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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Stephen Harper might want to borrow Clinton's 3AM ad

One of the more interesting twists in the Democratic race was Senator Clinton's "3AM phone call" ad, which suggested that Obama was not ready for a crisis.  Obama's aide Susan Rice responded thusly:

They're both not ready to have that 3AM phone call.

It says something about the Democrats that they're willing to acknowledge that neither of their candidates can yet be trusted in a crisis - but they'll support either one against the fellow who can: John McCain.

Meanwhile, for anyone at Conservative HQ who may be reading this, you might want to ask the Canadian voters how they would feel if Stephane Dion were answering that phone.

Posted by D.J. McGuire on March 6, 2008 in International Politics | Permalink


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The ad would show Dion picking up the phone, then Iggy and Rae simultaneously tackling him and trying to wrestle the phone out of his hands.

Posted by: Joan Tintor | 2008-03-06 12:43:01 PM

I think that ad would backfire in Canada. Technically neither McCain nor Hillary have had to take a 3am call, but viewers might ask themselves which party was in power in Canada when the FLQ thing went down, or when we had to coordinate with the USA during the 9-11 attacks and the subsequent actions in Afghanistan.

Then just out of curiosity they might ask whether Dion has ever had to work at 3am, and find out he was the chair of a summit in 2005 who forced the international delegates to stay up until the early hours of the morning until they could reach an agreement, so he's a proven night owl & workaholic. For all we know, he'd be up anyway, making sandwich and reading the Globe.

Those might come together to make them feel like there's nothing to worry about a 3am call to a Liberal 24 Sussex Drive.

"Allo? No, it's OK I'm up. What's happening. Uh huh... a Maersk shipping container full of Farfur DVDs? Halifax? Yes you have permission to unleash JTF 2. And Hillier... get James Hudson on the phone too. It's time to re-form Alpha Flight*, dammit!"

I'm just saying...

*Marvel Comics credits Trudeau with forming our national superhero team, and tried to repatriate Wolverine.

Posted by: Pattern Recognition | 2008-03-06 1:36:28 PM

I read one comment on a US blog that said,
If Hillory was woke up at 3a.m., it would be to tell her Bill still wasn't home.

Posted by: MaryT | 2008-03-06 1:47:40 PM

Let's try and be accurate with the context of the statement:

Here’s a transcript from her appearance on Tucker Carlson’s show on MSNBC in terms of what was asked and said about the 3 a.m. phone call.

Mr. Carlson: So Hillary Clinton runs this ad, the famous red phone ad, that says when the phone rings at 3 o’clock in the morning, you know, who do you trust to make those snap decisions that could hold all of our lives in the balance? And the Obama campaign, I thought very wisely, came back and said, name one that you — you know name a situation where you’ve judged a foreign policy crisis, and she couldn’t.

I’m going to ask the same question to you. Where has — Barack Obama been in a position where he has to make those kinds of decisions?

Ms. Rice: He hasn’t and he hasn’t claimed that he’s been in a position to have to answer the phone at 3 o’clock in the morning in a crisis situation. That’s the difference between the two of them. Hillary Clinton hasn’t had to answer the phone at 3 o’clock in the morning. And yet she attacked Barack Obama for not being ready. They’re both not ready to have that 3:00 a.m. phone call.

The question is and what Barack Obama raised is, when that phone call is received for each of them for the first time, who’s going to make the right judgment? Who is going to make the right decision?

On the critical foreign policy issues of the day, whether it was a decision to go to war in Iraq or the decision to give President Bush the benefit of the doubt and beat the drums of war with Iran, Hillary Clinton has made the same wrong judgment as John McCain and George W. Bush. Barack Obama has made a very different judgment.

So neither one of them, and nor John McCain for that matter, have had that 3 o’clock phone call that others have had. And I think we have to be honest about that.]

Posted by: Claude | 2008-03-06 2:37:09 PM

Select responses to a 3am phone call:

Prime Minister Harper: "Yes, I'll take immediate action. Thank you for calling."

Steffie Dion: (to an Ontario corporate contributor) Absolutely, master.

(to anyone else): HOW DARE YOU CALL ME, MORTAL! I am the heir of Pierre Trudeau, bow before me!

Jack Layton: same as Dion, except he thinks he's the heir of Tommy Douglas.

Elizabeth May: to Dion: "Absolutely, master, I am your slave."

(to anyone else) "This wouldn't have happened if Kyoto were signed immediately and with the exemptions given to Ontario. Alberta did it.

Duceppe: "Huh, what?"

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-03-06 3:12:11 PM

There is no 35 years of experience that she is bringing to office. Being the Governors’ mansion decorator followed by the White House decorator isn’t elected official experience. Conversely Obama has been working as an elected official for the last 15 years. I have wondered why they have ever let her say that she has more experience. To suggest that John McCain is more ready to ansewer the phone at 3 a.m. is quite a stretch. His father and grandfather (both admirals) maybe, but John was merely a pilot and he couldnt' even get that right. He was shot down and captured. At his age waking up at 3 a.m. could cause a coronary.

Posted by: Lee | 2008-03-07 10:00:50 AM

Are we overthinking the 3 a.m. call anyway?

Seems to me, whoever takes the call, Obama, McCain, Clinton or the Janitor, would be in a meeting with appointed generals, congressionally-approved secretaries, veteran staff, and now and then even on the horn with other heads of state. In a sense, by 3:15 a.m., assuming it' as a real emergency, the differences between the three would be pretty narrow.

"Mr. President, NORAD reports a nuclear detonation in southwestern Turkey. The Joint Chiefs and cabinet are waiting in the sit room and we have SACEUR on a secure line. The VP is safely..."

What we won't hear:
"Shut up! Right now all I want to hear is that you're getting Oprah on the hotline. I need to speak to Oprah!"

Posted by: Pattern Recognition | 2008-03-07 10:15:31 AM

3 AM? Uh huh! uh huh!

Posted by: the KLF | 2008-03-08 2:30:01 PM

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