27 September 2008

Strategy or Tactic? The Difference Between Obama & McCain

From Friday night's debate:
OBAMA: But understand, that was a tactic designed to contain the damage of the previous four years of mismanagement of this war.
...

MCCAIN: I'm afraid Senator Obama doesn't understand the difference between a tactic and a strategy.

OBAMA: We had a legitimate difference, and I absolutely understand the difference between tactics and strategy. And the strategic question that the president has to ask is not whether or not we are employing a particular approach in the country once we have made the decision to be there. The question is, was this wise?


So the question is, do you want to elect a president who thinks that his strategy ought to begin with the question of how best to win a war or who thinks that his strategy ought to begin with the question of what – including war, investment in research into alternative energy, tax cuts, health care, etc. – is going to do the most to improve quality of life?

A president should not focus on the best strategy for educating the youth, extending longevity, enhancing the safety of pensions, or creating transportation solutions that minimize commuting time and carbon footprint. The president should focus on the best strategy – among these and various other options – for improving quality of life.

For Obama, the change in the approach to the Iraqi occupation is a tactic and the decision to make the world safer by invading Iraq is a strategy. For McCain, the decision to invade and occupy Iraq is a given and how best to do that is a strategy. McCain remains the good soldier. He is not, it would seem, running for president so much as Commander in Chief.

5 comments:

ThomasLB said...

Whenever people begin arguing semantics it means they've lost sight of the Big Picture.

Big Al said...

What McCain shows me with his actions, time and again, is to act first & think later. He chose Governor Palin as his VP running mate because of what qualities? She is a woman, not a Washington "insider", and a very conservative Republican? Unfortunately she is VERY junior about national and international issues. If McCain had conducted risk analysis of all his VP choices I truly believe Palin's risk quotient would've been significantly higher than other potential running mate choices. Did McCain really think about what would happen if Palin became President? Similar situation 2 weeks ago when McCain first stated he would fire the SEC chairman. Was it a bold statement? Absolutely. Was it decisive? Also absolutely. *BUT*, was it the right call to make? No. Why indict one person when it was pretty clear then and becomes more clear as each day passes that there are more folks to blame for this mess than prison cells to hold them.

We've had 8 years of quick, decisive, poorly thought-out decisions being made. We do NOT need another 4 just as bad.

LET'S TALK said...

I think McCain at some point is out of control and will do anything as Hillary stated to do just to become President.

nunya said...

the recently passed a 612 billion dollar defense authorization bill for 2009 that didn't merit a blink.

Ron Davison said...

Thomas,
good rule of thumb. Thank you.

Allen,
Palin does seem to have been the flavor of the month. And maybe this could work - make the VP a guest host job, rotating it between different people from month to month.

LT,
McCain seems to be grasping for whatever works. It was sad, because it seemed as though what worked was his not grasping for anything that worked.

Nunya,
I guess the one thing that we can thank Bush for is having numbed us to all outrage.