her very first comments talking about retaliation against Iran happened during the last debate with Obama on April 17th...and went virtually unnoticed in the media. The next, more threatening comments occurred the day before the Pennsylvania Primary, April 21st. The first comments were on "Good Morning America" (where the "Obliterate 'em" remark came from) and then later that evening in an interview on "Countdown with Keith Olbermann."
It didn't become a story until April 22nd, while the people of Pennsylvania were already voting. Most people in the U.S. seemed to treat it like election rhetoric.

However, the national and international repercussions weren't seen for a few days.

When the New York Times (a paper which had initially endorsed her) came out with an editorial blasting Clinton's campaign strategy (April 23rd), their condemnation of her Iran comments weren't mentioned by the rest of the media. Other news outlets didn't say much about the Boston Globe's editorial, titled "Hillary Strangelove," (April 27th) which acknowledged the "muted" national media coverage of the remarks, but also noted the strong reverberations around the globe.

For example:

- Bulgaria, April 23rd

- New Zealand, April 23rd

- UK, April 23rd

- Oman, April 23rd

- India, April 23rd

- Saudi, April 24th

Then on May 2nd, Iran filed a formal protest with the United Nations over Sen. Clinton's comments:
Iran’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Mehdi Danesh-Yazdi, sent a letter of protest on Wednesday to the United Nations secretary general and the United Nations Security Council denouncing the remarks, according to IRNA.
His statement addressing her comments:
Mr. Danesh-Yazdi wrote in the letter that Mrs. Clinton’s comments were “provocative, unwarranted and irresponsible” and “a flagrant violation” of the United Nations charter, IRNA reported.

“I wish to reiterate my government’s position that the Islamic Republic of Iran has no intention to attack any other nation,” the letter said.

Nonetheless “Iran would not hesitate to act in self-defense to respond to any attack against the Iranian nation and to take appropriate defensive measures to protect itself,” the letter added.
That got some attention.

As a result, Clinton and her surrogates were asked about Iran in the interviews leading up to Indiana and North Carolina.

Then, Obama said something on May 4th that I've been waiting for:
On Meet the Press, Obama was asked to respond to Hillary's recent tough talk towards Iran -- her claim that if Iran considered attacking Israel, "we would be able to totally obliterate them."

"It's not the language we need right now," Obama replied. "I think it's language that's reflective of George Bush."

Obama added that under Bush we have had a foreign policy of "bluster and saber rattling and tough talk" that Hillary's language echoed.

Asked by Russert how he would respond to Iran, Obama said: "Israel is an ally of ours," adding that "there's no doubt that we [would] act forcefully against Iran."

But he returned to his earlier point: "It is important that we use language that sends a signal to the world community that we're shifting [away] from cowboy diplomacy."

It was brilliantly timed and brilliantly said.

So, by the Indiana and North Carolina primaries, the good people of those states had more exposure to Clinton's statements, their repercussions and Obama's characterizations.

Somehow, NO ONE thought that a question about it was relevant for the exit polls. The media all seemed baffled by her slip in support among blue-collar workers and Catholics and couldn't come up with a good explanation.

That's because they were too busy asking all of the wrong questions.

The Catholic Church has a strong anti-war tradition; when I was a kid in Catholic School, some of the priests and nuns that taught me would occasionally have substitutes when they were protesting the Vietnam War. As far as the blue-collar voters go, most of them probably know someone or have a loved one serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. The idea of adding Iran to the mix cannot be attractive to them.

It's been pointed out by many individuals and organizations that for some reason, the MSM has an aversion to covering Iraq and Afghanistan. It seems that aversion also extends to Iran warmongering. It's disturbing.


Blogger Grimbles said...

Apart from anything else, Israel has enough of its own nukes to do its *own* obliterating. Uh, I mean, "might possibly, if someone else admits to having them first, maybe, sort of."

5/07/2008 11:02 PM  
Blogger CelticDiva said...

There are so many things that bother me about this, but one of them is that I believe she was (once again) pandering...this time to the U.S. Jewish Community and the Neo-cons.

5/08/2008 1:25 AM  
Blogger Grimbles said...

*gasp* Quick everyone, she's an anti-Semite! Let's put our fingers in our ears and squeal so we don't get infected!


I honestly don't understand how throwing money at Israel can be in the US interest. It costs a whole hell of a lot of money and results in... needing to throw more money? Oh, and a visit every few years to talk about a road map, or a street directory. Beyond the twisted 'need' to have thumbs in as many pies as possible, and/or a disproportionately powerful Israeli/Jewish diaspora, I don't see the motivation.

But, now I'm being anti-Semitic, aren't I? *cough*

5/08/2008 5:35 AM  
Blogger CelticDiva said...

Actually, it didn't surprise me when it happened in that the Right has been trying to paint Obama as anti-Semitic.

It was only natural for Clinton to jump in and try to appear as "THE" strong ally of Israel.

I just think she overplayed her hand.

5/08/2008 8:14 AM  
Blogger Grimbles said...

Hmm, I don't think I'd heard anything about that. Typical, I guess =/

5/08/2008 10:13 PM  
Blogger CelticDiva said...

Welllll...some of this is my own personal "analysis" (note the first 4 letters of that word - that's probably how much it's worth).

5/08/2008 10:37 PM  
Blogger clark said...

the insane approach on the middle east didn't help her any, but more than anything she just came off these last few weeks as all around desperate, opportunistic, willing to use any negative, rovian tactic she could deploy at the drop of a hat. i made an exception to my TV ban and watched part of that ABC debate with the ridiculous line of questioning. she just kept hammering obama, and she had that weird sh**eating grin. ghastly. not presidential. we already have a leader who doesn't have any idea how to conduct himself in the public arena. i think the public wants to move as far from that as possible. obama seems reasoned, rational, cool as a cucumber.

5/09/2008 7:37 PM  

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