Is Barack Obama an interventionist neocon in sheep’s clothing? Robert Kagan apparently thinks so, and makes his case in today’s Washington Post. I provide an answer at Heading Right, and note that one speech does not a hawk make.
UPDATE: With Democrats howling over the supposedly unprecedented politicization of the Bush White House — as if they’d forgotten all about James Carville and Vernon Jordan — Newsweek reminds them that Democrats hardly qualify as ethics scolds:
Sen. Barack Obama vows to bring a “new kind of politics” to Washington. But a copy of a 36-page fax from Obama’s Senate office, obtained by NEWSWEEK, shows that the rookie presidential candidate, riding the biggest wave this side of his native Hawaii, needs to keep a sharp eye on the details of his own campaign. Senate ethics rules allow senators with active campaigns to “split” the work time and salary of official schedulers such as Obama’s Molly Buford.
According to Obama’s campaign spokesman, Robert Gibbs, she in fact is paid by both entities. But Senate rules and federal law forbid the use of official equipment—such as faxes and phone lines—to conduct campaign business, which was what Buford was doing last Thursday when she faxed Obama’s political “call list” to the senator’s personal aide at a Columbia, S.C., hotel. “These are the call sheets for tomorrow’s call time,” she wrote on the official cover page, emblazoned with the seal of the U.S. Senate. …
The fax itself shows the campaign working to round up endorsements from established party leaders. In the “talking points” for a call to Rep. William Clay of St. Louis, Obama is advised by his Chicago political team to say: “Your endorsement is important to me and I hope that you will join the movement supporting my campaign. I would like you to take an official leadership role for my campaign in Missouri.”
Should we call for a special prosecutor to look into Obama’s ethics, too? I’d actually be more interested in the identity of the person who shoved the fax under the door of Newsweek. I’d bet that question has crossed Obama’s mind, too.