Friday, March 07, 2008

What if Clinton or Obama took the lead on a major issue?

I’ll be brief.

You know what I would like to see from the Presidential candidates who just so happen to be Senators in a time where the current political climate is crying for real leadership from prominent members of the Senate? I’d like to see them take a step back - even if for a day or two - even in a major speech, hell, even in a campaign advertisement - and really step up on one of the many issues that is facing this country right now.

They have run two very different and two very successful campaigns. I approve of one a lot less than the other, but even with all that “the other” campaign has said, done or focused on, if that Senator actually spoke out strongly and forcefully about telecom immunity, or the ongoing funding of total destruction, loss of life and waste in Iraq, or some of the other laws being ignored or broken by this administration, then I wouldn’t care about the rest of the campaign.

That Senator would really impress me.

Or if either of them used the enormous amount of exposure and attention they have to demonstrate leadership on the issues that they will have to deal with if elected President, like conducting real oversight and promising to hold those accountable for breaking the law or really speaking out against and taking steps to ending the power grab that the Executive Branch has made, or even coming to Washington DC to stand with Senate leaders like Chris Dodd in defending the Constitution.

There is a long time between now and the Pennsylvania primary. Both campaigns just raised scads of money. This is the time to demonstrate leadership, not just talk about it.

There is a great way to show how you would be a strong and respected Commander in Chief. Not by saying that you would. Not by saying that the other one wouldn’t. But by being honest and open and candid about what is happening on the ground in Iraq, by recognizing and putting pressure on other Senators to start ending this debacle NOW, not three months after being elected.


Start putting pressure on those who ignore the law or abet lawbreaking. Like Mukasey. Like the others who want retroactive immunity to protect Bush. Like those who ignored subpoenas. Or those who decided to stop looking for the missing emails.

If either of them wanted to really stand out from the other, if either of them demonstrated the leadership that they say they have and the other one doesn’t have, if either of them took the next few weeks to step up at the job they were elected to do, that would convince a lot of people that they are ready for the job they hope to get.

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