Sunday, July 13, 2008

On the Move

Oh my goodness.

If you had asked me five years ago if I'd be this proud of my Governor Schwarzenegger, I wouldn't have believed it. But he did our state proud today with George Stephanopoulos today, coming out strongly on the environment, praising Jimmy Carter's energy policies, saying that cheaper oil under Reagan just meant those opportunities were discarded, strong with the state against drilling off our coast, hard against the Cheney/Bush Administration saying basically not to bother with any attempted face-saving environmental initiatives in its last few months.

And he not only said he was willing to work with Obama on energy, he was open to a post if Obama does become Chief Executive:

That apparently prompted George Stephanopoulos, the moderator of “This Week,” to ask Mr. Schwarzenegger whether he would take a phone call from Mr. Obama if he was calling with an offer to be his energy and environment czar.

“I’d take his call now, and I’d take his call when he’s president — any time,” Mr. Schwarzenegger said. “Remember, no matter who is president, I don’t see this as a political thing. I see this as we always have to help, no matter what the administration is.”

Mr. Schwarzenegger also offered some praise for Mr. Obama, saying he disagreed with people who have criticized the senator as a flip-flopper.

“Someone has, for 20 or 30 years, been in the wrong place with his idea and with his ideology and says: ‘You know something? I changed my mind. I am now for this,’ ” Mr. Schwarzenegger said. “As long as he’s honest or she’s honest, I think that is a wonderful thing.”

Right on, Governor, and nice relief from some new magazine art. And how perfectly does that reinforce Obama's post-partisan message. As does this:

It's official: Republican Senator Chuck Hagel's office has put out an announcement that he will be joining Barack Obama on a trip to Iraq and Afghanistan, along with Democratic Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island...

...going on a overseas visit in the middle of the campaign season will be about as much of a vote of confidence in Obama's foreign policy vision as you could get without it turning into an outright endorsement.

Bing bing.

What I think we're seeing starting this week will be that that the Obama campaign has, understandably, taken a month to gear up after the battle with Senator Clinton, and may be putting their general election strategy fully into motion now. There will be the overseas trip establishing Obama as a world leader in the wings, the Vice Presidential nomination which will hopefully establish his wisdom.

(I'm still betting on Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, even if it alienates some Hillary as Queen Bee die-hards. Sebelius reinforces Obama's post-partisan message, has strong executive experience, was an early supporter and now friend, has chaired the Governors Association so she has great ties nationwide, and her look kind of counteracts Cindy McCain.)

As a final bellwether of this notion, the Obama making his move theory, there's his perfectly timed, crystal clear, prescient Op-Ed in Monday morning's New York Times, "My Plan for Iraq". Events are helping Obama here, as the Iraq Government rejects a longterm U.S. presence, and talk of early withdrawal crosses Administration lips, making Barack more right than ever. While he goes into detail of the 16-month, careful leave, and forcefully answers the flipflop talk, here's the heart of the unequivocal piece:

Only by redeploying our troops can we press the Iraqis to reach comprehensive political accommodation and achieve a successful transition to Iraqis’ taking responsibility for the security and stability of their country. Instead of seizing the moment and encouraging Iraqis to step up, the Bush administration and Senator McCain are refusing to embrace this transition — despite their previous commitments to respect the will of Iraq’s sovereign government. They call any timetable for the removal of American troops “surrender,” even though we would be turning Iraq over to a sovereign Iraqi government.

But this is not a strategy for success — it is a strategy for staying that runs contrary to the will of the Iraqi people, the American people and the security interests of the United States. That is why, on my first day in office, I would give the military a new mission: ending this war.

The time is right. Make your move, Barack.

We're ready.

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