Saturday, August 2, 2008

Obama's Trip Backfires; McCain Surges to 4-Point Lead in USA Today/Gallup Poll

Original Link:

A surprising poll released Monday confirms Sen. Barack Obama's worst nightmare: he actually lost ground to Sen. John McCain after a global trip meant to buck up his sagging credentials in foreign and military policy.

The USA Today/Gallup poll has McCain leading Obama by four points, 49 percent to Obama's 45 percent, among likely voters.

Just last month, the same poll had McCain trailing by six points to the neophyte U.S. senator.

Among registered voters, McCain was just three points behind Obama -- a statistical dead heat.

The USA Today/Gallup poll is consistent with the Rasmussen tracking poll, which also shows Obama ahead by just three percentage points -- again a statistical tie.

The polls suggest that Obama's efforts to act like a president abroad -- even though he has yet to be elected -- may have backfired among American voters.

In Berlin, Obama spoke to 200,000 cheering Germans. The Democratic candidate used the foreign platform to express the view that he was a "fellow citizen of the world" and apologized for America's imperfections.

Later, he decided not to visit wounded American soldiers at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in southern Germany. When the Pentagon informed Obama's campaign that the hospital would be closed to the press and campaign staff -- only the senator and his official staff would be allowed in -- Obama decided to cancel the event.

McCain has been quick to seize on Obama's ill-advised decision to cancel the humanitarian visit to the hospital.

A McCain television commercial released on the Internet this past weekend chided Obama for his callous act.

"And now, he made time to go to the gym, but canceled a visit with wounded troops,” the ad says. “Seems the Pentagon wouldn’t allow him to bring cameras. John McCain is always there for our troops.”

If the Pakistani army will not clean out the border regions, how can we accomplish it with pinprick strikes by Special Forces, or Predators and F-16s, which invariably cause civilian casualties?

Afghanistan, in and of itself, is of no strategic importance, if it is not a base camp for al-Qaeda. Loss of Pakistan to Islamism, however, a nation of 170 million Muslims with atomic bombs, would be a calamity for the Near East and United States.

Under the (Colin) Powell Doctrine for fighting wars, questions must be asked and answered affirmatively before committing U.S. troops:

Is a vital U.S. interest imperiled here? Do we have a defined and attainable objective? Have the risks and costs been fully weighed? Is there an exit strategy? Is the war supported by a united nation?

How many of these questions did Obama ask himself before pledging 10,000 more U.S combat troops to what will surely become, should he win, "Obama's war" even as Iraq has become "Bush's war"?

No comments: