Pak-ing heat

Sorry I flaked on blogging yesterday; it was a busy day. We got a sneak peek at excerpts of the anti-terrorism speech of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, which we broke on Good Morning America. (FREE GMA VIDEO HERE) and a quick WEBCAST CONVERSATION HERE).

And HERE'S OUR DOT-COM STORY... And the longer piece we did for Nightline, complete with an Obama interview, CAN BE WATCHED HERE...

After Obama's speech - where he proposed taking out al Qaeda targets in Pakistan, with or without the permission of Pakistan President Gen. Pervez Musharraf,  his Democratic rivals tried to figure out how to respond.

Some said, "me, too!" Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, told American Urban Radio News Network that, “I’ve long believed that we needed tougher, smarter action against terrorists by deploying more troops to Afghanistan, and if we had actionable intelligence that Osama bin Laden or other high-value targets were in Pakistan I would ensure that they were targeted and killed or captured. And that will be my highest priority because they pose the highest threat to America.”

Others did not. Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., conversely, issued a paper statement saying, "Frankly, I am not sure what Barack is calling for in his speech this morning. But it is dangerous and irresponsible to leave even the impression the United States would needlessly and publicly provoke a nuclear power."

One thing Obama cautioned me in our interview was not to pay too much attention to the part of his speech focused on Pakistan. Ever the professor.

"One thing that I do think is important, Jake, and I just want to emphasize this; the story that comes out of this speech may unduly focus on that aspect that, as you put it, looks muscular, being willing to go after terrorists where they live," he said. "But keep in mind the other elements of the speech were as important, if not more important. If we don’t win over the hearts and minds of 1.3 billion Muslims in this world, it is going to be very difficult for us to win the long war on extremism. And that, I think, it just as much a focus as the other aspects of the speech. And I hope that comes through in your story."

It probably didn't, but to be fair, Obama had to have known that when he included that headline grabber in his speech. But HERE'S HIS WHOLE SPEECH if you want to read it…

What say you?

- jpt

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