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January 23rd, 2009
11:59 PM ET

A great start, many questions

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more from David Gergen on AC360° at 10pm ET.

David Gergen | Bio
AC360° Contributor
CNN Senior Political Analyst

In his first three working days in office, Barack Obama has seized the reins of presidential power in smooth, almost flawless fashion. Whether that will be enough to conquer the forces arrayed against him, however, remains very much open to question.

On the economy, his most urgent challenge, he has followed up quickly on transition planning by bringing in bipartisan leaders of Congress today and will soon hold a special meeting with Congressional Republicans alone. One of the first mistakes of some past presidents has been to dismiss the concerns of the opposition. Because Obama has gone far beyond tradition, GOP leaders left the White House this morning endorsing his call to have a stimulus bill by the President’s Day recess in February.

Even so, chances remain high that the President’s economic plans will hit serious snags in Congress and even if passed, may not work. Democrats in the House, where partisanship has been rancorous, seem little inclined to seek a truly bipartisan stimulus bill, as Obama has wanted. And while some Senate Democrats are trying to re-craft the House bill to make it more pleasing to Republicans, others like Dick Durbin are now airily saying that it makes little difference how many Republicans sign on. (Perhaps they are taking a cue from Obama himself, who reportedly made it clear to the GOP at the White House today that he was in charge of negotiations because “I won”.) If partisan attitudes take hold on both sides, Obama can kiss off his hopes of getting dozens of Republicans on board in the House and more than 20 Republicans in the Senate – and in turn, the bipartisanship he needs on TARP, Detroit, and many other bills to come will be progressively tougher.

An even larger concern is whether the stimulus package will truly work but instead, as columnists Paul Krugman and David Brooks worry about in the New York Times today, will be too slow and too filled with pork, leading to scandals down the road. The Obama team promised Congressional leaders today that 75 percent of the bill would be pumped into the economy within two years and that they would impose strict oversight. We shall see. So far, one of the biggest questions hanging over the new administration is its managerial capacity. A typical comment in D.C.: They have wondrous all-stars on board, but where are the managers? And where are the CEOs who know how to make things happen in the business world? Insiders will be watching closely as this economic saga unfolds.

Meanwhile, Obama has also gotten off to a near textbook start in foreign policy. In quick succession, he is unwinding the Bush policies and approaches that have drawn intense criticism both at home and abroad: Iraq, Guantanamo, torture, the Middle East, and the centrality of the State Department more generally. By fulfilling his campaign promises so quickly, Obama is increasing public confidence in his international leadership – something that could have a spill-over effect in bolstering confidence in his economic plans, as well.

For critics of the Bush years – and that includes many mainstream foreign policy players - yesterday was as close to perfect as one can imagine. Not only did the President reverse policies on Guantanamo but he did so carefully by setting up a six-month review to ensure that the process of shutting it down and settling the future of detainees does not unleash a bunch of red-hot terrorists (example: the former Gitmo detainee who has emerged as the deputy leader of Al Qaeda in Yemen).

Moreover, the President and Vice President both went to the State Department on the first day that Hillary Clinton was there as Secretary of State, signaling to Foreign Service officers, demoralized by budget cuts and marginalization in recent years, that they will be central to his international policies in coming years. As one who worked briefly at State during the Clinton years, I can personally attest that this kind of attention will be a huge shot in the arm among career officers.

Then, too, Obama and Clinton announced yesterday the appointment of two superior diplomats as special envoys: George Mitchell to the Middle East, Richard Holbrooke to Afghanistan and Pakistan. How good are they? Well, each of them has been a serious candidate to be Secretary of State in his own right. Had Hillary Clinton been sworn in as President this week, it is highly likely that Holbrooke would have been her choice as SecState. Mitchell and Holbrooke were responsible for two of Bill Clinton’s biggest successes, the first in negotiating peace in Northern Ireland, the other in negotiating a settlement in Bosnia. Remember that George W. Bush didn’t pay much attention to the Middle East at first and always rejected the idea of a special envoy there. Obama has jumped in feet first in his first 72 hours on the job.

Still, the question remains: will these early moves by Obama actually start to put out the fires in these parts of the world? We won’t know for a long time – and until he makes some very tough calls that could go awry. Will the Clinton-Mitchell team pressure Israel to make major concessions, as Israeli conservatives now fear, and if so, will Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran and Syria call off their terror tactics? Can anyone put all the genies back in the bottle? No one knows.

And then again, there are the growing questions about how well the Obama administration can manage itself. From afar, the lines of authority among the White House, Clinton, Mitchell and Holbrooke seem very tangled. Who will manage all these heavyweights who have minds and egos of their own? His staff says that Obama can do it, but isn’t that what they say about managing his economic team, too?

So, even as he wins deserved praise for his smooth start as President, more questions than answers are swirling around Barack Obama. He seems to understand them and, still a surprise, he also seems to remain totally confident about the future. We have all started a crucial journey.

soundoff (203 Responses)
  1. dottir jackson

    Everyone needs to recognize your genuis, only a person who has seen it all can tell you about it, even when things seem brand new, there is nothing new under the sun

    January 23, 2009 at 9:27 pm |
  2. Jorge Villa

    The only way we are gonna get ourself out of this ECONOMY mess is Shutting our Borders to imports and forcing our Amercian Companies to do business Here in the US.

    Countries that wanna import to the US should also be buying Products from the US...or else its not a Equal balance of Trade.

    January 23, 2009 at 9:25 pm |
  3. Trig

    David, your words continue to be insightful. Thank you.

    January 23, 2009 at 9:25 pm |
  4. azuka ojini

    Mr. Gergen ,
    You always find a way to explain the issues that kept me coming back for some more. How do you manage that day after day and night after night? I have a feeling you have battery of writers that you employed to dig up facts for you.
    I can't wait to get home to hear from you. I appreciate your contributions.

    January 23, 2009 at 9:24 pm |
  5. Larry

    To JC in Los Angeles...

    Wow, it is amazing that you could brush off these very serious questions by saying nothing more than what amounts to "Obama and his people are great!..."

    You sound like a mindless Apple Fanboy talking about your Ipod.

    January 23, 2009 at 9:21 pm |
  6. Allen L Wenger

    There are many things that can go wrong and nobody can be sure of much at this early date. It does look like diplomacy is going to be used more and the military will be used less. This new approach should give everyone hope that maybe change has come to the world.

    January 23, 2009 at 9:19 pm |
  7. Rick Buchanan

    As usual, brilliant. Gergen is the man.

    The Gitmo closing and justice for each can't be that difficult of an issue.

    Geez. Put the guilty ones in American prisons. Return the rest to their home countries whether those countries like it or not.

    Gitmo has got to go. Sooner better than later.

    January 23, 2009 at 9:17 pm |
  8. Rhonda King

    Can you please have some consideration- President Obama is the title of our newly elected commander and chief, i.e., President- you along with the rest of the media continue address him in a common ordinary fashion; no other President in our history has been disrespected in the manner in which you are expressing. President Obama campaigned for over 2 years, traveled all over the U.S. to gain the votes of american citizens and yet you have the audacity to try and degrade his title by not recognizing him as the President of the United States when mentioning his name. HE was President-Elect, and now President- he definitely has earned the right and the title- USE IT!!
    Thank you.

    January 23, 2009 at 9:10 pm |
  9. Joseph - KY

    Dear Mr. Gergen,

    You asked:
    "where are the managers? And where are the CEOs who know how to make things happen in the business world?"

    The new administration should certainly seek the insight of the business world when decisions are made. However, the CEO/MBA way of thinking might work out for companies, but when it is applied as a leadership principle of a country, it can lead to disastrous results. Public service and business are simply two different worlds.

    It mostly shows when it comes to troubled sectors. At a company, you cancel a malfunctioning unit. However, in a country, you just cannot ignore a disadvantaged group. Instead, you should move in the resources to bring them up to level and to reintegrate them into the society. Otherwise, the problem will come back to haunt you.

    January 23, 2009 at 9:09 pm |
  10. Antranik

    To spamonigiri. George Mitchell is part middle eastern.

    January 23, 2009 at 9:06 pm |
  11. Harvey from CA

    Very good article. I don't know if Barack Obama will be able to solve all the problems he has, but for now it's just nice to have a president I can be proud of. His policies seem to be headed in the right direction, at least they agree nicely with my own beliefs. If he only succeeds in getting us out of Iraq and Afghanistan, and helping the economy he will have already done much to mend the problems he inherited.

    January 23, 2009 at 9:04 pm |
  12. Marty

    I think it would be important for him not to forget how he ran the campaign...slow and steady. As an administrator myself, I know how important it is not to jump the gun too quickly, because it can fall apart without you knowing it; it requires a great deal of trust. That would be my advice to him in these first weeks...slow and steady; this world already moves too quick.

    January 23, 2009 at 9:03 pm |
  13. Dr Matt Ghabrial

    I suggest that CNN, in a public service effort to crown the 24 hours hysteria coverage of Mr. Obama, should submit a petition to the congress to declare him King Obama I. The first king who happened to be the first Black King too. History in the making, man!! The idiotic embecile new congress will go for it in no time, I bet you.Who cares about the constitution anyway. Better yet how about a god? A god of sex, like Eros maybe, so all those near orgazmic women reporters of yours can finally rest their non-stop salivation, and begin earnest worship sessions. Even better yet, ask your new sex god to try to walk on the Potomac. He can do it. Yes He can!!

    January 23, 2009 at 9:02 pm |
  14. Tammy from "Land of Lincoln"

    David-
    Everytime I walk past a tv and see you speaking- I always stop to hear what you have to say. Why? Because I believe and trust you!!!

    January 23, 2009 at 9:01 pm |
  15. Cathy

    I think the bail out is a joke. If you know anything about some of it's contents it states it is intended for the "unskilled and minorities". If Americans don't wake up we will become the minority in our own country. I guess that everyone who has worked hard to educate themselves, and is white can basically just give up their homes because we arn't going to get help. Now, if we jump the border, live illegally, cry prejudice and have any skin color other than white then we can plan on getting money and staying in our homes. Also, is anyone paying attention to where the "gitmo" terrorists will be housed? Or maybe we should just let them out so they can walk the streets of America and then we won't have to worry about where they are; they'll be in our backyards. I went to bed in one world and woke up in a nightmare! As for abortions, I think woman should have the right to decide; but not on my tax dollar. If you play and can't be responsible then at least pay for it youself!

    January 23, 2009 at 8:59 pm |
  16. donald

    Frankly, I've become amazed with each passing day the swiftness and clarity that Barak Obama has shown in restoring faith in our presidency. People, whether we like it or not, Gitmo must go. Yes, there will be some who go back to the battlefields of jihad, but they will either be killed or neutralized by their own people, in essence, dead men walking. On the economy, the GOP needs to get with the program, this new proposal they have to counter Obama's is full of red herrings. We've seen this stinker before and surely shouldn't but into it. Suddenly, Washington can breathe a breath of fresh air!!

    January 23, 2009 at 8:58 pm |
  17. Brad764 Amarillo TX

    Will Obama make mistakes? Absolutely, will he intrench himself into his mistakes like GWB? I don't think so, His willingness to hire on competent opinionated people says alot about his ability to handle making mistakes. People who can't learn from mistakes fire opinionated people (well people who's opinions don't mirror their own) IE GWB.
    He also shows skill at managing people, look at how seldom he had problems with his campaign staff compared to every other candidate.
    I have no doubt that we elected the right person for the job, he is a human so mistakes will be made. I think that most of them will be small and the ones that are not will be admitted and fixed.

    January 23, 2009 at 8:57 pm |
  18. MaryBeth

    I think we all need to be patient. It's only been 3 days. How will we know if it works or not unless we give it a shot? No one else has any plans, let's see what happens.

    January 23, 2009 at 8:55 pm |
  19. Alex (Aliso Viejo)

    Time will tell. Nobody knows what the future holds but the new administration definitely has taken the right steps to show how different if not opposite they are from the Bush administration. There will be a lot of questions to tackle specially in a difficult time such as this and they wll never go away as it spills over for our next generation. However, as Mr. Gergen coins it last night, "confidence" to the American government by its people and the world as a whole is essential and I believe President Obama's initial steps prove to be promising. Thank you for making me think though, Mr. Gergen. 🙂

    January 23, 2009 at 8:54 pm |
  20. RM

    Gergen,

    Perfect if your a socialist or marxist... Not a bad day for the terrorists as well. Those GITMO guys will be back on the battlefield before we know it. And tax payers flipping the bill for overseas abortions? Where does it okay that in the constitution? A truly sad time for America... Fact is most Americans don't realize what is happening to their freedoms.

    RM

    January 23, 2009 at 8:46 pm |
  21. LLWB

    Lisa says she feels more safe than in at least 4 years. Sadly, the unborn babies of the world are far less safe now. That is something I have a hard time understanding in the new president. How can he be genuinely concerned about the human rights of murders and terrorists and yet ignore- nay, provide financing for – the deaths of innocent unborn children?

    January 23, 2009 at 8:44 pm |
  22. drvictorialee

    Where is the money to help homeowners and reduce foreclosures? How can the economy recover without addressing that problem? Nothing has been said about dealing with housing since President Obama took office!

    January 23, 2009 at 8:44 pm |
  23. Bob Hazy

    David:

    One has to consider the alternative: How could it possibly be any better 3 days into a new administration saddled with a disastrous legacy such as faces us now? The fact that you merely cite questions, versus missteps, suggests we're on a good trajectory. Let's constructively offer suggestions to foster bipartisan partnering, versus merely hand-wringing. That said, thanks for the clear,accurate analysis.

    January 23, 2009 at 8:40 pm |
  24. Roger M Dell

    In response to the lack of managers in the Obama team, who needs more Paulsons? In fact, who needs more foxes watching the henhouses?

    Watching the "managers" on Wall Street, I think they are over rated and over paid. There are many among us who are not driven by money but have talent to get things done. Problem solvers, not money chasers.

    January 23, 2009 at 8:35 pm |
  25. greg rustin

    send supply ships to gaza...............relax israel................show we are serious about getting serious.............people not ideology

    January 23, 2009 at 8:33 pm |
  26. Victoria Edwards

    On the subject of Obama's lobbyist rules and an exception for Deputy Defense nominee William Lynn, I am irate at the media. Reporters (like Campbell Brown) are making it sound like Lynn is yet another a career lobbyist parlaying his connections into a *new* job in Gov't. In fact, William Lynn has years of experience in gov't whereas he recently became a defense lobbyist. He was a reforming Comptroller of the DOD for 4 years. He was a Strategy Analyst at the DOD for 4 years. He worked for 6 years under Ted Kennedy for the Senate Armed Services Committee. He got his JD at Cornell, Masters at Princeton, BS at Dartmouth and was a Professor. He has received honors from the Joint Chiefs of Staff as well as the Army, Navy and Air Force. The media, in not reporting the qualities giving an exception worth consideration, is hyping the story in the oversimplified manner that grabs viewership but informs only in incomplete soundbites.

    January 23, 2009 at 8:32 pm |
  27. Dan

    David, I respect you a lot but could we give the man some breathing room? He's been president exactly 3.25 days! It's a little naive to be saying for "there might be problems ahead". Of course there will be! It's how he reacts to them that will tell.

    spamonigiri, you are way off base.

    Could we find an accomplished Middle Eastern-American? Certainly. Can we find one with the proven ability to bring deadly enemies to the table and *actually*hammer*out*an*agreement?!? No.

    Mitchell is a brilliant choice. Don't the Palestinians send Palestinians to negotiate? Don't Israelis send Israelis?

    This is too important a matter to start playing the race card.

    January 23, 2009 at 8:29 pm |
  28. EddieG3

    I agree with you, David. All we can do is wait. Now I have hope because I know that although Pres. Obama is going to make mistakes, they will be honest mistakes. He said this. I'd rather him try and make mistakes than not to try at all. He has us on his shoulders and, brother, we ARE heavy. As long as he is working for our good, I'm in his corner.

    January 23, 2009 at 8:28 pm |
  29. midwest mom

    David...love you, but you need to be a bit more optimistic, or you will have to work for Faux news.....

    January 23, 2009 at 8:28 pm |
  30. Gail

    When when when are these people going to work for the good of American taxpayers?
    I am tired of bipartisan this and that.........if you cant put the people first and the good of all taxpayers you dont belong in office whether Republican, Democrat, or Martian.

    The American people are watching closely if things dont change all the hope and good feelings will vanish and that would be a real "crisis" for alot of long time politicians.

    January 23, 2009 at 8:27 pm |
  31. Deb

    Let's see...it's Friday, he took the oath on Tuesday....and there are QUESTIONS about what he will do?? Give me a break! FORMER president had 8 years before people seriously started questioning what he did!

    January 23, 2009 at 8:24 pm |
  32. Jim M

    David,
    The degree to which former President Bush ignored his own Republican party members in Congress has stimulated a mindset that they are a power unto themselves. Unfortunately, there may be little reason that the Congressionsl Republicans will have political will to cooperate with anyone in the Executive Branch, let alone in the Legislative Branch where they are no longer in a strong position. If they do not wish to partake in the process of negotiation with the Dems in the Executive and Legislative Barnaches, so be it and let the Dem's have their way. Unfortunately, the end results for Congressional Republicans will leave them even more powerless to represent the citizens who elevted them.

    January 23, 2009 at 8:23 pm |
  33. Adriana R M

    Hello, what about South America ? I gather the only time it is of intrest is when Chavez or Castro says something ridiiclous.

    January 23, 2009 at 8:17 pm |
  34. Andrew Booth

    spamonigiri, you say "Also, aren’t there any middle aged, Middle Eastern Americans that are qualified to be envoys to the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc."

    George Mitchell, who Obama is been sent as the middle east envoy has middle east heritage, his mother is Lebanonese.

    January 23, 2009 at 8:11 pm |
  35. Brenda Taylor

    i have a structered settlemrnt annuity of 3 million dollars lifetime payments of 16,500 per month. Allstate & Prudential insurance companies are paying me. Are these companies strong? Who will insure my money if something happens since it is not FDIC insured? Thank You

    January 23, 2009 at 8:08 pm |
  36. Kevina Porch

    It's so strange in this day and age to see so many impatient and cruel people. It's no wonder our kids are spending so much time watching television,playing videogames,texting,failing in school,skipping school,and breaking the law. NOT to mention praticing UNPROTECTED SEX! Society is forever looking to blame someone or something for whatever is wrong with the world. Hey,guess what people. We are all to blame!! And how in the world do you expect to teach the childen of today how to behave and trust the President if YOU dont? As far as "RUSH" is concerned, You think anyone who believes in Obama; must be drinking the"Kool-Aid"...I think you should check yourself. You are a poor excuse of a man.YOU sir should be trying to set a good example for our young people.Yet all I see you doing is using the media to preach hate among our new president. How un-american of you! Do you or people like you realize that kinda stuff sends the WRONG message to other countries? Grow up ! I did'nt think it was right when folks put down ANY president. OH, by the way to ALL the folks who wonders "WHAT" it is about Obama that draws folks to him? He's got "IT"!

    January 23, 2009 at 7:57 pm |
  37. deborah davis

    Can the president use the TARP money along with his stimulus package to re-invest in the businesses that have already laid off people? It would seem that money could be used to re-instate the people who have lost their jobs as well as create new ones. There would have to be some accountability by the executives, of course, so that they don't line their own pockets. Would it be cheaper to give each state about 2 billion dollars and still come out spending less than what the president is asking for?

    January 23, 2009 at 7:50 pm |
  38. Annie Kate

    To expect that Obama will get everything right the first time in seems a little unrealistic to me. None of our prior Presidents got everything right. Not even FDR got all his economic fixes to work and had to tinker with the mix off and on. While I hope Obama's economic plan will work and work pretty fast I realize that it may not, but that at least if it doesn't Obama unlike our past president will not cling doggedly to a policy that is clearly not working but will say ok, lets try something else.

    I seriously doubt that anyone in the US knows how to fix this mess quickly so to expect that Obama does is unrealistic and we need to manage our own expectations a little better. What Obama does have exactly right is his optimism and confidence. I feel better just listening to him, more confident, less worried – and if his confidence helps to assuage the fears of the rest of America then the economy may get a quick jump start just from people feeling more confident and acting more confident.

    January 23, 2009 at 7:37 pm |
  39. kevina porch

    It's so strange to see how many folks call themselves"Americans" yet cannot for the life of themselves, sit back & let " OUR" President do his job. All I keep seeing and/or hearing : is constant criticism and what is the president gonna do about this & about that.

    January 23, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  40. Mary V., Salt Lake City, UT

    Thank you, David Gergen. Even though there are plenty of critics and nay-sayers, they do not offer solutions.

    May God bless, guide and protect our new president!

    HOPE WON!

    January 23, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  41. Pat Canada

    Hi David,
    I think Obama has made a Terrific Start in a short time frame. But, personally, I think the Pakistan Missles may come back to bite him internationally. Especially after reading Musharraf's sp? comments and also given there were civilian casualties and the timing so close to the Israel/Gaza civilian losses. But Musharraf giving Interview from Dallas raises a few questions.

    I was also stunned to learn that the US also paid Pakistan 10 BIllion for their assistance in fighting Terrorism! This in addition to theTrillions given to Iraq and Afghanistan, the US must have good relations with Donald Trump or Oprah! Are all Nations donating to the Mid East? If so no wonder our World Economies are tanking ! Sheeesh!

    January 23, 2009 at 6:52 pm |
  42. Mohammed Ali

    Dear,

    This new fashion of policy making has proven the right stimula to preduce newer dreams where at point of time we were doubting the benfits of change or its challenges, this could be the best time in this adminstration being so dignite to its promisess and being slow motioned delievery based on how President Barack seeks its routes into the White House and The Congress into the face of Public thru the Internet espcially then the Media. We has sized and limited our changes because we are limited but the goverment is going to show more and that is what I expected in the coming days. President Obama has made the doubts of why this stimulas plan should work and I believe so as well based on the money giving just in the last months of Former President G.Bush and now we have not felt the effect in the mainstreet and my own personal income this to me is the making of change econemy shouldn't wait for Iraq or rest but we need this imediatley and more money put into the motor industry.

    January 23, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  43. Robin

    David,

    President Obama has shown to the American people in his first week he is not afraid to take charge or be held accountable. This is a far cry from what we have seen in the past 8 years. What I find to be upsetting is how certain media outlets are being picky about every move he is making, such as his blackberry. I don't think the American people are too concerned about that right now. What is on our mind is how are we going to continue to pay our bills or where can we go find work. Finally, THANK YOU for always being fair and reporting the news we want to hear.

    January 23, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  44. Susan Shelley

    Great points all David. But the important question that needs to be answered is, "Where'd you get that hat you wore on election night? Made my heart swoon."

    January 23, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  45. Lisa

    Hmmm, I don't think I trust the CEOs "who know how to make things happen in the business world" nor the "experts" regarding the stimulus/ bailout package. Quite a few of those CEOs have gotten us to where we are now. Of course, there is nothing like turning the fox loose in the hen house.

    Frankly, I cannot think of any president who, on their first day in office, has had to face the challenges and issues Obama has. If he can successfully resolve 2 or 3 of those within the next 8 years, let alone 4 years (or really, 2.5 as he will start on his campaign for re-election about mid 2010 – don't they all?), he will go down as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, president of all time.

    January 23, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  46. Ingrid from Northern Virginia

    Always appreciate your insight, David. Look forward to watching tonight and hearing more..

    January 23, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  47. Lisa Atchley

    I don't know if all will be perfect....Will this help with the peace process in the Middle East?...Will some of the detainees return to terror? Will he get both sides of the aisle to work together on the economy? I don't know, but what I am sure of is this simple fact....I went to sleep last night and awoke this morning to a different world and I felt more sure of it and more safe than I have felt in at least 4 years.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  48. JC- Los Angeles

    David, you ask "where are the CEOs who know how to make things happen in the business world?"

    The answer lies with all the hard working, self-made, experienced, talented, business leaders who, unfortunately, rarely get their due since they are downsized by worthless leadership and horrid executives.

    The CEOs that our nation needs are not the ones garnering today's attention but rather the ones that have yet to reach the lofty position that their skill sets so warrant.

    When the day finally comes when politicians, executives and CEOs are selected based upon their accomplishments rather than bloodlines or connections, you will have your question answered.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  49. spamonigiri

    Also, aren't there any middle aged, Middle Eastern Americans that are qualified to be envoys to the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc.

    Honestly, what makes you think those countries that we are trying to build rapport with are going to take us seriously when we keep on resuscitating white, bluehair males to do our bidding.

    We can send an Afghani to the UN as a US ambassador but we don't have any accomplished Middle East Americans to represent us in countries our administration repeatedly demonstrates it really knows nothing about.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  50. spamonigiri

    Hey what about the swell of Marxist fervor south of the border? It seemed like Mexico and South and Central America were completely off the radar during 43's run. Certainly, MSM has been off this story since close to 41.

    Aren't we missing the point about securing our borders when we are spending so many dollars and so much manpower overseas?

    January 23, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
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