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Sweet blog special: GOP launches first attack on Obama. Just before Israel policy speech in Chicago, accuses him of skimpy foreign policy record.

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WASHINGTON--The Republican National Committee took aim for the first time at Democratic White House hopeful Barack Obama, issuing a research memo aimed at highlighting the Illinois freshman senator's lack of experience and engagement on foreign affairs hours before he delivered his first policy speech on Israel.


That the gloves-are-off memo was even generated at this time is a compliment to Obama's growing strength in the Democratic primary field. The RNC would not bother going after someone who is not a potential nominee.


The memo, produced by the RNC research department, is a round-up of recent news stories and columns mainly about Obama, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and his record since becoming a senator, especially on Iraq.

Obama's opposition to the Iraq war was a major factor in his standing out in the crowded 2004 Illinois Senate primary. But the cautious Obama, who in his first year did not want to be portrayed as either or hawk or a dove, did not take on opposition to the Iraq war as a major agenda item. Obama only started making much much more of the Iraq war once its mismanagement was clear even to Republicans.

Meanwhile, the RNC hit piece was surgically timed. It came just hours before Obama's first policy speech on Israel, which he will deliver today in Chicago, speaking to a group assembled by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

This influential group--which holds its annual conference starting March 11 in Washington--is very interested in knowing more about Obama's positions on Iraq, Iran, and a Hamas influenced Palestianian Authority in order to assess his future track record. This speech is very important to Obama, who is also looking for campaign cash from Jewish donors.

This is the memo from the Republican National Committee.....
RNC Research

________________________________

[Obama] FOREIGN TO POLICY

Obama Decides Now Is As Good A Time As Any

To Start Talking "In Depth" About Foreign Policy

_______________________________________________________________


Today, Obama Holds "In Depth" Discussion On Mideast Policy "For The
First Time Since Becoming A Senator":

"For The First Time Since Becoming A Senator -- Much Less A White House
Hopeful -- Barack Obama On Friday Will Talk In Depth About U.S. Policy
Toward Israel And The Mideast." (Lynn Sweet, "Obama To Offer Pro-Israel
Views At Chicago Gathering," Chicago Sun-Times, 3/1/07)

Obama's Glaring Inexperience In Foreign Policy:

As Senator, Obama Waited 11 Months Before Giving A Major Speech On Iraq.
"Though Mr. Obama is framing his candidacy to appeal to Democrats who
have long opposed the war, until recently he was not among his party's
most outspoken voices against it. He campaigned strongly against the war
in his bid for the Senate in 2004, but when he arrived in Washington he
waited 11 months to deliver a major speech on Iraq." (Jeff Zeleny, "As
Candidate, Obama Carves Antiwar Stance," The New York Times, 2/26/07)

* "Indeed, Once Obama Got To Washington, He Made Only One Senate
Speech On Iraq." (Richard Cohen, Op-Ed, "The Explanation Hillary Clinton
Owes," The Washington Post, 2/13/07)

"And Only After Mr. Obama Opened A Presidential Exploratory Committee
Did He Introduce Legislation To Withdraw American Combat Brigades From
Iraq By March 31, 2008." (Jeff Zeleny, "As Candidate, Obama Carves
Antiwar Stance," The New York Times, 2/26/07)

* Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joe Biden (D-DE) On
Obama's Iraq Rhetoric: "I Don't Recall Hearing A Word From Barack About
A Plan Or A Tactic." (Jason Horowitz, "Biden Unbound: Lays Into Clinton,
Obama, Edwards," The New York Observer, 2/25/07)

* Seems Like Obama Had His Presidential Timetable Set Before His
Iraq Timetable. "[Obama] decided to run [for President] now - about 10
years ahead of his personal timetable - because he saw a unique moment
when people are listening and wanting change in the direction of the
country, he told the group of 130 people at a downtown high-rise of
luxury homes." (Julie Carr Smyth, "Presidential Contender Raises Money
Across Ohio," The Associated Press, 2/26/07)

Obama's First Foreign Policy Senate Statement: "Shoot. Me. Now."?

"Listening To A Bloviating Colleague At His First Meeting Of The Senate
Foreign Relations Committee, Obama Slipped A Three-Word Note To A Member
Of His Staff: 'Shoot. Me. Now.'" (Ben Wallace-Wells, "Destiny's Child,"
Rolling Stone, 2/7/07)

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20 Comments

I wonder if the radical, liberal Obama apalogists in the media such as Chris Matthews and Tim Russert are going to demonize the "evil, racist" republicans for going after Obama like they would any other candidate. I can hear the Jim Crow and Bull Connor references now.

I notice your purposeful verbiage accusing Republicans and conservatives like me as "launch first attack"....so when we question one of your candidates it's an "attack", eh? So what does all your bitter, vulgar, hateful bashing of President George W. Bush constitute? Or Dick Cheney? Or Donald Rumsfeld? Or Condoleeza Rice? Does your lefty liberal press ever call THEMSELVES "attackers" for their vicious, sinister, devious, hateful, spiteful attacks in word, print, and video on our President, VP, Sec. of State, Sec. of Defense, etc.??? NO! And that constitutes downright hypocrisy and fraud, in my humble opinion....You are purposely promoting "polarization" and skewing the truth out there with your liberal kool-aid, leading to more of the same polarization rather than any semblance of partisanship, and that, my friend, makes you and your ilk in the press very much DISLIKED by the masses out here no matter WHAT your cocktail party friends whisper in your ear...your polls are fake, your stories are skewed, your agenda is obvious, and you continue to contribute purposely to the "splintering of America" with your distorted headlines...YOU journalists are part of the PROBLEM, not part of any solution, full of agenda-distorted scribblings "disguised" as news stories, and we KNOW it! JR

"radical, liberal Obama apalogists in the media such as Chris Matthews and Tim Russert"

Wow, if they are radical, liberal Obama apologists, what does that classify me as? A pinko commie I guess. Labels are so overdone don't you think? What seems to be important here is that the memo is terrible. It doesn't say anything. Taking a positive spin it says that Obama was a rookie who took his time feeling around. I'm sure there are plenty of first year representatives that didn't make speeches on the floor regarding Iraq. At worst, he likes to write funny notes to his staff. I could have predicted that from reading his book.

If this is the best republicans have, this is going to be a long year.

The GOP doesn't need to attack Mr. Feelgood Obama. Fact is that he is a rookie senator with no business trying to deal with international issues he has little or no experience with.

Just say NObama!

www.ReyFloresAmerica.blogspot.com

I am thinking this was fed to the RNC by a certain rival campaign. I really think this is a Hillary job.

I don't really care, but just out of curiousity, if jerry and j rocco despise Barack Obama so much, why do you both spend tme reading these blogs from Lynn Sweet which you can assume will be somewhat positive. It's like a Dem reading every word of the weekly standard and complaining that Bill Krystol says positive things about george bush. duh!

I notice your purposeful verbiage accusing Republicans and conservatives like me as "launch first attack"....so when we question one of your candidates it's an "attack", eh? So what does all your bitter, vulgar, hateful bashing of President George W. Bush constitute? Or Dick Cheney? Or Donald Rumsfeld? Or Condoleeza Rice? Does your lefty liberal press ever call THEMSELVES "attackers" for their vicious, sinister, devious, hateful, spiteful attacks in word, print, and video on our President, VP, Sec. of State, Sec. of Defense, etc.??? NO! And that constitutes downright hypocrisy and fraud, in my humble opinion....You are purposely promoting "polarization" and skewing the truth out there with your liberal kool-aid, leading to more of the same polarization rather than any semblance of partisanship, and that, my friend, makes you and your ilk in the press very much DISLIKED by the masses out here no matter WHAT your cocktail party friends whisper in your ear...your polls are fake, your stories are skewed, your agenda is obvious, and you continue to contribute purposely to the "splintering of America" with your distorted headlines...YOU journalists are part of the PROBLEM, not part of any solution, full of agenda-distorted scribblings "disguised" as news stories, and we KNOW it! JR

If TNDem would read with comprehension what I actually replied, he will see no evidence of me despising Barrack Obama! It was a critique of the News Headline! The "duh" you hit me with applies to yourself, my fellow poster.....Save the personal attacks of people who aren't addressing you for a place where it may be appropriate in your world..Here, I'd like to think we can exchange diverse opinion without resorting to "duh"...ok? Thanks. JR

SHAME ON YOU REPUBLICANS AND THOSE CONSERVATIVES FOR ATTACKING Barack

RUDY GIULIANI –Follow the facts
When you Republicans and Conservatives, now, begin to have sex with Barack’s foreign policy, political experience, while in reality, he is more experienced than your Rudy Giuliani.
Republican, Giuliani happened to be the mayor of New York at the time of 9/11 and that is all he can run on. He does not have any credibility on domestic issues, education, healthcare, etc. He neither has credibility on Iraq nor the war on terror.
The only foreign policy that Giuliani has, was, as an arm to the terrible Reagan Administration immigration policies, he rejected and deported political asylum-seekers who later were beaten and killed by a repressive regime in Haiti.

Why Republicans and Conservatives support Rudy Giuliani?

Because:

1. Giuliani is a proven Mafia family member, his father and uncle are mafia dons.
2. Giuliani is a sexual addict, who married his own second cousin for 14 years until he discontinued it because his church wasn’t okay with it.
3. Giuliani married again and like Bill Clinton was caught red handed cheating on his wife.
4. Giuliani then got married to the staffer who he was cheating on his wife with.
5. According to his gay roommates Giuliani is a bi-homosexual.

So that's what passes for a big republic "hit piece", huh? That's the best they can do? Despite the few remaining "dead enders" like jerry and rocco, the country is finally starting to tune out the repub smear machine. I almost feel sorry for all the little republic-cubs preening at their little CPAC gathering this week, hoping to get invited to Ann Coulter's tea party. They've been working so hard to emulate big daddy Karl, and their time has passed before they even got started.

And what foreign policy experience did George W. Bush have before becoming president? Signing Latin ball players for the Texas Rangers?

Sen. Obama has more intelligence when he wakes up in the morning than W has all week. If you don't think so, then look at the mess we're in.

to Jerry: Obama came out very HARDcore v. Iran, calling them dangerous (which they are) and NOT ruling out force. So lets see if the media criticizes him like they would if lets say a GOP guy had said what Obama said. BTW Jerry, the Clinton Gang has wasted no time. There already is stories out that Obama's mother's side of the family (ancestors) were slave-owners.

As a candidate Barack Obama is another Ross Perot. As a president, he is just the next Jimmy Carter.

I think your blog is about the best information about Barack's campaign--very timely. Keep up the good work!

Wow, comments like Jerry's and Jay's leave me with a feeling of despair; the bitterness and anger expressed make it difficult to imagine how we are going to get out of out current bitterly polarized, political environment.

Repubs and conservatives have been ascending or in control for most of the last twenty-five years, yet you guys talk like you are victims of some vast left wing conspiracy. Chris Mathews is a radical liberal? His brother is a Republican office holder in Pennsylvania who plans to run for governor. I think of Mathews as a moderate Republican. Apparently you guys think anyone to the left of Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter is a flaming leftie. How did things ever get so bad, and how are we going to learn to talk to one another without calling each other names?

All of this makes the case for Obama that much stronger at least he is trying to find some way to have a respectful conversation with those with whom he disagrees.

Thanks guys, for regurgitating your talking points memo of February 21. You forgot to mention that he is "insulated, arrogant and and an unabashed liberal." Maybe, Obama has won you over on those points.

Read the October, 2002 "dumb wars" speech, the "Audacity of Hope" and the March, 2007 AIPAC speech. By March, 2008, he will have made 10 policy statements of this quality and insight.

We understand that attack is your best strategy. Look in the mirror and try to right your own sinking ship. Your "experienced" team has made the worst foreign policy mistake in 40 years and damaged the standing of the United States around the world. It will take eight years just to repair the destruction you have left behind. The good thing is that the arrogance will be replaced on January 20, 2009.

why not just call this blog what it is, sun times no, Barry Bambi Obambi's personal blog yes.

During Bush's first run for the White House, the Dems said that Bush didn't have enough foreign policy experience to be a good President. And so, I don't think that the Dems should be complaining when the GOP makes the same argument against one of their candidates. Unfortunately, the Dems were right about Bush. The question is now whether the GOP is right about Obama.

John,

Your statement about Obama as a candidate, being the next Ross Perot and IF he should be President, which he will not be, another Jimmie Carter, is outstanding. I changed it a bit as you can see to make it a bit more to the point.

I hope you didn't mind!

Thanx,

Obama is nothing but Jessie Jackson lite - thinly veiled race politics with a light tan candy coating. When he opened his mouth about Katrina, he effectively went from Ricky Nelson to Malcom-X. I'm surprised there are so many dumb-ass Americans out there, democrats and republicans, who actually think he has any business running for the presidency to begin with.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on March 2, 2007 10:16 AM.

Sweet blog special: Hillary's thesis on Chicago's famed organizer Saul Alinsky surfaces. was the previous entry in this blog.

Obama's AIPAC speech. Text as prepared for delivery. is the next entry in this blog.

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