Obama ruled out the use of nuclear weapons to go after al Qaeda or Taliban targets in Afghanistan or Pakistan, prompting Clinton to say presidents never take the nuclear option off the table, and extending their feud over whether Obama has enough experience to be elected president in November 2008.
Obama struck the tough tone after Clinton accused him of being naive and irresponsible for saying in a debate last week he would be willing to meet without preconditions the leaders of hostile nations Iran, Cuba, Syria, North Korea and Venezuela in his first year in office.
Clinton's position was that she would only meet those leaders after careful lower-level diplomacy bore fruit. Obama said she represented conventional thinking in line with that of the Bush administration and would not bring the fundamental change Americans need.
The New York senator and former first lady quickly pounced on Obama's remark about nuclear weapons at a Capitol Hill news conference.
"I think presidents should be very careful at all times in discussing the use, or non-use, of nuclear weapons," she said.
"Presidents since the Cold War have used nuclear deterrence to keep the peace. And I don't believe that any president should make any blanket statements with respect to the use or non-use of nuclear weapons," she said.
So Hillary's "blasting" Obama because, in the quest to find and destroy individual Al Qaeda officials and small training camps, he thinks it would be foolish to use... a nuclear warhead? In a country with the bomb??? I'm sorry, where's the naivety here? Isn't it basic logic to say that a bomb that wipes out entire cities and the use of which would trigger nuclear war would make a pretty bad choice to use against individuals who can be killed with... gosh, lemme think about this... a regular bomb? Or a sniper's bullet?
But, of course, Hillary doesn't think a nuke is a good idea, either. That's why she has to frame her argument in generalities; when the actual details of the scenario enter the picture, her point becomes ridiculous. Hillary could've made the exact same argument if Obama said he wouldn't kill terrorists in land-locked Afghanistan with navy gunships: "Well, naval gunships have kept the peace since the Cold War...a president should never take the use of naval gunships off the table..."
It may seem like a small point, but this is really bothering me because a) I haven't seen any of the other Dem candidates so brazenly spinning everyone else's arguments, b) this is now the third time in as many weeks that she's spun an argument in the direction of hawkishness.
Tack this onto her plan to "withdraw" from Iraq that would leave as many as 50,000 troops there, her hiring of at least one notorious unionbuster to a high level campaign position, and, of course, her f**king flag burning amendment in the senate, and I'm just not seeing a good Democratic candidate for president. I see some pandering in there, a whole lot of compromising of values, and no small amount of misleading her supporters, but not much of the type of person I want to see be president.