The crisis in Georgia has highlighted the 3am issue Sen Clinton first brought up in the primaries. Both candidates reacted to it differently and their reactions were a glimpse into the foreign policy each candidate would bring to the White House.
First, Sen McCain. When he called Pres Saakashvili, Sen McCain expressed support for Georgia in the struggle against Russia and rallied all Americans to get behind Georgia. He condemned Russia’s aggression and noted that Russia invaded as a sign to other countries that attempt to deal with the West would only earn them the same fate. Georgia was seeking NATO membership. He also sought a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
Next, Sen Obama. He used his eloquent words to give a speech that condemned Russia and the military action it took. He urged Russia to sign a cease fire agreement and wants international monitors to verify the terms of a peace treaty. Sen Obama also wants a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
Notice the two responses. John McCain was able to pick up the phone and call the President of Georgia to see what the situation was and vocalize his support to Pres Saakashvili. Sen Obama was able to find a working microphone and denounce Russia and offer the services of international diplomats to resolve the situation.
Some people have called Sen McCain’s words saber rattling, others cite them as evidence of his thirst for war and still others ask where Georgia is and why should we care? Some have even tried to sneak oil into the debate since BP has a pipeline there. (By the way a Russian reporter even likened his country’s response to that of America after 9/11, saying “the US roared like a stuck pig even though the material and human loss was minimal” .) Sen Obama has apparently taken all of these positions when he allowed his camp to make a statement on the situation. Today John McCain was criticized by the Obama camp as being too aggressive and may have even “complicated” the crisis in Georgia. “Complicated”? By taking a stand on the issue?
Sen McCain may not be President yet and his words and actions may be just that at this point, but which response would you want from a sitting American President? The response that included a phone call or the one that included a calculated speech? Let’s put it the Hilary Clinton way:
It’s 3am, John McCain is woken up and immediately gets the President of Georgia on the phone to assess the situation.
It’s 3am, Barack Obama is woken up and immediately asks “Where is my speech writer and how fast can he get here?”