NARDI: The double standard of Obama



Tom Nardi

Note from the author: Tom Nardi is a Hillary Clinton supporter and a co-founder of the unofficial Villanovans for Hillary group.

It’s a rough gig, opposing change and hope. I want the skies to open up as much as the next guy, and I hear those celestial choirs sing a pretty mean tune.

But while I remain grounded, I have rationally decided to support Hillary Clinton. She wasn’t my first pick, but I dislike Obama more.

Clinton and her campaign might be distasteful, but at least they are honest about it. Obama, on the other hand, is a hypocrite, in reference to his “judgment” and his so-called “post-partisanship.”

Speaking on campus, Michelle Obama took time to apologize for appearing to attack her opponents.

“[Y]ou don’t tear your opponents apart,” she said, “because you never know when you might need to sit down and work with them.”

Yet throughout the campaign, the Obamas have attacked Clinton. In her speech, Mrs. Obama raked Hillary – without mentioning her – over the coals for voting to authorize the Iraq War. In July 2007, Sen.Obama himself called Clinton “Bush-Cheney lite.” Recently, former foreign policy advisor Samantha Power called Hillary “a monster.” And at their Iowa victory party, the Obamas entered with Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” playing in the background.

But none of that was meant as a jab, you see. It wasn’t tearing down an opponent. The Obamas are better than that. They are “post-partisan” after all.

They also apparently have better judgment. The Obama campaign has made much of the fact that Obama opposed the Iraq War in 2002. Clinton, they claim, while having the experience lacks the judgment to make a good decision.

I grant that Obama opposed the war in 2002. But how else has he expressed his exemplary judgment?

In 2004, Obama told The New York Times “he was not sure whether he would have voted against” authorizing the Iraq War .

In 2006, while sitting in the Senate, he said, “I didn’t have the benefit of U.S. intelligence … [F]or those who did, it might have led to a different set of choices.”

Such as a sitting U.S. senator voting for authorization, perhaps?

He has used more than his words to hedge his Iraq criticism. Since his entry to the Senate, Obama’s voting record on Iraq has been nearly identical to Clinton’s. The only difference was the vote to confirm George Casey, former commander of the Multi-National Force in Iraq from 2004 until 2007, as the Army chief of staff.

Obama voted with the overwhelming majority to confirm. Clinton, however, voted nay – in a move widely considered a rebuke of Iraq policy.

Michelle Obama criticized supporters of the Iraq authorization in her speech. She said only her husband had the “courage to stand up” and speak out against war in 2002. That’s fine. But even I opposed the war in 2002.

When Obama got in a position to affect national policy, he folded. He voted to fund the war and agreed to remove timetables George Bush found disagreeable.

And now he has the audacity to condemn Clinton for voting aye when he was too cowardly to vote nay.

But it isn’t only on Iraq that Senator Obama’s judgment fails to live up to the hype.

When the Senate considered the Lieberman-Kyl Amendment, which some claim can be interpreted as an authorization for war with Iran, Clinton voted aye.

After the vote, Obama said he “oppose[s] that amendment because … it potentially provides a slippery slope in how the president can use that language to engage in additional authority to engage in the war in Iran.”

While that’s it lovely rhetoric, Obama took his vaunted judgment and courage and skipped that vote.

So while he couldn’t be bothered to vote one way or another, Clinton shouldn’t be trusted because she took a stand.

It must be great to be able to do no wrong.


Tom Nardi is a senior political science major from Philadelphia, Pa. He can be reached at [email protected].