COMMENTS: Delicate Explosions

CBS anchor Couric offered her overview of the candidate's tour--"Obama hopes to convince voters back home that he is comfortable on the world stage and can juggle a number of delicate and potentially explosive foreign policy issues"--and then went on to outline those delicate potential explosions. She called his Iraq policy "a delicate balancing act"…she cited his pledge to make Afghanistan "the focus of the War on Terror"…she stated that he needs to send a signal of engagement to both Israelis and Palestinians…she pointed out that "he seemed to backtrack" on whether an undivided Jerusalem should be the capital of Israel.

And at the end of her newscast CBS' Couric opined on the "wall to wall coverage" of the Obama trip--"part diplomacy, part PR and all politics"--in which she, herself, is complicit. ABC's George Stephanopoulos concluded that all this attention must be harmful to the candidacy of Republican John McCain: "Obama has all the anchors going over on this trip. He has a big press corps with him. It looks like a Presidential trip." As for Couric, she did not address the appropriateness of affording a mere candidate the attention normally reserved for a head of state. In fact, she seemed to suggest such scrutiny is appropriate. Obama "has some explaining to do…59% of Americans say they know very little about his foreign policy plans. Here is their chance to learn and his chance to teach a global classroom his vision of the world and America's role in it. Perhaps by the end of this week, we will all know a little bit more."


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