Sunday Talk Shows: Clinton and Gates forced to twist and define Obama’s Afghanistan “deadline”

I am just going to include a couple bites from the Sunday morning shows because anymore than that would have Justice and Eric Holder all over me for torture.

It’s one of those moments when I actually feel sorry for Secretary Clinton … and poor Robert Gates, who’s up first trying to explain Obama’s date certain as … well … not really a date certain. It even makes him choke on the words.


That’s some fine twisting, but nothing compared to Secretary Clinton’s response to the same question on Meet The Press. It’s not an exit date … it’s an assessment. Oh brother.


Just as a refresher … here is what the president actually said. I don’t hear much wiggle room.


It’s torture really, for them and us. Even the left is beginning to notice the vacuous nature of this President’s speeches. Tina Brown offers clarity herself, and it makes this administration look either comical or inept or both. Via: Instapundit

It’s a strange paradox for a great wordsmith, but whenever Obama makes an important policy speech these days he leaves everyone totally confused. His first health-care press conference back in July triggered a season of raucous political Rorschach and left his hopeful followers utterly baffled about what they were being asked to support. Now White House envoys are being dispatched all over the globe to explain what the president really meant about the date when troops will or won’t be pulled out of Afghanistan. Hillary, you go to the Hill! Take Gates and Adm. Mullen with you. Holbrooke, off to Brussels! And you, Gen. Petraeus, you go on 360 and hit Anderson Cooper with jargony dog whistle caveats like “the pace of the drawdown is conditions-based.” Does Obama create confusion on purpose?

This is what comes from a President whose heart is not in a war he told America he would win and a President whose heart is with the left, forcing him to hold his nose as he orders troops into Afghanistan hoping the strategy works before he is forced to withdraw. In my view, it doesn’t make for good leadership or instill confidence in either the American or Afghan people.

Secretary Gates: I will sit on McChrystal’s report until its appropriate Update: More video

It’s a pretty good exchange between George Stephanopoulos and Defense Secretary Robert Gates. The subject is General McChrystal’s Afghan memorandum on the need for 40,000 additional troops or they will fail.

Gates never wavers. I will wait to pass the memo on until the President is ready.


George has the stronger point I think. McChrystal wouldn’t ask for more troops if he thought additional people would be suicidal. On the other hand not sending them quickly, might be. But then again, I’m not a General.

UPDATE: Rather than add a new post this actually first well here. The debate to honor the General’s request or sit on it takes more meaning in this context.


Hey, no one is saying Robert Gates is being calous about this … but my question to you my little RVO readers is this. Wait to send troops until we are sure of the mission and possibly risk the lives of soldiers who are undermanned? Or do we honor the General’s request and win this now … but risk higher casualty numbers?