New Op-ed at Fox News: Obama's Judgment

My newest op-ed up at Fox News starts this way:

“Judgment” has become the byword of the election. Barack Obama has always wanted the election to be about the importance of “good judgment,” not experience. While Obama claimed last week that he had more executive experience than Governor Sarah Palin, he has generally stuck to this theme.

During the primaries, Obama’s claim to “good judgment” largely focused on his early opposition to the Iraq war. But, with the exception of picking Joe Biden as his running mate, virtually all the discussion of Obama’s good judgment still rests on his opposition to the war.

Obama still has some work to convince people that he possesses good judgment. A new poll released last week by the Pew Research Center found that Americans by a 51 to 36 percentage point margin trust McCain’s “good judgment in crisis” over Obama’s. . . .

I wish that I had this quote when I was writing the piece yesterday. On Stephanopoulos' show yesterday Obama said:

"How you campaign foreshadows how you are going to govern."

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

YIKES!!! He is even worse than I thought. Thanks for the info, John. I like your work.

9/08/2008 2:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please Mr. Lott, please, use your journalist's ability to try and see what you come up with regarding Senator McCain as well. I have never seen almost any of the instances you mention in the mainstream news (that stayed around for more than an hour or so online), but there is an abundance of material relating to the other side. You say "When has any modern major party presidential nominee so frequently changed his positions on so many important issues". I think you'll not have to look far, if you so endeavor. You owe it to us, after this piece.

9/08/2008 3:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Especially, Barry, when there is very little else of any significance you can hang a hat on.

Occasionally Obama's grasp of the obvious does firm up quite well...credit where credit is due.

His nomination is a disgrace.

9/08/2008 3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anyone who refuses to protect innocent life lacks the wisdom to lead and the moral authority to speak to war and poverty."

The man would sacrifice his own embryonic grandkids to save his daughters some "punishment." Leadership is about self-sacrifice, not human sacrifice of your kids' first-born.

9/08/2008 4:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have seen a couple of examples, where he has blamed his staff for different things, but I had NO IDEA there have been so many. Great article.

9/08/2008 4:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All of this commentary reflects one thing...

You are this "popular vote" - these Americans (call them old styled / illiterates / incompetent or whatever) will NEVER get over this race/religion barriers (atleast the next 15/20 years - doesn't matter how much superior we are in technology, infrastructure, economic power etc etc , we ARE still backward in thinking and reasoning!!!).

I can challenge you all knuckel heads on it - you seem a PH.D and I am amused when well educated folks opine this way....

Don't get me wrong here - Mccain is a very good guy but he is too old styled (am NOT talking about his age but his intellectual thinking) and he cannot run such a globalized environment.

C'mon there is NOTHING to boast about this stupid war in Iraq that cost us all billions - simply NOTHING. And we should TRULY work on improving our image in the Globe - it is VERY VERY important. He just doesn't consider these as priorities!!! Just today he was talking about defense spending!!! (for another war in the name of Security ??? For him, everything is a war). These are different times and you need someone who is more savvy and have a good + transparent governance!


9/08/2008 4:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with that guy... to me, the fact that you somehow received a PhD shows the true failure our educational system.

I found your article on Fox "News", I mean C'MON!! Those turds will publish a dog barking if it SOUNDS like a GOP talking point.

Ps; you guys are going to be so MAD when Obama is OUR president. It makes me giggle with excitement.

9/08/2008 4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it very interesting that not one person leaving a coment in support of Senator Obama had any positive things to say about his judgement. Simply some ranting about racism and political bias in the media (and how Fox can be labeled as biased in a world containing MSNBC I do not know) nothing about the issues raised by the article.
A fine work Dr. Lott, thank you for sharing your thoughts.

9/08/2008 5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have other people noticed the striking similarities between Barack Obama and Chauncey Gardener? Each had no noticeable effect on the outside world before being nominated for President (being a community organizer; tending his garden).

Each was initially promoted by a secretive financier( George Soros, Benjamin Rain). Each is given to spouting platitudes heard on TV (Change and fairness, the plant will grow if the roots are strong).

That may be why TV commentators like them so much. People who agree with you are always to be praised.

The final question will be -"Can Obama walk on water?"

Chauncey and Joe in "08!

9/08/2008 5:32 PM  
Blogger OregonPerspective said...

John, you repeatedly misrepresent Obama's history and positions. I suspect your goal is to smear him, rather than to inform.

Let me just address just one smear.

In 1995, when Barack Obama met Bill Ayers, the entire whole Chicago educational community was involved with him. Ayers was a 51 year old professor of education at the University of Illinois and headed a $49 million education reform project, sponsored by the City of Chicago and funded by the Annenberg Foundation (google Chicago Annenberg Challenge). Obama was interested in improving education in Chicago and served with many other like minded citizens on that CAC board.

A couple years later, Barack Obama joined the board of the Woods Foundation - an old-line Chicago charity - whose board included representatives from investment banks, architectural firms, oil companies, civic organizations, public offices, and from universities around Chicago, interested in improving life in Chicago's inner city (google Woods Foundation). Ayer's joined the board in 2000, in part, because of his success with CAC.

Obama's membership on these boards reflects his involvement in the Chicago community that elected him, and shows his good judgment was valued by that community.

So why single out Obama (or Ayers) from either of these accomplished groups? Why not publish the names, opinions, and history of the hundreds of people involved and complement (or smear) them all?

Your readers deserve accurate information, not smears.

9/08/2008 5:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When, you ask????? Please we aren't through being submitted to the illegal, unethical, elitist lies and manipulation from a President who would do or say anything to advanced the corrupt agendas that have virtually ruined or country. This must be a Republican blog to go with the Republican article since we are being monitored and have to be APPROVED before a post can be made.

9/08/2008 5:47 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Oregon Perspective:

So what is it that is wrong with what I wrote. Obama served on a board with Ayres. I point out that others object to this. Is anything wrong with the quotes by Ayres that I link to? Are you claiming that others haven't objected to Obama serving on a board with Ayres? Are you claiming that Ayres did not make these public statements while the two of them were working together?

If you have specific evidence that I have anything that is incorrect, please state it.

9/08/2008 5:50 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

Who can argue against the value of a fair Op-ed piece on both Obama and McCain's judgement? John,why be a part of Fox's and other corporate media giants' immature partisan propaganda machine? What change does that bring? It only strengthens the cause of the naive, religious extremists, and special interest groups who more often than not resist change and intellectual progress in the name of tradition. Present both sides, no matter what your political bent. It's your responsibility as a journalist.

I can afford to be biased, I am not a journalist. To me, it's obvious that Obama is a thinker, someone who would consider the facts before making a decision. McCain, in his own words, rushes to conclusions based on instinct... it that really what America wants right now? A gung-ho decision maker who acts first and thinks later? It's troublesome that you peg a thinker like Obama as an elitist, somehow implying that to be thoughful is to be weak; to be aggresive is strong. These are not the middle ages.

9/08/2008 6:31 PM  
Blogger likewatermusik said...

Remember Republicans, you are the party of Haggart, Lott, Daschle, Craig, O'Reilly, Limbaugh, and most importantly George Bush. Racism, bigotry, and self-righteousness are trademarks of your party. All are against the teachings of the church and our Savior.

Obama's judgement is right on as evidenced by him running the greatest presidential campaign in history. Stop twisting the facts and tell it like it is. Republicans got their chance the last 8-12 years and look where it's gotten us.

Good judgement? Maybe all of you should seriously examine if you have any. Especially you Mr. Lott. I am anxious to see if you will even post this due to your party's belief in censorship and restricting human rights. Obama-Biden 2008! Cant wait.

9/08/2008 7:48 PM  
Blogger Ohio Swing Voter said...

Why don't Liberals ever address the fact that Obama voted "present" 134 times in the Illinois Senate? That show a lack of judgment, since he cannot even decide to vote "yes" or "no"!!

He is not ready to be the "Chief Executive Officer" of the United States of America because he has no executive experience and he has demonstrated he does not have legislative judgment!!

9/08/2008 8:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good article. Anyone can have a part of their past that can be taken out of context and exploited, but what this article shows is a pattern. It is interesting that the left can "smear" McCain by mentioning President Bush's name in every other sentence but when you string together a factual pattern of someones behavior you are immediately berated by the left.

9/08/2008 10:10 PM  
Blogger Ohio Swing Voter said...

Obama shows poor judgment in selecting Biden!

Time and again, as shown in John's article, Obama has demonstrated a lack of judgment. He probably showed his biggest lack of judgment when he selected Joe Biden his VP. Biden supported a bill to make it more difficult for lower class people, who were facing foreclosure and other finacial woes, to file for bankruptcy. This is real compassion as demonstrated by liberals who want to raise taxes and make life harder for working people.

The "compassionate" liberals have used their compatriates in the liberal media to slam a 17 year old that made a mistake, and who is going to take resposibility for the child and give it a mother and father.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden's 38 YEAR OLD son, a Washington lobbyist, (surprise, surprise) has been named in two lawsuits for defrauding a business partner.

If Obama was really serious about "change", he wouldn't have chosen a Washington "good ole boy" for VP!!

If that is "Change we can count on", I'll pass!!

9/08/2008 11:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the most part I don't believe ANYTHING either candidate says from the time they announce their candidacy. Between the speech writers, the "handlers", advisors, and others "helping" the candidate form and deliver his message there is no way of determining what either of them really believes. That leaves only their record over time to base my decision on. There are things about Senator McCain that I don't like. However I will definitely put my support behind a man who spent 22 years in uniformed service to his country, as opposed to a man who spent 20 years of Sundays listening to his self described " spiritual mentor and advisor" screaming at the top of his voice for God to send His damnation on this country.
I have fallen asleep in church and missed part of a sermon a couple of times but not every Sunday for 20 years. I think the yelling would have woken me.
Mark Cox

9/08/2008 11:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was trying to find a simplistic reason why Sen. McCain's choice of Gov. Palin was so energizing. In reading some of the comments here, discussing whether or not Sen. Obama had judgment, I had a thought. Sen. Obama talks about how "they" will bamboozle you, that "they" think he looks different and has a funny name. These all demonstrate a contempt of the average citizen. That they are, in large part, sexist or racist or bigots. Sen. McCain on the other hand has demonstrated faith. Faith that in his America, most Americans are NOT bigots and they can recognize genuine quality. This, in my opinion, has a ripple effect. If he trusts us with his choice of VP - and enthusiastically embrace her, he's going to trust us to demand that he play it straight on important issues coming up. So, each candidate has demonstrated what their judgment of the "average" American.

9/09/2008 12:06 AM  
Blogger jr said...

Lee (from about 5 or 6 posts up), I think you miss the difference between an op-ed piece (the "op" standing for opinion) and journalism. The very nature of an op-ed piece is for the author to give his or her opinion on a specific topic or issue. Journalists (e.g. reporters) are the ones who should be objective and try as best as they can to present all sides of a story. (In the "for what it's worth" category, Obama is not a thinker; he's a speaker. His ideas are nothing more than a neo-Marxism fashioned to be palatable to the American democracy.)

Anyway, reading about all that blame being cast on his staffers reminded me of the interview segment with Bill O'Reilly when he asked him about the surge and Obama couldn't say that he was wrong about the surge. Reminded me of the Fonz on Happy Days when he couldn't say he was wrrrr....wrr...wrrrrrr....wrong.

9/09/2008 1:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I only wish I had the money to mail this article to every registered Democrat. This would have to open the eyes of even the most out spoken supporters of his.

9/09/2008 2:21 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Well, last anonymous, please feel free to email it to as many of them as you can! Thanks for reading the piece.

9/09/2008 3:53 AM  
Blogger richard o. said...

In talking about Ayers and Jeremiah Wright, you missed some of the radicalism Obama states in his book, Dreams from my Father; pg 101, "To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully... The Marxist professors and structural feminists." and on Jeremiah Wright;
pg. 284 "We shook hands... Afterward in the parking lot, I sat in my car and thumbed through a silver brochure I picked up in the reception area...
There was one particular passage in Trinity's brochure that stood out, though, a commandment... A Disavowal of the Pursuit of Middleclassness, ...those blessed to achieve success must avoid the entrapment of Black 'middleclassness'.
He also sermonizes on 'The Audacity of Hope' that Obama would plagarize in his second book.
What scares me as a blue collar democrat, If all this is the case then what happens to myself and those like me? Our time has come does not seem to include us and the Marxist background the Barack Obama himself declares should scare all Americans

9/09/2008 4:34 AM  
Blogger blackknight571 said...

Poor judgement is picking a VP candidate thats under investigation in her home state. Poor judgement is comparing yourself to a breed of dog most people don't like or trust and want banned.It's time to send this bad dog back to Alaska, lip stick and all.

9/09/2008 9:04 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

i would like to agree in all the issues that john lott raised. I have been blogging these issues ever since the primary, and let him win. that's why from that primary clinton was the casualty.
it only shows how the democrats select their leaders. in this election it is not about the party, or about the candiate. it is about you, and the country. it is about who we could trust to run, and lead the country. we should set aside our grievances to the government. we have to look at someone who has got a track record to run the country.

9/09/2008 9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that the democratic establishment in Chicago would appoint an unreformed radical like Ayers to any position of responsibility at all much less associate with his ilk speaks to their poor judgment and opinion of the U.S..

For a comparison to Obama look at the Clinton years in the White House where numerous mistakes were all blamed on "staff". It happened so often that the only conclusion I could come up with was that either the Clintons were corrupt or incompetent. Obama is simply trying to mirror a strategy that worked for the Clintons.

9/09/2008 11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let us not forget about ACORN. Barack Obama has worked for ACORN and there have been people within this organization convicted of voter fraud. To be affiliated with yet another group of questionable practices further scrutinizes Senator Obama's decisions which he has made in the past and will continue to make in the future.

9/09/2008 11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe the "judgment" that we should raise taxes on the "rich" is the most telling. When the tax rate was reduced the tax revenues increased. If the tax rates rise will the revenues decline?
Is the purpose of taxation to raise revenue or steal from the targets of opportunity?
The federal government is in big trouble financially. It needs more revenue. The proper judgment would be to grow the economy to increase revenues.

9/09/2008 12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama has no Judgement
Obama has no Qualifications
Obama has no Experience
Obama has no right to even be running for office of President...its way above his "paygrade"!!!

9/09/2008 1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for a great article John. I was not aware of some of these irregularities. I knew about the major news items but when you put all the pieces together we get a very clear picture of Sen. Obamas judgement or should I say a lack of.

9/09/2008 2:49 PM  
Blogger OregonPerspective said...


In response...

It's not necessary to dispute your facts to dispute your conclusion.

Note that FDR met with Stalin, Nixon met with Mao, and Reagan met with Gorbachev. We might conclude from this record that US presidents are communist puppets. Or we might conclude that US presidents are willing to work with people they oppose to achieve worthwhile goals.

Barack Obama served on two boards with Bill Ayers, 25 years after Ayers' Vietnam protests ended. Representatives of investment banks, architectural firms, oil companies, civic organizations, and universities also served on those boards (see my earlier post).

Do we conclude that Obama and these other board members agree with Bill Ayers? Or do we conclude that these people are willing to work together, despite their differences, because that's the best way to achieve many worthwhile goals.

I think Obama is a pragmatist, like FDR, looking for ways to achieve worthwhile goals that too many have abandoned.

I think your conclusion is wrong, as well as some of your facts.

9/09/2008 3:08 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear OregonPerspective:

1) "I think your conclusion is wrong, as well as some of your facts." Please identify any of the facts that are wrong.

2) I did not write that others have complained about the relationship between Ayres and Obama because they said that they had strong evidence that they agreed with each other. (I didn't discuss the donations made to Obama by Ayres and the fund raising that Ayres did for Obama, though I could have mentioned them. It wasn't my point to say that they agreed with each other.) These "others" were concerned that they were friends and spent great deal of time with each other and that many say that wasn't appropriate. If you had a friend who was going on national TV making the statements about terrorism that Ayres was making while you were friends, would you continuing being friends with that person? That section of my piece dealt solely with Obama's judgment on who his friends and mentors were.

Thanks for your note, though I would really be interested in knowing the errors that you claim are in the piece.

9/09/2008 3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am curious if anyone has ever read "The Appeal" by John Grisham... it reminds me so much of Barak's quest for the presidency being pushed by the "secret" finaniciers

9/09/2008 4:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your column. Thank you for pointing out a few things that people in general seem to over look or forget. In my Opinion Obama does not have the qualifications to be President of the US. He has been very Wishy Washy on anything he stands for and I take that as a sign of a weak man, a man that can be lead instead of leading and to blame the staff for things he has said or done is not taking responsibility. As leader of the US he would need to be able to stand the heat and defend those that work for and with him. Meeting with foreign dignitaries is one thing, meeting with known terrorist is another. This isn't anything like FDR, Nixon or any other former President. Obama will not even salute the American Flag how can he lead a country that he doesn't believe in.

9/09/2008 4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's some news for you right wingers:
Off of Newsweek & Time Magazine reporting an incident on McCain's temperment:
Six people present have written statements describing what they saw. According to the accounts, McCain waved his hand to shoo away Jeannette Jenkins, whose cousin was last seen in South Vietnam in 1970, causing her to hit a wall.

As McCain continued walking, Jane Duke Gaylor, the mother of another missing serviceman, approached the senator. Gaylor, in a wheelchair equipped with portable oxygen, stretched her arms toward McCain.
"McCain stopped, glared at her, raised his left arm ready to strike her, composed himself and pushed the wheelchair away from him," according to Eleanor Apodaca, the sister of an Air Force captain missing since 1967.
McCain's staff wouldn't respond to requests for comment about specific incident.
Just listen to what some of his Republican friends have said about him," said Boxer. "Thad Cochran, a Republican conservative senator from Mississippi says the thought of John McCain in the White House sends cold chills down his spine. I don't agree with Kay Bailey that everybody loses their temper like that. And I think we've all seen it happen. It's not rational when it happens. And because John McCain raised the issue, he actually raised it and says he has the temperament -- you know, I think it should be on the table. And anyone watching, you know, Barack Obama stay as cool as a cucumber under the most unbelievable scathing attacks can see that."

9/09/2008 4:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh isn't that something! Freedom of speech? I just tried to post some facts but of course you aren't going to not put them on...HOW IS THAT FAIR????? You don't want the truth do you????

9/09/2008 4:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Illinois and this senator speaks of all this 'change' he will bring to the White House. Well, in the short period of time he's been in office in MY home state, if he can't bring 'change' to IL, then what could he possibly bring as a President?

This blog/article is excellent and I thank you for the information. The others who disapprove of it just can't handle the truth.

Come live in my state...Then, you'll see how it is to have him as a leader who cannot make decisions and it appears when he does, they're poor ones. Lucky for us!!! Senator Obama hasn't impressed me, not even one time, over the course of the campaign and certainly not during his tenure in my state. I would never be so blinded by what a man/ should-be leader says he's going to do versus what he's actually done. What he's actually is NOTHING in my eyes except make things worse in my state.

McCain/Palin have my vote.

9/09/2008 4:31 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Second to Last Anonymous:

You are being very dishonest here. The only posts that I have not put up are those that involve extensive profanity, and that hasn't applied to any in this discussion here. If you something to actually say rather than dishonestly saying that you can't get your posts up, please provide that information. The current discussion has a wide range of posts and claims on both sides.

9/09/2008 4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama's "investigation" of Governor Palin.

A blogger said that McCain's VP choice is "under investigation in her home state". Every allegation brought by the leftist media has been debunked!

The only investigation that is going on is by the 30 hack lawyers and cronies that Obama has sent to Alaska to TRY to find dirt on the Governor. Is this the "politics of destruction" that Obama said he wouldn't engage in?

Just more lies and deception from liberals!!

9/09/2008 9:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said...thanks for the research and stringing the facts together. The presidency can not be in the hands of this man's judgement...my kids life will be in jeopardy.

9/09/2008 11:00 PM  
Blogger OregonPerspective said...

From OregonPerspective:


You're practicing the politics of distraction.

Obama has never said anything in support of Ayers or his actions.

I've never seen evidence of Obama and Ayers being "friends" other than serving on two boards and living near their jobs. Ayers made no statements about terrorism during the time that their responsibilities overlapped. You or "others" are just making stuff up.

Given that Obama has never said anything in support of Ayers or his actions, why do you critics keep emphasizing a "connection".

After 8 years of a Republican president, America’s economy, our standing in the world, our sense of well-being, are at the lowest point in a generation. 80% of Americans say serious problems are being ignored and we are headed in the wrong direction.

If you have to defend the last 8 years of Republican incompetence, you lose.
That's why your dwelling on Ayers.

Though 18 months of campaign, Obama has avoid making slurring attacks on his opponents to raise their negatives. He could have run ads about the Keating 5 or raised Bush and Coburn's questions about McCain's mental health. He could have easily raised doubts about Hillary. But Obama hasn't.

He's shown his opponents and the voters respect by talking about issues and raising only his opponents recent and relevant actions and statements.

His opponents and their professional supporters haven't shown Obama the same respect.

If they did, they couldn't win. And for some people, winning is more important than an honest debate.

9/10/2008 4:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can put lipstick on a pig. You people r hilarious. So does this make palin a pig? So does this make obama an oinker? Good golly we will surely see come Nov. now won't we?

9/10/2008 7:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A pig with lipstick. U got to hold em down to do this. Is Obama an oinker? We shall see come November.

9/10/2008 7:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr. Lott for this interesting article. Obama's constant association with questionable people is something that continually bothers me. I don't understand how others can miss this glaringly obvious double standard between the candidates. The media has a field day when discussing McCains previous mistakes, but totally ignores (in my opinion) Obama's lack of judgement. Despite this I would like to see another article perhaps showing McCains previous dealings and and critique of his judgement. Truthfully I'm not a gigantic fan of either candidate.

Again, thanks for the article and keep them coming.

9/10/2008 9:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After reading the comments by other posters, I am struck by those that berate Lott for exposing problems with Obama. Few of these posts actually address the arguments that Lott makes in his article, or the evidence that he uses. If you are going to oppose Lott, please use logical refutation, not angry ranting (especially the very silly slam against our education system for granting Lott a Ph.D). You fail your own agenda and the Obama campaign when you refuse to engage the argument. Could it be that you have no way of persuasively arguing against Lott's position?

9/10/2008 11:03 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear OregonPerspective:

Let me make the point regarding Obama and Ayres simple for you. If you were running for public office, would you take donations from a person who was making states in the national media that he wish that he had done more bombings? Would your campaign release statements to the media saying that you were good friends with such a person? Do you understand that many candidates would think that the proper thing to do was return donations from such a person who said "I didn't do enough"?

Finally, twice you raised the claim that I got some facts wrong in the piece, in neither response have you provided us an example so I will assume that you have nothing to add to that discussion.

9/10/2008 12:24 PM  
Blogger Jerry Millican said...

Question of Judgement:
Vice Presidential Choice

The Vice Presidential candidate for each major party has finally been named and both choices give us some insight into the executive ability and aspirations of Senators McCain and Obama. The Vice Presidential pick is the first major executive decision for these candidates for President as this choice necessarily has two criteria with a duel mission. The first is to help the candidate get elected. The second is to assist the President in governing once elected. These two functions are not mutually exclusive and considering the size and scope of the Federal government, one without the other would be useless.

Senator McCain made the decision to consider only those two criteria in order to chose the best person to accomplish the duel mission and picked Governor Palin. That decision has energized his campaign and demonstrated Senator McCain’s ability to lead as Governor Palin may assist in getting him elected and will definitely help him govern. Senator Obama’s choice was Senator Biden. Senator Biden may fulfill the criteria but he was not the best choice. Senator Clinton was. Senator Obama’s decision not to nominate the best person to achieve his goals illustrates not only his lack of executive ability but also reveals something more disturbing. Why pass over the best person if not to avoid the possibility of being outshone by that person? Senator McCain does not suffer from this character flaw. He was raised and trained in a military culture that stresses the need to place the best person in the position to accomplish the mission regardless of religion, race, gender, political affiliation or personal aggrandizement. Senator McCain’s choice reveals his commitment to that need. Senator Obama's choice does not.

Jerry Millican
Franklin NC

9/10/2008 1:31 PM  
Blogger OregonPerspective said...


In each of your replies, you fail to acknowledge or address the "facts" that I've pointed out as wrong.

Instead you expand and repeat your wrong "facts", ignore my comments, and say I have "have nothing to add."

I'll point out your wrong "facts" once again, restate the comments you ignored, and ask for a direct response to each to in return.

I said: "Ayers made no statements about terrorism during the time that their responsibilities overlapped." That timespan includes 2000 when Ayers made a $200 contribution to an Obama campaign.

That's a challenge to your "facts".

Which you ignore in your reply: "If you were running for public office, would you take donations from a person who was making states in the national media that he wish that he had done more bombings?"

Obama did not "take donations from a person who was making states in the national media that he wish that he had done more bombings." Ayers made no public statements of that sort during the time the Obama worked with him.

Your "fact" is wrong. What's your reponse?

I said: "I've never seen evidence of Obama and Ayers being "friends" other than serving on two boards and living near their jobs."

Which you ignore in your reply: "Would your campaign release statements to the media saying that you were good friends with such a person?" You add the word "good" where none was ever used by me or Obama, to imply a close relationship without evidence of one.

Your "fact" is wrong. What's your response?

Now please respond to my first comment:

I said: "Obama has avoid making slurring attacks on his opponents to raise their negatives. He could have run ads about the Keating 5 ... But Obama hasn't. ... He's shown his opponents and the voters respect."

There is a 1991 decision by the US Senate Ethic Committee concluding that John McCain showed "poor judgment" in his relationship with Charles Keating.

That "poor judgment" cost the US taxpayers $3.4 billion dollars, to cover financial fraud perpetrated by Charles Keating while he was John McCain's "good" friend.

To quote from a 2000 review, "Keating was more than a constituent to McCain--he was a longtime friend and associate. McCain met Keating in 1981 ... and the two men became friends. Keating raised money for McCain's two congressional campaigns in 1982 and 1984, and for McCain's 1986 Senate bid. By 1987, McCain campaigns had received $112,000 from Keating, his relatives, and his employees--the most received by any of the Keating Five.

After McCain's election to the House in 1982, he and his family made at least nine trips at Keating's expense, three of which were to Keating's Bahamas retreat. McCain did not disclose the trips (as he was required to under House rules) until the scandal broke in 1989. At that point, he paid Keating $13,433 for the flights."

This is more than serving on two boards together and more than $200 dollars in campaign contributions - it's an official finding of "poor judgment" against John McCain for his choice in "friends".

John McCain's certified "poor judgment" has cost America far more than Barack Obama's. What's your response?

Now that I've pointed out "some facts wrong in the piece," as you asked, provided a counter example, and asked for your responses - Would you please also respond to my final comment in our last exchange:

I believe Obama "wants to raise the quality of our political debates. His opponents and their professional supporters haven't shown Obama or the voters the same respect. If they did, they couldn't win. And for some people, winning is more important than an honest debate." What’s your response?

Please publish our complete exchange. Let's make progress toward an honest debate and show respect for our opponents and the voters.

9/10/2008 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't have said it any better! Thanks!

9/10/2008 3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now even Obama's own VP nominee, Joe Biden, is questioning Obama's judgment when he said that Senator Clinton would have been a better VP pick. Biden said about Clinton, “She’s a truly close personal friend and she is qualified to be President of the United States of America, she’s easily qualified to be Vice President of the United States of America and quite frankly it might have been a better pick than me,” (Source: CNN's Political Producer, Alexander Marquardt)

9/10/2008 5:54 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear OregonPerspective:

1) "Ayers made no statements about terrorism during the time that their responsibilities overlapped."

Apparently you didn't look at the links that I had in the piece. The first link had “and that we would do it again” was from a 1998 interview on CBS. Ayres made several other similar recorded statements during the 1990s. There are also multiple statements during the 2000 to now period. For example, beyond his famous 9/11/2001 statement to the NY Times the other link that I have in the piece is for a very recent statement that he made. The bottom line is that for at least the last decade and a half Ayres was constantly making these statements to the press. As to the contributions in 2000, Ayres donated and gave money to Obama at the beginning of his 1996 campaign for the state Senate. As to the rest of their extremely close relationship over the years you should listen to the link that I had for Milt Rosenberg interview.

2) Again listen to the Milt Rosenberg interview.

3) I am not sure what this has to do with what I wrote, but in any case you should start by talking to Bill Clinton about this. The claims that Clinton was a racist was something that Clinton claims that the Obama campaign had apparently planned well in advance.

4) No you haven't shown anything wrong factually. See point 1.

9/11/2008 11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As this article, well written I thought, brings up the "Judgement" of Senator Obama, I think we should look further.

If he is elected, what judgement will he use in respects to his relatives who are Foreign Nationals?

As many may have read, Senator Obama's Kenyan grandmother was the target of thieves. She very well could have been the target of terrorists. Kidnapped to force the President of the United States to bend to their will.

Or how about the half-brother who is living on the streets in some far off country? The news media outed him. Now the terrorist know where he is, they could scoop him up just as well. But perhaps they will pay him to try and get secrets out of his long, lost brother. Or use the connection to perhaps smuggle an explosive.

Will Senator Obama pay a ransom? Will he reliquish control of the Presidency to the Vice President in such an event? Will he use military force to rescue them?

Has anyone in the news media looked into the security risks that are involved with a President who has multiple passports and dual citizenship?

Where are the answers for these questions.

Thank you Mr Lott.

9/11/2008 7:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, thank you for this informative and analytical article. I did not find anything that is not factual. Obama's campaign staff did state that Obama and Ayers are friends and it is generally accepted that Ayers is a political supporter of Obama.

It should be pointed out that when Obama expressed his opposition to the Iraq war it was in a speech delivered before he got into the U.S. Senate. At the time he did not have any responsibility or authority for a vote. Clinton, at least, had a responsibility to the people of New York. From what I can gather from the ongoing campaign, he and his staff try to give the impression (absent any qualification) that he expressed this objection to Iraq in the U.S. Senate.

Great article.

The Sandman

9/12/2008 1:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to oregon perspective,

reading your comments to john lott and how you insulted his educational background makes me wonder if you are one of the obama 300 campaign members. do you read what you're writing! seriously, i am embarassed to call myself a democrat when i see how silly we've come when we made a mistake and nominated obama and to deny it and to pretend how wonderful and worldly he is........such disgraced. i was a democrat since i was 18, but i'm voting mccain. after reading this article, thank Dr. Lott for putting out how unqualified obama is and how we can't afford to take a chance on someone who makes terrible judgements.

9/13/2008 3:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Judgement? Obama's is definitely in question. Going back to Obama's early years (1971-1979) and frienship with Frank Marshall Davis who was part of the Communist Party(spy-delivering info to the Russians during the Cold War), to Rashid Khalid who was part of the Palestinian Liberation Organization to Saul Alinski who believes reform can come from the Radicals within Government.

These are all instances that came before Obama's Chicago time. The fact that he continued to persue the same characters in Chicago is the scarriest part. The list of bad judgement of character on Obama's part is long. People are hungery for change, but Obama's change is dangerous.

People beware, do we want to give up our Democracy? Obama will put us on the path to Socialization, Ask Russia how that worked out for them.

9/13/2008 9:09 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Didn't Obama once admit that he couldn't say how he would have voted on the war if he'd been in the Senate then? Regardless, it's easy for a local politician to oppose military action when he or she is from very liberal districts; after all, how many Berkeley or SF City Council people were against the Iraq War? Does that mean they're qualified to be President?

Joe Biden voted against the first Gulf War, yet FOR the Iraq War (and against the Surge). HELLO?!?

9/13/2008 4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am left to believe that Obama's conciet prevailed over sound judgement. Even Joe Biden stated that Hillary would have been a better choice for VP.

I do believe it is Obama's own PRIDE that prevailed in his decision to choose a VP, his inability to admit when he is wrong on numerous occasions (Surge in Iraq), his inability to take responsibilty for all of his "staffers errors".

What kind of supervisor blames his staffers for mistakes? When you are working in the gov't (which I did for the DOJ) and one of your staffers makes a mistake, you stand up and accept responsibilty for that mistake to your supervisor. This is what GOOD supervisors and good leaders do.

Okay back to the audacity of Obama's ego... it is much to huge for him to sit behind a desk in the Oval office. Ultimate power corrupts ultimately!

I also believe Obama is an empty suit to the Howard Deans and Soros etc. They told him not to chose Hillary because she is uncontrollable and didn't want her in the way of the extreme left's agenda. Obama is being used as a pretty wrapper on a warped extreme leftist agenda.

When I worked in the DOJ one of the security background questions we had to ask was "Does some other person or faction control your actions or were you ever told you were born to bring down America?" (A bit extreme I know, but a necessity!)

If you look at Obama's choices, one can only notice the agenda of his life.... to be elected President. This explains his associations with Ayres, Wright, Oprah, MoveOn.org, 136 Present votes, Rezco... and on and on.

Unlike McCain, who's entire life's journey has lead him to the point of seeking the Presidential office. Obama has made every decision to "set" himself up for this position, but not by working hard for 30 years! He made high-power political association, big money associations, fast-tracked his career and refused to vote yeah or neah on things to avoid creating a voting record and forced his path to the White House with the help of some extremely questionable associates.

Can we really trust someone who's entire life's agenda was ALWAYS in the pursuit of the highest office in the land?

Think about it, Please! For our future for your children! Something isn't right in this picture.

9/14/2008 1:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like what anonymous said regarding the relatives of Obama.

Can a duel-citizen legally serve as our president? Doesn't this represent a conflict of interest?

Obama has so many questionable relationships, when you add in his family ties, it makes this choice even more concerning!

How does this work? A good point has been made that his family living in other countries are going to be targets for some extreme interests!!

Will we have to pay for secret service protection of his family members in foreign countries?

9/14/2008 1:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of poor judgment how does John McCain himself describe his cheating on his first wife and his involvement in the Keating scandal. HINT----POOR JUDGMENT

9/14/2008 11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John McCain was found completely innocent of any wrong doing involving the Keating scandal. He was the only republican to be investigated, the other 4 were democrats. McCain was completely cleared of all wrong doing... and he was extremely young and a new politician at the time. He made sure he never repeated the same mistake again in his career.

And to use what happened in his marriage against him as a case-in-point on judgement is below the belt. McCain spent 5 years in a POW camp, you cannot pass judgement on how that changes you unless you too, have experienced the same thing. When my father came back from 2 tours in Vietnam, he was a different man. Different in many ways and McCain has never denied his leaving his wife and taking responsibility for it.

People make mistakes all the time, the true judge of character is the actions taken after the mistake is discovered. In that you will find McCain not only honorable but of sound judgement and character.

BTW his first wife has a McCain 08 bumper sticker on her car! I think even she understood the fundamental changes that being a POW caused her ex! And now she supports him because of his honesty and character.

9/14/2008 4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

15 years ago, at 22, I was grossing $18,000/yr, and realized I needed a college education for any future. I worked full time and went to school full time, acquring student loans (I am still paying off). However, I did manage in all that to graduate Summa Cum Laude. From there, my professional career flourished and now I have a position where I gross over $75,000/yr. Why the back ground? When I got married 7 years ago, we got taxed up the wazoo with the marriage penalty tax. After Bush's coming in to the White House, we have seen bluer skies, and my tax burden has come down. Now, I can enroll my kids in soccer and T-Ball, and take them to the movies once in a while. The change promissed by Obama scares the sh _ _ out of me - evidently I am rich and need to pay more taxes. See, I thought working hard for my education to better myself and provide for my family was a good thing. If Obama is elected, it just dashes all sense of motivation and drive. Why should I work so hard, to have it taken away from me? What ever happened to the American work ethic? If I had any inkling of where we might be going, I should have just stayed in that $18,000/yr job, had my kids, and milked the government for eveything I "deserve". You know, everyone can not have everything they want. It has not been possible in the entire existence of man. Some will achieve, some will not. But, the more you try to even the playing field, the more socialistic and communistic you become. For Obama, his charismatic speaking engagements make people think they can get everything taken care of for them. But at what cost? As William Wallace would say in Braveheart, "I choose freedom!"

9/14/2008 10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is quite interesting- It is evident Your dislike for Sen. Obama which is Your right to voice however Sen. Obama nor Sen. McCain are Perfect- I imagine it would be quite difficult for You to write a column on *judgment* re: Sen. McCain because then it would make Sen. Obama appear like a Saint. They BOTH have staff, they can try to micro-manage but mistakes-errors happen & it is ones perception to the degree of its importance. How do You know it was not one he trusted whom may have made a hiccup- People DO make mistakes- though this was NOT life threatening...I have heard Sen. Obama admit when he made a gaffe- him correct it NOT blame the other party like the McCain campaign has been doing so frequently- I imagine You have friends who have changed- did things You were not happy with- does that make You a accountable for their faults? It is rare like the eclipse to hear the McCain Campaign admit to mistakes- it literally takes an act of God for them to own up with Dignity. It is quite disturbing. If Sen. McCain is going on National TV to speak of CHANGE (amazing how Sen. Obama has been speaking of change since his candidacy) but siphons advice from BUSH advisors-consultants. You tell me what CHANGE-REFORM- Maverick ideals they are referring to? Gov. Palin had her speech written by a BUSH speechwriter- That is more of the same- She is being prepped by BUSH consultants- CHANGE? Sen. Obama could have hung on to Rev. Wright- made excuses for all his behavior- dismissed the accusations as people *whining* having a *mental recession* however there are people (Pastors included) who go through a metamorphosis especially after receiving Media Attention like the Lotto Winner who assumes he or she is above Friends-Family because now Money talks. It can be difficult for a man to see another man achieve success especially when he is African American. I congratulate You on Your accomplishments but please don't belittle Sen. Obama's or demean his intelligence if You cannot discern personal opinion from facts. People put him on a pedestal, one he did NOT ask for- & chip away so conveniently. With all due respect- You paint Sen. Obama like an ignorant-arrogant thug who pulls a wool over people's eyes. Does confidence bleed arrogance? An African American stereotype some feed into. If he changes his mind on an issue- I imagine it for good reason which he would give if asked for he did during times the Media featured but You like some others don't pursue that avenue. Please take the time & go back into Sen. McCain's record- there are interviews when he said one thing & then denies ever saying it. Amnesia cannot be blamed for the numerous gaffes-American people overall are not stupid- Temperament & Judgment is what many want in a leader not a BUSH trained Maverick who shoots first then realizes the target was an African American Community Organizer-US Senator trying to *rebuild* what BUSH burned down.

9/16/2008 7:02 PM  
Blogger LightningRodNV said...

I find the earlier comment racist. No one on this site made any reference to NObama's race. It was a blatant attempt at race baiting and you should be ashamed to have wrote it.

Concerning NObama's judgment and friends, I am convinced NObama threw Wright and Ayers to the curb because they became political liabilities. He really agrees with them, but knows it will ruin his chance at POTUS.

NObama is not above taking cheap shots that, if you think about them, really backfire. My wife and I thought of a good response regarding McCain's houses - he acquired them all honestly, not with the help of a slime like Rezko.

Also, I am sure NObama would still be at that USA hating church if it hadn't become a political liability. When NObama says "God Bless America" I hear that ridiculous preacher saying the exact opposite and NObama cheering in the front row.

He is a liar who makes me sick.

9/17/2008 8:07 PM  

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