Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sen. Nunn: "Yes, We Can"

Can Barack Obama put together a national security strategy? Former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn tells Barack Obama, “Yes, we can.” The highly respected expert on national defense and long-time chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, not only endorsed Sen. Obama for President, but he also agreed to serve in an advisory capacity to the Obama campaign. If this is the shape of the Obama national security team, it could not be better. Also joining the Obama campaign as a national defense advisor is former Oklahoma Senator and Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee David Boren. These guys are not the George McGovern wing of the Democratic Party. They are not even the Kennedy-Kerry wing of the Democratic Party. Although neither Nunn nor Boren is a super delegate, these Super-Democrats are old-school, internationalist, moderate Scoop Jackson Democrats of no wing at all but what used to be the serious, sober center of the Democratic Party until the right-wingers all flew off to become Republicans.

Nunn is a native of Perry, Georgia. My friend Tina Simms, retired middle-Georgia public school teacher, who now lives in Perry, says “it's the talk of the town down here. Perry is full of people who went to high school with Sam Nunn or who are related to him, or who know him well.” Upon the announcement of Nunn’s endorsement of Obama, speculation in the press and elsewhere immediately surfaced about Nunn as a Vice Presidential running mate for Obama. My guess is more like Secretary of Defense. My candidate for Obama’s Vice President is Senator Jim Webb of Virginia.

Also endorsing Obama this week was Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton. Despite “the pull of old friendships,” Reich, now a professor at UC Berkeley, has been critical of both Clintons during the Democratic primaries but has been reluctant to be “openly partisan,” he says. “But my conscience won't let me be silent any longer. I believe that Barack Obama should be elected President of the United States.”

Sen. Obama “presents the best chance of creating a new politics in which citizens become active participants rather than cynical spectators. He has energized many who had given up on politics. He has engaged young people to an extent not seen in decades.” Reich was raised in Scranton Pa., where his father sold $1.98 shirts to families of factory workers. Reich was a movie-date of Hillary Rodham’s when they were students at elite New England colleges. He says she liked lots and lots of butter on her popcorn.

If Reich sees James Carville coming, maybe he should cross the street. Not to mention George Stephanopoulos, former public relations chief for Bill Clinton. Stephanopoulos is now in the employ of ABC, the TV network owned by Walt Disney. Why has a tsunami of complaints come as a surprise to ABC after its shameful tabloid journalism presentation of the last Democratic Presidential Debate? Stephanopoulos asked, “Sen. Obama, do you think Rev. Wright is as patriotic as you are?” Didn’t it occur to any of the Mouseketeers at ABC news that perhaps Stephanopoulos should recuse himself to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest?

Copyright 2008 by William C. Cotter


Tina said...

Sen. Nunn's endorsement of Barack Obama surely adds additional strength and credibility to a campaign that already leads the pack in strength and credibility.

jackie said...

I am furious at Stepanopolous and Gibson for that hash of a debate. Lapel pins, for God's sake. They are smart men; why did they turn that debate into trivial pursuit.
Bill, I love reading your blogs.

No Spring Chicken said...

From Perry, Georgia -- Perryans generally are very proud of Sam Nunn and for all the right reasons. I would hope that we wind up with the former senator back in Washington in a key position because he's the best man on nuclear proliferation issues and understands national defense.
I support Obama because I think he's a critical thinker who understands how decisions should be made. I think it's essential that we have a president who is smart enough to surround himself with the best and the brightest and then listen to them. We're all elitists about something and I'm that way about wanting super-smart people with disciplined minds in charge of the government. It happens that he's charismatic and a great orator, too, but that's just icing on the cake.
I know that for many people the economy is the main issue, but I'm still traumatized by 9-11, and for me it really is about foreign policy, and about undoing the damage the Bush administration has done in the Middle East -- Not just about extricating ourselves from the quagmire in Iraq, but also about keeping a lid on Iran and Afghanistan, and making sure the hotheads don't start a nuclear war. I don't have any idea what all the answers are. I just know that we need smart, well-informed, serious people who can THINK, and aren't making money on the strategy.
Anyway, thanks for your good article, and let's hear it for Sam Nunn, Braack Obama and gravitas!


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