Yup! Obama Doing an “Invitation-Only” Event for Vets on Memorial Day…and Richardson Will Appear…

On Friday I speculated that Obama’s visit to Las Cruces, NM on Memorial Day would be a “kiss and make up” session aimed at courting the military vote here…especially since he made his ill-advised comment on primary season being likethe Bataan Death March.

The Sunday paper today has the following across the top of it, right above the article entitled “Wine Time” (about the Southern New Mexico Wine Festival, not about Obama’s frequent whining and victim positioning).

On the web, the story is:

Obama’s stop in Las Cruces ‘invitation-only’

LAS CRUCES — U.S. Sen. Barack Obama’s visit Monday to Las Cruces will be invitation-only and focus on veterans, his campaign confirmed today. Because the Memorial Day Veterans Town Hall, as it is being billed, is not open to the public, Obama’s campaign handlers insisted the location not be publicized.The front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination will be joined by Gov. Bill Richardson, who endorsed Obama on March 21. The Sun-News and other media has been invited and will cover the midday event.

The paper today has more details. The affair is being billed as a “Memorial Day Veterans’ Town Hall” and will occur midday on Monday “except to the media.” Bill Richardson’s office issued the release which also mentions that “a few stops” are planned.

The paper quotes Amy Brundage, a campaign spokesperson that Obama will discuss “the importance of keeping the sacred trust with our nation’s veterans with local veterans and their families.” Apparently, a few days before the Bataan Memorial Death March on March 30, he wasn’t thinking much of any “sacred trust” then.

The commander of VFW Post 6917 in Las Cruces, of course, hasn’t heard anything about the event as yet. His post is going ahead with their wreath-laying ceremony and graveside services at a local cemetary. An ex-commander with the VFW has said that he had heard that Obama will be showing up a the Veterans Wall at Veterans Park, which is also the site of a dramatic memorial to the Bataan Death March.

The Bataan Memorial features a statue of struggling men and footprints which is quite impressive. It is located hear the road. Further into the park there is a a covered area, with another large area behind it which is adjacent to an open desert area. It is a very interesting park to visit because there are paths and memorials throughout one side of the park. People go there to reflect and meditate on the loss of loved ones in these quiet areas.

From my previous post at the time of Obama’s insensitive comment:

Las Cruces, New Mexico, of course, is the site of the annual Bataan Memorial Death March, which was first held in 1989. This year the event will be held on March 30…that’s right, this Sunday! Last year over 4,000 participants took part in the march…The Las Cruces memorial is pictured here. According to the site, “is the only federally funded monument dedicated to the victims of the Bataan Death March during WWII.”

It’s not clear if the park will be the site of the “town hall.” If it’s held at the park, one can only hope that non-military Obama supporters won’t try to crash it. It’s bad enough the event is so obviously being done with political intent…but, since it’s happening, it should proceed with some dignity, if at all possible.

Some of the actions of some Obama supporters makes one wonder how all this will turn out…

Obama to Visit Site of Bataan Memorial Death March on Memorial Day…To Repair Dumb Comment Damage? (Or…To Straighten Out Foreign Policy Mix-up with Bill Richardson?)

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.

Bill Richardson Should Have Told Obama About the Bataan Death March

Obama’s ill-advised comment yesterday (3/27) comparing the primary race to the Bataan Death March (link) will NOT go over well in New Mexico. I wonder what Bill Richardson is thinking? After endorsing Obama in the middle of the Rev. Wright controversy, Richardson has to watch Obama making a comment that cheapens one of the grimmest events of World War II. Continue reading