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The Flip-Flop Brothers - Both McCain and Obama wobbled. Who will pay the price?
Slate.com ^ | June 21st, 2008 | John Dickerson

Posted on 06/21/2008 5:38:44 PM PDT by The_Republican

This was the week for public backtracking. John McCain announced his support for offshore drilling, which he opposed as recently as January. Barack Obama reversed his pledge to accept federal financing for his presidential campaign by rejecting public funds. My first inclination was that both men wouldn't suffer much from their reversals. With gas moving toward $5 at the pump, voters seeking relief aren't likely to penalize McCain for his flip-flop. (True, drilling may offer too little help too long from now, but never mind, at least he's trying.) Obama's flop, at first blush, would appear to matter to only the handful of voters who care enough about public financing to get exercised about Obama's decision to forgo the system. After all, his campaign is fueled by hundreds of thousands of regular people giving small donations. That's a good thing and doesn't seem like a threat to Democracy.

But the two changes of heart this week illustrate that there's a difference between changing your policy position and breaking a promise. McCain's altered stance on drilling (and the windfall profits tax) opens him up to charges that he's pandering and has no core principles. The damage his drilling plan might do to the environment recedes as a secondary critique. When Obama first reacted to McCain's proposal, he never mentioned the environment, but framed it as a weakness of leadership: "It's another example of short-term political posturing from Washington, not the long-term leadership we need to solve our dependence on oil."

But if these flip-flops reflect character attributes, then it's Obama who emerges more vulnerable. Breaking a promise is a problem of a higher order than changing a policy position. Our mothers told us not to break promises; they were silent on the question of drilling.

(Excerpt) Read more at slate.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2008; campaignfinance; energy; environment; flipflop; mccain; obama; slate

1 posted on 06/21/2008 5:38:45 PM PDT by The_Republican
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To: The_Republican

I don’t think either of them will pay the price. McCain flip-flopped, but only because the price of gas hit $4.50. No one cares about public finance. In fact, most of your conservatives don’t think it should exist at all.


2 posted on 06/21/2008 5:44:33 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: The_Republican
What is really interesting about this article, favorable to McCain by comparison, is that it was published in Slate. I think the analysis is correct, that Obama's bail-out is worse than McCain's, considered in context. But for someone in Slate to recognize that?

Veddy innerestin'.

Congressman Billybob

Latest article, "Barack (Rorschach) Obama"

3 posted on 06/21/2008 5:47:26 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob ( www.ArmorforCongress.com)
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To: Congressman Billybob

I’ve always thought a “flip-flop” because of fundamental changes in society or the world isn’t a flip-flop; it’s called a correction and reaction. Just like you’ll substitute a nickel package for defense depending upon the situation. It doesn’t mean the former 7 man line defense was wrong.

However, a flip-flop for purely political or personal gain reasons IS a flip-flop and wrong.

I thin Slate is starting to understand...:)


4 posted on 06/21/2008 6:34:42 PM PDT by PugetSoundSoldier (Indignation over the sting of truth is the defense of the indefensible)
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To: The_Republican

They’ve been covering for Obama for months. And he repays them by breaking one of the big promises that made them back him in the first place. He’s bit the hand that feeds him. Whether they decide to let it slide remains to be seen, and how the wiretapping vote plays out can push them in either direction.


5 posted on 06/21/2008 11:22:33 PM PDT by COgamer
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