Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Two big endorsements for Obama

You already know about Powell's endorsement of Obama. You could well say that you don't care, since he forfeited all claim to be taken seriously when he lied to the UN. I think it's kind of a big deal because, whether he deserves to be taken seriously or not, there are still plenty of people who do.

Now there are two new big endorsements.

Zbigniew Brezezinski's endorsement isn't really new; he's been supporting Obama for a long time. I was never a big fan of his. When he worked for Carter he was a real hawk, possibly based on his own experience, but still, consistent with Carter's conservative administration. He has been highly critical of Bush's war, though, and what he has to say about Obama is great, not only because it's one more voice for our guy, but because of how he makes it clear that it is Obama, not McCain, who has the character, judgment, and gravitas for the position. Plus, he utterly silenced Joe Scarborough this morning, always a good thing.

The other new endorsement for Obama is a real blast from the past. You may remember Kenneth Adelman from the days when he was Reagan's guy on arms control. These were in the days when people were talking about the nuclear freeze, and in his confirmation hearings he couldn't go so far as to say it might be good if there were no nuclear weapons. A real paleo-conservative.

Today in the New Yorker, George Packer reports that Adelman is backing Obama. Here's why Adelman says he's doing it:

Primarily for two reasons, those of temperament and of judgment.

When the economic crisis broke, I found John McCain bouncing all over the place. In those first few crisis days, he was impetuous, inconsistent, and imprudent; ending up just plain weird. Having worked with Ronald Reagan for seven years, and been with him in his critical three summits with Gorbachev, I’ve concluded that that’s no way a president can act under pressure.

Second is judgment. The most important decision John McCain made in his long campaign was deciding on a running mate.

That decision showed appalling lack of judgment. Not only is Sarah Palin not close to being acceptable in high office—I would not have hired her for even a mid-level post in the arms-control agency. But that selection contradicted McCain’s main two, and best two, themes for his campaign—Country First, and experience counts. Neither can he credibly claim, post-Palin pick.


Of course, McCain still isn't alone. He has the support of mass murderer and war criminal Henry Kissinger, for instance. Still, if there was anyone who could claim to be a serious thinker supporting McCain, that person has long since left the room.

Or, to put it another way, when McCain was selling experience he could claim that experience got you maturity, stability, character, and judgment. He has since thrown all those away, so what does he have left?

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