Friday, April 27, 2007

regarding "Right of Passage", above

photo: MSNBC/

I was going to leave the following as a comment to Rob's post directly above, but blogger's interface has been causing me difficulty:

I didn't see the SC debate, but I read about it in a couple of places, including this LA Times item which discusses Gravel's exchange with Obama:

The format for the 90-minute debate allowed each candidate a total of 11 minutes to talk — giving Kucinich and Gravel, both of whom have a negligible showing in polls, equal time with the front-runners, which they used to take aggressive hits at Clinton and Obama.

The dynamic produced at least one memorable exchange, in which Gravel knocked Obama for saying he would not rule out any options in responding to Iran's nuclear program.

"Who the hell are we going to nuke? Tell me, Barack," Gravel said.

"I'm not planning to nuke anybody right now, Mike. I promise," Obama said, his words muffled by audience laughter.

aside from the annoyance I felt that the LAT writers felt compelled to frame their discussion of Gravel by introducing him as a suspect non-entity, as opposed to describing him more objectively as simply a less well-known candidate and former US Senator, it occurred to me that Obama will get credit for disavowing his previous comment that "all options are on the table", while also being able to finesse his position in suggesting he was just joking, and is "just as tough as ever" in his stance towards Iran-- and undoubtedly he will do so shortly.

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