Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What Is Obama Afraid Of?

The New York Times has reported that Barrack Obama has turned down an invitation to a Town Hall style debate with John McCain that would have been sponsored by a coalition of military family and veterans groups, to be held outside of Fort Hood, Texas. John McCain, of course accepted the invitation and CBS was willing to air the event. For a candidate that claims to support our military and their families, it is beyond belief that Obama could not find a date that would work into the campaign schedule. Carissa Picard, managing director of the Fort Hood Presidential Town Hall Consortium, initially offered 11 August as a date. The Obama campaign claimed they had an event already scheduled. Then Ms. Picard asked the campaign to give an acceptable date, which as of this posting, the Obama campaign has not given. There is some more commentary on this matter here and here.

In my opinion, this is a slap in the face to our military families and veterans, both groups of which I am a member of. Obama is all talk about supporting the military, their families and our veterans. When it comes time to walk the walk, it seems Obama runs away! - Sailor

Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, the presumptive Democratic nominee, has not agreed to participate.

“Senator Obama strongly supports America’s veterans and military families and has worked hard on their behalf in the Senate,” said Phillip Carter, director of Mr. Obama’s veterans effort and an Iraq war veteran. “While we unfortunately had a previously scheduled commitment on the date proposed, Senator Obama looks forward to continuing the dialogue he’s been having throughout the country with veterans on how we can better serve our men and women in uniform as they serve us.”

Carissa Picard, managing director of the Fort Hood Presidential Town Hall Consortium, said she had suggested Aug. 11 and asked the campaign to suggest other dates if that was not convenient, but after several conversations she had not been able to work anything out.

“I’m having extreme difficulty getting the Obama campaign to commit to this event, and we do not understand why,” said Ms. Picard, whose husband is deployed in Iraq. “We made it very clear to them that if they would commit to the event, we would work with them on dates.”

The organizers released details about the event in hopes that it would pressure the Obama campaign to agree to the event.

“This was a decision that was made with tremendous difficulty, to publicize it,” Ms. Picard said. “We were at a point where we had no other option. We got the impression that they could talk us to November.”

The meeting would be at the Expo Center in Belton, Tex., about 25 miles from Fort Hood.

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