Well, maybe Obama will be here for both reasons!!!
I woke up today to the news on the radio that The Chose One is scheduled to come to Las Cruces, New Mexico on Monday, May 26…Memorial Day in the “new” calendar. (How fitting that he will be here on this day, which was originally observed on May 30 then switched in 1971 to the last Monday in May to ensure a 3-day holiday–heck, let’s have a a blow-out furniture sale or a wine festival–maybe he’ll show up at the one being held here! Then again, it was originally called “Decoration Day” which could also be very appropriate considering the bling factor in the Obama campaign…)
As you may recall, Obama made the historically uniformed and insensitive comment awhile back about how the primary season was just liked the Bataan Death March. (You may want to check out my post on this matter, “Bill Richardson Should Have Told Obama about the Bataan Death March.”)
So, Obama has chosen to show up on Memorial Day, which is a VERY BIG DEAL in these parts, in a very transparent move to perhaps try to win over all the active and retired military personnel here in this area. I’m sure the silly Las Cruces Sun News, our local rag will fawn all over this event, since they are really a Republican-leaning paper and have been stoking the fires for an Obama win.
Now, the big question is: Will Bill Richardson share the stage with Obama?? Just a couple of days ago, Richardson and Obama did a tango on the question of talking with Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Here’s the YouTube video of Obama’s original statement during a CNN debate: Obama: I would...
But people connected to the Obama campaign have been making squeaky “back-off noises.”
On May 20, Obama told Jake Tapper:
TAPPER: In recent days, it has seemed that some of your staffers and supporters have walked back from your statement that you would be willing to meet with the leaders of rogue nations, countries hostile to the U.S., without preconditions. Your foreign policy adviser Susan Rice said you wouldn’t necessarily meet with Ahmadinejad, Sen. Daschle said of course there would be conditions — (Obama interrupts)
OBAMA: You know, Jake, I have to say I completely disagree that people have been walking back from anything. They may be correcting the characterizations or distortions of John McCain or others of what I said. What I said was I would meet with our adversaries including Iran, including Venezula, including Cuba, including North Korea, without preconditions but that does not mean without preparation.
As reported in The Guardian:
After Tuesday’s primaries, in which Obama lost badly to Hillary Clinton in Kentucky but won well in Oregon, he is now just 65 delegates away from the Democratic nomination.
But with the November election in his sights, Obama backed away from his promise last year to meet Ahmadinejad without preconditions during his first year in the White House.
His campaign has stopped mentioning Ahmadinejad by name, and noting that there must be “preparations” for such an encounter.
On Tuesday, Obama’s foreign policy adviser, Susan Rice, told CNN that he did not necessarily mean he would meet Ahmadinejad when he offered to open talks with Iran. “He hasn’t named who that leader will be,” she said. “It may, in fact be that by the middle of next year, Ahmadinejad is long gone.”
BUT, Bill Richardson then showed up on FOX NEWS on Wednesday, May 21. Richardson stated that “you don’t talk to Ahmadinejad” then did a dance about talking to some of the moderate clerics. When questioned again about Obama’s wanting to talk with Ahmadinejad, Richardson stated that Obama wanted to talk to the “Iranian leadership” but wanted “diplomatic preparation.”
What is exactly meant by “diplomatic preparation”? He and Obama make it sound like “preparation” is unique, as if it never occurs before top-level meetings!! As for “moderate clerics”–Richardson is fudging like crazy, because he knows full well that there are no “moderate clerics” in the government leadership. They may be among the reformers, but they are not in the leadership. And Ahmadinejad himself is simply the front man for the Guardian Council and Richardson know that direct talks with him would simply add to his credibility, which has taken a tumble within Iran.
The Iranian Parliament, in theory, can draft legislation, approve or veto treaties and budgets, and even dismiss the government or impeach the president. In practice, all its work cannot pass into legislation unless signed off by the Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the 12-man Guardian Council.
The results of the March parliamentary elections in Iran have further tightened the grip of this group:
The [Iranian March] election has strengthened the hand of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, a militantly conservative force with growing control over the economy. At least 120 of the 290 members of the new parliament will be former guardsmen like President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.
So, when Obama turns up on Memorial Day, where will Richardson be?? Also remember that Hillary Clinton won New Mexico’s primary, so there are many that agree with Carville’s description of Richardson as being “Judas”. Perhaps there will be enough bunting and flags so Richardson can hide behind them, just in case he does decide to show up to compare notes with Obama on foreign policy…that is, unless Obama is using the flags of “Decoration Day” to hide the real Obama, too.
Filed under: Current Politics | Tagged: Barack Obama, Bataan Death March, Bataan Memorial Death March, Bill Richardson, Guardian Council, Hillary Clinton, Iran, Iran's 2008 parliamentary elections, Mahmud Ahmadinejad, Memorial Day, Susan Rice |