After being personally fed up all day yesterday, I find two quotes from Political Wire that illustrate part of a frustration I feel building in many people.
“Can I honestly tell you I spend not a nanosecond listening to what each of them are saying sniping toward each other, so I have no idea what you’re talking about.”– John Edwards, quoted by CNN, on Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama criticizing each other.
Trying to get us to believe that he’s ignoring a major part of the race, the interplay of his two most powerful opponents, simply seems disingenuous. While he may be telling the truth, which I doubt, I believe every candidate must stay current on the opponents comments. Why? Because it’s possible in the midst of a campaign to actually learn something! Perhaps someone will say something that impacts his health care plans. By ignoring the opposition, even in the midst of this current idiocy, John Edwards has no chance to hear something of significance. Listening to each other ‘should’ be a major part of the campaign.
Have any of them personally read the health care proposals of the other candidates? It’s an interesting question.
Second, Joe Biden again makes the most common-sense comment yet about Pakistan:
“What exactly would it take for the president to conclude Musharraf has crossed the line? Suspend the constitution? Impose emergency law? Beat and jail his political opponents and human rights activists? He’s already done all that. If the president sees Musharraf as a democrat, he must be wearing the same glasses he had on when he looked in Vladimir Putin’s soul.”
— Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE), quoted by the Washington Post.
Joe Biden may be the most media-underrated candidate in the race. His Pakistan proposal for action resulted in the Kerry-Biden resolution in the Senate. He’s made other ‘spot-on’ comments time after time in this campaign. Yet he gets relatively little coverage.
On the topic of Pakistan I believe he has made more sense than anyone else in the race. In an address he made to the Center for US Global Engagement sponsored by The New Hampshire Institute for Politics he says,
“It is hard to imagine a greater nightmare for America than the world’s second-largest Muslim nation becoming a failed state in fundamentalist hands, with an arsenal of nuclear weapons and a population larger than those of Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and North Korea combined. To prevent that nightmare from becoming a reality, I believe we need to do three things:…”
Candidates that may not listen to one another, substantive candidates like Biden and Dodd being ignored by the traditional media and dismissed by large parts of the progressive blogsphere, are two parts of the sense of frustration that may be building in voters.