Campaign 2008

Posted: 9/4/08


Obama Talks with O'Reilly: Part One

September 4, 2008
by Diane W. Collins


Tonight, in a long awaited interview with Fox News talk show host, Bill O'Reilly, Senator Barack Obama answered questions regarding America's national security. The discussion ran through Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and "perverted Islam" as opposed to Islam.


At first, the interview threatened to become lost in the details as Senator Obama pointed to the differences in the Middle East region with regard to al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Sunni and Shiite and how they are "not all related", yet individually present a threat.


O'Reilly was quick to simplify the discussion directly asking the Senator, "How threatening is Iran?" Obama indicated currently, Iran was not much of a threat. O'Reilly pressed further asking about nuclear weapons, presidential decision making and the need for a security plan. He ended his rapid fire with, "What is your plan, Senator?" Obama responded, "Here is where we agree. A nuclear Iran is not acceptable." O'Reilly: "Would you go to war?" Obama: "Nothing's off the table." However, Obama added that he did not think we had fully exhausted diplomacy in the case of Iran. Neville, is thy name Obama? What will be this generation's peace offering / sacrifice should the Senator obtain the goal of President? Georgia, perhaps? Russia looms large in this theater.


O'Reilly turned to the surge in Iraq. O'Reilly: "Was the surge successful?" Senator Obama went his furthest to date during the O'Reilly interview in stating the surge had been successful, but Obama would not concede that he was wrong in voting against the surge. (Huh?) Obama said things were different now from the way they were when he voted. Yes, Senator they are. We're winning, evidenced by our turning over control of the Anbar Province to Iraq... because the surge was successful.


What I took away from O'Reilly's Part One interview with Obama is that the Senator is a very learned man with an extremely detailed mind bent on winning. Fascinating, actually. But also I saw in Obama the naivety of a professor with a view on foreign affairs formed in ivory towers not on battle fields. I saw a man who did not seem capable of conceding, basing his defense on technicalities that made him appear almost small minded and frankly, immature.


Overall impression? The O'Reilly interview left me asking the question, "Is there an Obama ego that will keep him from making the right decisions?" Did we see it in evidence tonight? Did we see it when he walked away from Hillary?