Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton showed up on Meet the Press and This Week, respectively, to talk about the Indiana and North Carolina primaries. More interesting than the normal campaign platitudes, however, were the views espoused by the candidates on Iran.
Clinton came off as slightly schizophrenic on the Islamic Republic; when asked by an audience member what she would do if Iran attacked Iraq, "I don't think any of us can predict what Iran will do. . . . I do not believe Iran will go into Iraq. If Iran were to go into Iraq, there would have to be a determination at that time. But it's not something I'm anticipating." But she stood by her comments about "obliterating" Iran from earlier in the week, saying "Well, the question originally, as some may remember, was â€˜what would we do if Iran got a nuclear weapon and attacked Israel.' And I think we have to be very clear about what we would do. I don't think it's time to equivocate about what we would do. They have to know that they would face massive retaliation. That is the only way to rein them in."
While Clinton deserves credit for standing by a stalwart ally and brooking no nonsense from Iran on the issue of nuclear weapons, why wouldn't she extend the same support to a nation we've spent billions of dollars and thousands of American lives to rebuild?
Obama, on the other hand, excoriated Clinton on Meet the Press for saying she would retaliate against Iran if Israel was attacked. "Israel is a ally of ours. It is the most important ally we have in the region, and there's no doubt that we would act forcefully and appropriately on any attack against Iran, nuclear or otherwise. So--but it is important that we use language that sends a signal to the world community that we're shifting from the sort of cowboy diplomacy, or lack of diplomacy, that we've seen out of George Bush." Apparently lost on Obama is the fact that diplomacy will have already failed if Iran has attacked Israel.
Back on the campaign trail, on Fox News Sunday Terry McAuliffe laid out the case he's making to the superdelegates on behalf of Clinton. "When we finish this up on June 3rd, at that point the superdelegates got to make the decision: who is it that can best beat John McCain? Because this is what this is about, winning the election on November 4. Hillary in the last week has moved ahead in every single poll against John McCain. Senator Obama is either tied or, on Fox, behind Senator McCain. Hillary's ahead in every poll. More importantly she now has a huge lead among independents."
Meanwhile, James Clyburn took to Face the Nation to explain just how disastrous stealing the nomination from Obama would be for the Democrats. "There are 103 historical black colleges and universities in this country, seven of them are in my congressional district. And what I was saying is, as I visited those campuses in recent weeks, that is what these young people were saying to me. They were very, very upset at all this talk about superdelegates overturning their energies and overturning their efforts. They wanted to know from me whether or not I felt that this is what was going to happen. And a lot of them were saying that they felt that all of this talk about Senator Obama were just ways to damage him permanently for--and make it impossible for him to win even if he were to get the nomination. So I was sharing with the American people what young people were beginning to say."