Carol Platt Liebau: Claire McCaskill - An Unacceptable Risk

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Claire McCaskill - An Unacceptable Risk

The "Meet the Press" debate conducted this morning between Senator Jim Talent and Sate Auditor Claire McCaskill, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate from Missouri, provided a real insight on why a "Senator McCaskill" would be absolutely unacceptable. (Transcript here).

She is weak on terror.

1. She has said that the war on terror will not be won on the battlefield, but through "sophisticated criminal investigations."

2. She supports the Hamdan decision, which extended Geneva Convention protection to terrorists.

3. She supports the publication of classified information by The New York Times -- saying that it was all right because the terrorists knew about it anyway.

4. She opposes the President's warrantless wiretapping program -- and has, in fact, called it "illegal."

5. She is concerned that the United States hasn't extended habeas corpus rights to detained terrorists (or, at least so she told supporters in Paris, France).

6. She supports an artificial deadline for withdrawal from Iraq.

7. She wants to "redeploy" American troops from Iraq to Saudi Arabia and Qatar (without knowing, mind you, whether those countries would even accept American troops).

8. She believes we have "failed" in Iraq.

What's more:

She stands by her statement that "George Bush let people die on rooftops in New Orleans because they were poor and because they were black."

Having watched this debate, my overall impression is that it's surprising that Claire McCaskill is doing as well as she is in the polls. Her statements were little more than a stumblng amalgam of Democratic talking points and orchestrated attacks on Jim Talent and the President. She lacked the clarity and conviction of Jim Talent, especially when it comes to the war on terror -- and above all, was clearly trying to portray a more moderate image than the history of her statements, as quoted back to her, would suggest.


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