Monday, April 28, 2008

What a day for interviews!

Fox News actually did a splendid job of interviewing Mr. Obama. Thank you, Chris Wallace, for asking some real questions, and allowing them to be answered!

WALLACE: Senator, one of the central themes of your campaign is that you are a uniter, who will reach across the aisle and create a new kind of politics. Some of your detractors say that you are a paint by the numbers liberal and I’d like to explore this with you.

Over the years, John McCain has broken with his party and risked his career on a number of issues, campaign finance, immigration reform, banning torture. As a president, can you name a hot button issue where you would be willing to cross (ph) Democratic party line and say you know what, Republicans have a better idea here.

OBAMA: Well, I think there are a whole host of areas where Republicans in some cases may have a better idea.

WALLACE: Such as.

OBAMA: Well, on issues of regulation, I think that back in the ‘60s and ‘70s, a lot of the way we regulated industry was top down command and control. We’re going to tell businesses exactly how to do things.

And I think that the Republican party and people who thought about the margins (ph) came with the notion that you know what, if you simply set some guidelines, some rules and incentives for businesses, let them figure out how they’re going to for example reduce pollution. And a cap and trade system, for example, is a smarter way of doing it, controlling pollution, than dictating every single rule that a company has to abide by, which creates a lot of bureaucracy and red tape and oftentimes is less efficient.

I think that on issues of education, I have been very clear about the fact, and sometimes I have gotten in trouble with the teachers union on this, that we should be experimenting with charter schools. We should be experimenting with different ways of compensating teachers.


WALLACE: I want to ask you about presidents and listening to generals. Petraeus, I don’t have to tell you, is the architect of the troop surge, a strong advocate of our continued engagement in Iraq. If you become commander-in-chief and he says your plan to get out of Iraq is a mistake, will you replace him?

OBAMA: I will listen to General Petraeus, given the experience that he has accumulated over the last several years. It would be stupid of me to ignore what he has to say.

But it is my job as president, it would be my job as commander in chief to set the mission. To make the strategic decisions in light of the problems that we’re having in Afghanistan, in light of the problems that we are having in Pakistan, the fact that al Qaeda is strengthening as our National Intelligence Estimates have indicated since 2001.

And so we’ve got a whole host of tasks and I’ve also got to worry about the fact that the military has no strategic reserve right now. If we had an emergency in the Korean Peninsula, if we had an emergency elsewhere in the world, we don’t have the troops right now to deal with it. And that’s not my opinion, that’s –

WALLACE: So would you replace him or would you just say, I’m the commander-in-chief, here’s my order.

OBAMA: What I would do is say — what I will do is say we have a new mission. It is my strategic assessment that we have to provide a timetable to the Iraqi government. I want you to tell me how best to execute this new assignment and I am happy to listen to the tactical considerations and any ideas you have.

But what I will not do is continue to let the Iraqi government off the hook and allow them to put our foreign policy on ice while they dither about making decisions about how they are going to cooperate with each other.


WALLACE: Finally, and we have about a minute left, what have you learned in this campaign? And I don’t mean, gee, what a great country this is answer.

What mistakes have you made? What have you learned about running for president? What have you learned about yourself?

OBAMA: I’ve learned that I have what I believe is the right temperament for the presidency. Which is, I don’t get too high when I’m high and I don’t get too low when I’m low. And we’ve gone through all kinds of ups and downs.

People forget now that I had been written off last summer. People were writing many of the anguished articles that they’re not writing after our loss in Pennsylvania. On the other hand, after Iowa, when everybody was sure this was over, I think I was more measured and more cautious.

That I think is a temperamental strength.

In terms of what I’ve learned or mistakes that I’ve made, I’m making them all the time and usually it has to do with me talking too much instead of listening. And what I’ve also learned is how much I’ve missed my family and my kids and my wife and that’s been the biggest hardship of this campaign.


Anonymous said...

I find myself nearly unable to abide any of the news channels. To be honest almost any forum outside of the written word (and even there?) only seems to lend itself to sound bites and platitudes... of course any who think it was ever different need only read some of the exchanges between Octavian and Antony... spin and vulgarity... all with the mind to influence the mob.

Pretty Lady said...

I don't listen to them at all, actually. I only found this because Andrew Sullivan linked to it.