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I think that Mr. King has it backwards. The fact that the continuation of a presence in Iraq as Senator McCain has suggested is exactly what, I think, will fan the flames of anti-American sentiment and make it more difficult for us to create a long-term and sustainable peace in the world. But I have to say that Mr. King and individuals like him thrive on offensive or controversial statements as a way to get in the papers, so I don’t take it too seriously. I would hope Senator McCain would want to distance himself from that kind of inflammatory and offensive remarks.”

Way to lay the controversy at McCain's Feet!  END UPDATE

About the Veep Game:

Full Transcript

TRANSCRIPT-Barack Obama at Columbus, MS Town Hall [3/10/08]

I respect Senator Clinton. She was a friend of mine before this campaign. She”ll be a friend of mine after this campaign. Because we’re gonna have to unify together to win in November. But I do have to say I was listening to some of the things Senator Clinton said down here in Mississippi over the last couple of days.

So I am gonna have to say a little bit about it.

You know as I understand it. Both Senator Clinton and President Clinton repeatedly talked about how I would be a great Vice President.  They kept on saying well you know he would be a fine Vice President. It would be a formidable team with Clinton at the top and Obama in second place.

Now first of all..with all due respect..with all due respect. I have won twice as many states as Senator Clinton. I have won more of the popular vote than Senator Clinton. I have more delegates than Senator Clinton. So I don’t know how somebody who is in second place is offering the Vice Presidency to the person who is in first place. I mean. I am just wondering. I am just wondering. If I was in second place I could understand it, but I am in first place right now. So that is point number one.

But there is another. There is a second point. This is an interesting point. I want you guys to follow me on this. President Bill Clinton back in 1992 when he was being asked about his selection for Vice President. He said the only criteria, the most important criteria for Vice President is that that person is ready if I fell out in the first week that he or she would be ready to be the Commander in Chief. That was his criteria.

Now they have been spending the last two, three weeks. Remember with that advertisement with the phone call. Telling everyone.. Getting all of Generals to say well we are not sure he is ready. “I am ready on day one”, “He may not be ready yet” But I don’t understand it. If I’m not ready how is it that you think I should be such a great Vice President. Do you understand that?

See I was trying to explain to somebody a while back.the okidoke. You all know the okidoke. When somebody is trying to bamboozle you, when they are trying to hoodwink you.
You.They are trying to hoodwink you.

You can’t say that he is not ready on day one unless he is willing to be your Vice President then he is ready on day one.

So look I just want everybody to be absolutely clear here, okay. I want everyone to be absolutely clear. We are in a tough battle and I don’t presume that I have won this election. Senator Clinton is fighting hard. She is tenacious. I respect her for that. She is working hard to win the nomination. But I want everybody to be absolutely clear.

I am not running for Vice President. I am running for President of the United States of America. I am running for President of the United States of America. I am running to be Commander in Chief. And the reason I am running to be Commander in Chief is because I believe that the most important thing when you answer that phone call at three in the morning is what kind of judgment do you have, not how long you have been in Washington, but what kind of judgment do you have when you are answering that phone.

And I believe that I have shown better judgment than Senator Clinton. I believe I offer a clean break from the policies of George Bush. Because Senator Clinton went along with George Bush on the war in Iraq. Senator Clinton went along with George Bush on her willingness to try to saber rattle when it came to Iran. She has gone along with many of the conventional ways of thinking about foreign policy that have gotten us into trouble. That is what I intend to change when I am President of the United States.

So I don’t want anybody here thinking that I that somehow well you know maybe I can get both. Don’t think that way. You have to make a choice in this election.

Are you gonna go along with the past or are you gonna go towards the future?

Are you gonna do the same old thing or are you gonna try something new?

I am not running for Vice President. I do not believe Senator Clinton is about change because in fact this kind of gamesmanship, talking about me as Vice President, but he maybe he’s not ready for Commander in Chief. That is exactly the kind of double speak, double talk that Washington is very good at. That people who spend a lot of time in Washington have a lot of experience at, but is not gonna solve the problems of the country.

Compare this to the Joke that has become Howard Wolfson directly contradicting both Bill and Hillary on Veep Material:

He said that the possibility of Obama as veep is not something that she is "prepared to rule out at this point," adding: "At the same time we continued to believe that Senator Obama has not passed the key commander-in-chief test at least at this point."

A bit later in the call, Wolfson was pressed on this question, and said:

"Senator Clinton will not choose any candidate who has not at the time of choosing passed the national security threshold. But we have a long way to go until Denver, and it's not something she's prepared to rule out at this point."

I think they know they've dropped the ball on this one bigtime...   Obama calls them out and now the media will eat it up....

Will this end the Commander in Chief Threshold B/S?

UPDATE:  Photos from the Event

UPDATE II:  Obama's Math in Big States by Popular Vote; Hillary's Construct Du Jour

Consider the top 9 "big" states that have voted so far
State . . . . . . . Obama . . . . . . . .Clinton
California . .  .2,126,000 . . . . . . .2,553,000
Texas . . . . . 1,358,000 . . . . . . .1,459,000
New York. . . . . 698,000 . . . . . . .1,003,000
Illinois. . . . 1,302,000 . . . . . . . .662,000
Ohio  . . . . . . 982,000. . . . . . . 1,212,000
Georgia . . . . . 704,000 . . . . . . . .330,000
New Jersey. . . . 492,000 . . . . . . . .603,000
Virginia  . . . . 627,000 . . . . . . . .350,000
Washington  . . . 354,000 . . . . . . . .316,000

Total . . . . . 8,643,000 . . . . . . .8,487,000

AP Update:  AP Runs the story characterizing it as a Mocking Rebutal

The Illinois senator used his first public appearance of the week to knock down the notion that he might accept the party's vice presidential nomination. He noted that he has won more states, votes and delegates than Clinton so far.

Obama aides said Clinton's recent hints that she might welcome him as her vice presidential candidate appeared meant to diminish him and to attract undecided voters in the remaining primary states by suggesting they can have a "dream ticket."

Obama had never suggested he might accept a second spot on the ticket. But until Monday he had not ridiculed the notion so directly, even if he did completely rule it out in Shermanesque terms.

I'd like to make a concluding comment regarding the way the media may or may not portray this comment by Obama in light of the Elliot Spitzer Story and its now dominance of the news cycle.

1) It doesn't matter!

The damage that was slowly accumulating over the weekend with the way the Clintons were cleverly using the Veep discussion to try and sway soft support was likely either insulting the campaign or becoming a problem. I'd argue however that in total, it didn't help the Clintons at all. The public didn't need Obama to remind them that Hillary was in 2nd place, most accounts are fair in that regard, they just differ in respect to where emphasis is placed on closeness.  Obama here came out and clearly addressed the notion that he could somehow become the Veep and flatly renounced and rejected such a notion, and did it in a way that will only make him look better for it.

2) Folding in the Commander in Chief Objections

This was a bit of brilliant posturing, something we'll hear again as it becomes part of the refrain.  Not only in the future when responding to readiness to be Commander in Chief will Obama point towards Iraqi Judgement, but he can also now stand on this ground, namely, if he's Veep Material, then surely, he passes whatever standard Hillary Clinton holds herself too.  This is a good way to win that arguement as it may be settled in weeks to come and on this point specifically, expect to see more in the future, especially on Bill's Veep Frame mentioned half way through.

3) This will calm the Supporters

Questions rose this weekend on whether or not Obama could Throw a Punch, how would his team and he specifically respond.  I don't know how a response could have been better executed honestly.  The tone and content was perfect, it was contextualized historically and hang on a Clinton Past refrain from the '90's.  It showed that rather than running immediately to a microphone to denounce the claims, Obama and his team crafted a new message and managed a Two-Fer with the Commander in Chief discussion wrapped in.  So Not Only has he reminded the listening audience he's the front runner, but he's also addressed the Commander in Chief Threshold, a Clinton Contruct, one he burst through with this excellent Logic.

So regardless of whether this gets heavy play this day or not, this response will hold water.  This is not how one goes about winning any new votes, but it does reinforce the Obama supporters notion of Obama's readiness to be a General Election candidate and it does go a long way to ending this silly topic and moving the discussion forward.

Originally posted to Billary Redux on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 10:44 AM PDT.

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