Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Obama “Presumptuous” & Negotiations Overstep His Authority

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008
CNN Reporters: Obama “Presumptuous” & Negotiations Overstep His Authority as a Senator
Last night on Anderson Cooper 360, two CNN political analysts charged that Senator Obama overstepped his authority as a United States Senator in acting as a negotiator with the Iraqi government and publicly disclosing statements made during those interviews.

During an interview with Anderson Cooper, David Gergen, CNN’s Senior Political Analyst stated,

“Barack Obama made the first mistake of his trip, in my judgment, in releasing a statement in which he said exactly what Maliki had said in those conversations.

We have a long tradition in this country that we only have one president at a time. He’s the commander in chief and the negotiator in chief. I cannot remember a campaign which a rival seeking the presidency has been in a position negotiating a war that’s under way with another party outside the country.

I think he leaves himself open to the charge tonight that he’s meddling, that this is not his role, that he can be the critic, but he’s not the negotiator. We have a president who does that. So, I think the underlying facts support him, but I think it would be a real mistake — and I think it was a mistake — to get into these conversations and let it be used politically. “

Gergens comments were later echoed by a second CNN Analyst, Gloria Borger, who charged,

“I do agree with David. And Candy, in her earlier piece, talked about walking the fine line between being this candidate and being presumptuous. And I think that he may just have crossed that, because, you know, it is a tradition. You don’t talk about these private conversations. And it’s not up to Barack Obama right now to negotiate troop withdrawals. It’s up to Barack Obama to be on a fact-finding mission, which is indeed what he has said he was on. “

Gergen and Borger have it right, Senator Obama is not the President and in fact is not even the official presidential nominee of his party. Obama’s trip to Iraq is a taxpayer funded “Fact-Finding” mission in which he has no authority granted to him by congress nor the administration to engage in negotiations. His actions yesterday were indeed ‘presumptuous’ and violated his duties as a United States Senator.

The President of The United States is responsible for the course of foreign policy, and although Obama has the right to question or criticize that foreign policy, he has no constitutional authority to act in a negotiative role with foreign dignitaries.

The current administration is in ongoing negotiations with the Iraqi government concerning the role of US forces in assisting that government; a government that has been strengthened by a ’surge’ that Barack Obama opposed and claimed would fail. Obama overstepped his role as a Senator and potentially undermined ongoing negotiations by engaging in diplomatic negotiations for his political gain.

Obama actions yesterday should be condemned by other members of congress, just as former President Carter’s actions in Palestine earlier this year were condemned by congressional members. Obama is not the President and he is on a taxpayer funded fact-finding mission. Senator Obama’s actions in Iraq yesterday clearly demonstrated his use of this trip for political purposes; the military should immediately pull funding for the trip and charge the Obama campaign for the millions of dollars that this overseas farce is costing.

No Congressional Member has the authority to engage in negotiations or dictate US foreign policy. Yesterday’s actions show a clear arrogance and lack of respect for the office of the presidency and state department.

J Brown

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Anonymous said...

Ok Are you PUMAs for real or is this some Right Wing tactic. I can't believe that true democrates and true voters would rather see McCain in office especially with this economy than Obama. face it folks she lost sorry.....

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this piece. I don't watch MSM anymore, so was not aware of the details of what was going on with Obama's trip to the Middle East. Arrogant, presumptuous, stupid. What's new.

To Poster #1, all I can say is, this isn't some game. I find it absurd when I read comments like: "face it folks, she lost". We're not talking about a chilld's board game. This is the person who may well become the leader of the free world.

And, by the way, from the perspective of the popular vote, Clinton surely did not lose. She won. So, even if you want to play that game, it's not so simple.

Bottom line, neither candidate has the delegates and it comes down to SD's. Until the convention nothing is official or legal. Period.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rockin Robin said...

Obama is doing the "fake it till you make it routine". He is out there pretending he is the President of the United States. He is basically inspersonating the president.

He is desperately trying to convince the world that he is presidential material but by the looks of it, all he is doing is getting a glimpes at the reality of foreign policy.

As a presumed nominee for the presidential race, Obama has no business cutting deals, offering solutions, or butting in with foreign affairs.

He is a junior US Senator with hardly any experience at the US Senate level let alone a world leader.

Please ignore the ignorance of anonymous above... he, and I know who you are, is trying to disqualify the PUMA movement by referring to them as planted Republicans ~ which is just as bad as calling the the disaffected democrats who voted for Hillary as bitter losers.

Gee that helps to unite the democratic party.

Beth said...

First of all, Obama didn't leak his conversations with the Iraqis, the Iraqis did. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was the one who told a German magazine he/they agreed with Obama's withdrawl timetable.

Second, where are the posts here denouncing McCain's trips abroad as a candidate?

You don't like Obama, fine. You want someone else as the nominee, fine.

But you should a) get your facts straight and b) be consistant.

Anonymous said...

To Beth: While I can see your point regarding consistency, in theory, the reality is that this organization, web site and blog has a particular vision. As such, like any and all organizations with a vision and a mission, the thrust of what's published here supports that mission. If your point were to be taken literally, then Obama's web site would have to have an infinite number of pieces about Clinton, etc that might dispell Obama's own claim to being the superior candidate. Obviously, his web site does not do that. That's just the reality of how things work.

If you read this, it'd be great if you posted a link to where you go your information regarding the leak. I, for one, would be interested. Meanwhile, I'll take CNN as a pretty good litmus test re: corroboration on the perspective of this piece. It raises it to the level that is beyond rumor or the mere rant of an internet blogger.

PS If anyone wants to contact the White House by phone about this, the White House Comment Line is:
(202) 456-1111


vrajavala said...

What happened to the Logan Act?
He should be prosecuted.
He has narcissistic personality disorder

HiLLGAL2008 said...

I enjoy the fact that others have finally picked up on the presumtive versus presumptous...which he is. YES.. YES...we are for REAL and Yes, we PUMAS.. and I mean this in the most respectful way..your comments are welcome on "his" web blogs, not ours, why do you keep snooping here?...I must get behind the second poster...she didn't lose. She won the popular vote. Had the Democratic Party operated as the Republicans do she would have been the nominee...but,lets don't count her out yet..nothing is for sure and she could still be the nominee in Denver and I know you don't want to face that...
As to the this trip..Wouldn't you think he would have gone there before he discussed how to do things the right way...? I mean you wouldn't get behind the wheel of a car and drive before you learned how to drive and got a license would you? Now all of his statements about Iraq and Iran and Isreal are different than during his debates and press statements and it just makes him look stupid.Especially traveling with so many people to brief him on obviously things he knows nothing about..gues better late than never, but, it seems he is always better late than never, even with his church and Wright it took 20 years..to figure out he was in a radical racist church...

Patricia said...

I just happen to catch some of what those analysts had said and couldn't agree with them more...Obama is only trying to score "brownie" points with the American people...who gave him the right to take this trip at the cost of us taxpayers??? WE are so far in debt as it is....those "Stimulus" checks were worthless....and, our President thinks they helped...who did they help??
As for Hillary "losing"....she's no loser...it angers me when people say that...Hillary is a lady with so much class and savvy...And...you can be sure that she's just sitting back and watching Obama making a fool of himself...the man has no experience and rest assured...he gets elected in November....the US will have a bigger mess to deal with..."FOUR" YEARS is a long time to have someone in office and not know what the heck they are doing....I can only hope and pray that the SD's wake up before the Convention and throw their support to HILLARY CLINTON....She is the best qualified!!!!

Anonymous said...

Glad he's on this trip so we can clearly see how power-hungry and dangerous he will be if elected.
Silicon Valley California Democrat

Anonymous said...

One more thought for Beth - The information leaking is just one aspect to what's troublesome. The larger problem is that Obama is playing a role that is not his to play.


Beth said...

As to the "leak" -

Talking heads aside, CNN's actual reporters and the news services tell a different story:


It's been all over the media - not to mention stories about al-Maliki complaining that Der Spiegel took his comments out of context. If you read German (I don't) I suppose you could also got to Der Spiegel's website and read it for yourself.

Your other point compares apples to oranges. I"m not suggesting that you argue for both sides, I'm suggesting you should hold all sides to the same standards.

If it's wrong for Obama, as a sitting Senator and Presidential candidate, to travel overseas and speak to foreign leaders, it is also wrong for Senator McCain to do so - and Senator McCain would by the way be Hillary's opponent as well if PUMA dreams come true and the SD's give her the nomination.

He's talking to people. He's not doing anything that hasn't been done before by dozens of Senators and Reps - including Senator Clinton.tlyns

Anonymous said...

Beth, remember big media (except FOX) are big Obama fans. They have demonstrated throughout the primaries their bias at every turn.

I do not trust anything big media has to say about Obama.

You do not see big media paint other senators as presidents to be.

You do not see big media cover other officials' meetings as if the second coming has arrived and the world will now be alright.

Latest Headline... "Obama tells Israel he's committed to its Security"

You don't see the news covering other Senators making such commitments do you?

Did CNN mention that Obama has his named carved into his new leather seats for the campaign airplane that also used tax payers' monies to paint his logo (in lieu of a american flag)?

Obama is a outright POSER that the media is now making a fool of.

Anonymous said...

Beth - I appreciate you coming back here and responding to questions. As to holding both "sides" to the same standard, I presume you're referring to Obama and McCain. But, we're not a McCain web site. For those who have any beef with things McCain is doing, they should absolutely contact him at his campaign web site.

And, in speaking for myself, even if there are things Obama is doing that are comparable with things McCain is doing, both of which let's assume for the moment are not the greatest, please try to appreciate that we have numerous issues 1) regarding profound concerns about Obama as the potential nominee, 2) regarding our ardent support of Senator Clinton's candidacy, and 3) regarding how the media and the DNC have handled and continue to handle this race. So, if we get a little sloppy here and there (and I'm not sure this is an example, but for the sake of argument), sorry. The overarching vision is much larger than the point you're picking at right now.


geonicki said...

The Logan Act is a United States federal law that forbids unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments. It was passed in 1799 and last amended in 1994. Violation of the Logan Act is a felony, punishable under federal law with imprisonment of up to three years.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this piece.

I have been calling our "presumptive" candidate "the presumptuous" for quite some time. He struts aboout about like a coronated king---this emperor with no clothes. So sad....

To Anonymous who posted at 7:55 am.

Yes indeed we Pumas are real. We are also---contrary to MSM propaganda-- a larger and far more diverse group than they would have you believe. I happen to be an college-educated, researcher in Kentucky. I also happen to be African American and a progressive.
I have only voted Republican once in my life--in a state electon.

I have no intention of voting for McCain. I will write in Clinton.

As a true democrat, I think the integrity of the process is just as important as the nominee we select. Sen. Clinton has been bullied out of a race she was winning--despite the media bias against her. She got more votes and I have no doubt that far more Democrats prefer Hillary over Obama. If this indeed is the case, would you still feel Obama should be the nominee?

As for the subject at hand.
Once again the MSM is shamelessly promoting Obama while practically dismissing his opponent.

All the major media have followed him on this junket. Where were they when McCain went to South America a couple of weeks ago? Even so, his bungling is mostly glossed over by the drooling press. Gergen should be commended.

As for Obama. it is ludicrous to think that after doing virtually nothing during his 3 year congressional career he will "establish international relationships" during this field trip. It is clearly more hype and circumstance--trying to distract the American public from the obvious---he is not qualified to be President.

Fortunately we are not so stupid that we will consider Obama qualified because he shakes hands with Karzai and plays a little basketball with the troops?

As for the "face it folks she lost sorry..." argument... It is customary for close races to be decided at the convention. Shouldn't her name be on the ballot? You bet! If we are going to let the press select our Presidents, why have a convention at all? In these economic times it would be an awful waste of effort, time and money PRETENDING to be Democratic.

Martina in KY

LoveAmerica said...

This is a letter sent to me by a Puma connection who is checking out its validity as we speak.
If this is true, the media is NOT doing its job covering Obama. SURPRISED? I'm not. Just sharing.
Letter is written by a soldier who saw Obama in Afganistan and this is what he observed.

Hello everyone,

As you know I am not a very political person. I just wanted to pass along that Senator Obama came to Bagram Afghanistan for about an hour on his visit to “The War Zone”. I wanted to share with you what happened.

He got off the plan and got into a bullet proof vehicle, got to the area to meet with the Major General (2 Star) who is the commander here at Bagram. As the Soldiers where lined up to shake his hand he blew them off and didn’t say a word as he went into the conference room to meet the General.

As he finished, the vehicles took him to the ClamShell (pretty much a big top tent that military personnel can play basketball or work out in with weights) so he could take his publicity pictures playing basketball. He again shunned the opportunity to talk to Soldiers to thank them for their service. So really he was just here to make a showing for the American’s back home that he is their candidate for President.

I think that if you are going to make an effort to come all the way over here you would thank those that are providing the freedom that they are providing for you. I swear we got more thanks from the NBA Basketball Players or the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders than from one of the Senators, who wants to be the President of the United States. I just don’t understand how anyone would want him to be our Commander-and-Chief. It was almost that he was scared to be around those that provide the freedom for him and our great country.

If this is blunt and to the point I am sorry but I wanted you all to know what
kind of caliber of person he really is. What you see in the news is all fake.

In service,
CPT J. P*****
Battle Captain

Anonymous said...

To me that just shows his elitist attitude and his arrogance in thinking he IS the POTUS already and it's his job to be negotiating with foreign dignitaries on issues that he he should not be!

Beth said...

"we're not a McCain web site."

Exactly, Anna. This is NOT a McCain site - which is why I would expect him held to the same scrutiny as Hillary's other opponents.

Rockin Robin said...

sorry Beth, this page is not against McCain.

It's not FOR McCain either although many people here are big Hillary supporters who have said all along if she is not the nominee then they would vote for the person who is most qualified for the sake of the country.

Yes, they are willing to put aside their policy preferences in order to secure a president that has experience.

Country before party.

Anonymous said...

Beth - Sorry, but you're picking at a small point in comparison to the litany of larger issues of concern that those of us in this movement have.

I appreciate intellectual rigor, but even if I, for one, conceded your point, it still wouldn't diminish any of the concerns I have about Obama or about how the media and the DNC have handled this primary season.


Scott said...

Geonicki says "The Logan Act is a United States federal law that forbids unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments."

So... presumably you believe that Obama should be given three years in prison for trying to restore the image of America in the Middle East and Europe and end a war that will cost us well over a trillion dollars, over 4,000 American lives and over a million innocent Iraqis all over WMD that didn't even exist.

So, what type of punishment would you give George W. Bush for lying to start this illegal war?

If you know the Logan Act, I'm certain you know that there is virtually unanimous agreement amont law professors world-wide that George W. Bush has violated the U.S. Constitution (supremacy act) by starting the war after the UN voted it down twice.

Even the Supreme Court has ruled against this baby killing street thug three times for torture and failure to provide habeas corpus, and violating the Geneva Convention.

Anonymous said...

Captain J. P says "you would thank those that are providing the freedom that they are providing for you."

Captain, everyone in America appreciates the sacrifice made by our soldiers.

Lost limbs, lost lives, lost busineses and lost marriages. Many will suffer disabilities for the rest of their lives.

There aren't enough words to thank you guys, or enough things we can do for you when you return home.

But, I think your anger is misplaced. The war in Iraq is not providing anyone with freedom. Not the Iraqi people who went from a secular nation to an Islamist state. Not the million+ Iraqis who died.

And certainly not America as this war has increased the size of al-Qaeda, invited them into a nation they didn't previously exist in, and fomented hatred of us world-wide.

You guys should be angry, but the anger should be directed at your Commander in Chief who lied to send you to war.

Beth said...

"Beth - Sorry, but you're picking at a small point in comparison to the litany of larger issues of concern that those of us in this movement have."

This blog condemns Obama - suggest he should be jailed, in fact - for activities that Senator McCain AND Senator Clinton have engaged in.

That puts the lie to the claim that posters here are untied by their support for Hillary - that's not a "small point" imo.

As to "country before party" _ I couldn't agree more. I didn't support Hillary with my time, my money, and my vote because she was a Democrat. I did so because I belived in what she stood for.

Which is why I can't fathom wanting to support, vote for, or even give a pass to a man like Senator McCain who's views are pretty much the opposite Hillary's.