The point of this post is to put up a neat little anecdote about Obama. I'm not sure which way I'll go in the election, but little things like this push me towards Obama. I believe in open dialogue, and Obama does too.
This excerpt from the recent Obama/Clinton debate is quite significant in my mind. It was in response to the question about a possible meeting with Rahul Castro of Cuba.
CLINTON:I would not meet with him until there was evidence that change was happening because I think it’s important that they demonstrate clearly that they are committed to change the direction.
Then I think, you know, something like diplomatic encounters and negotiations over specifics could take place.
But we’ve had this conversation before, Senator Obama and myself, and I believe that we should have full diplomatic engagement, where appropriate. But a presidential visit should not be offered and given without some evidence that it will demonstrate the kind of progress that is in our interest and, in this case, in the interest of the Cuban people.
OBAMA: I would meet without preconditions, although Senator Clinton is right that there has to be preparation. It is very important for us to make sure that there was an agenda and on that agenda was human rights, releasing of political prisoners, opening up the press. And that preparation might take some time.
But I do think that it is important for the United States not just to talk to its friends but also to talk to its enemies. In fact, that’s where diplomacy makes the biggest difference.
CLINTON: But there has been this difference between us over when and whether the president should offer a meeting without preconditions with those with whom we do not have diplomatic relations, and it should be part of a process. But I don’t think it should be offered in the beginning because I think that undermines the capacity for us to actually take the measure of somebody like Raul Castro or Ahmadinejad and others.
OBAMA: Because the problem isn’t — is if we think that meeting with the president is a privilege that has to be earned, I think that reinforces the sense that we stand above the rest of the world at this point in time, and I think that it’s important for us, in undoing the damage that has been done over the last seven years, for the president to be willing to take that extra step. That’s the kind of step that I would like to take as president of the United States.
I think this difference is more than just words. It’s a big deal and why I’m in Obama’s corner.
More every day.