Tuesday, August 12, 2008

McCain and Obama while Russia invades Georgia

We can say one thing for the war between Georgia and Russia; it has knocked the war between John McCain and Barack Obama off of the front page, at least for a little while. The media has tried to sneak in a few bits here and there about what the candidates are saying about the conflict, but it hasn’t really gained much traction yet.

Obama seems to be getting a little flack for going on vacation, and he is likely to get more over having never been to the region. Somehow, the Obama campaign is trying to turn this into an evil lobbyist story, because a McCain campaign staffer has lobbied for Georgia in the past. Somehow I don’t think that most Americans would have a problem with a small, relatively new democracy that was once part of the Soviet Union doing some lobbying.

McCain might benefit from this conflict. While eventually, the McCain and Obama positions became quite similar, Obama started out weak, while McCain’s original statement was just about right, and he stuck to it. No doubt that McCain’s experience with international issues was helpful in getting the right statement out right away, and he’ll use this to his advantage for all it is worth. I’m sure we’ll be hearing about McCain’s firsthand knowledge of Georgia in the next few days and weeks. This is exactly the sort of thing that exposes Obama’s lack of foreign policy experience.

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