Prominent Republicans Side with Obama

On the current substantive debate about foreign policy (wow, how refreshing), two prominent Republicans have sided with Obama, openly.

First James Baker -
"Diplomacy involves talking to your enemies. You don't reward your enemies necessarily by talking to them if you are tough and you know what you are doing. You don't appease them. Talking to an enemy is not in my view appeasement."
He made 19 trips to Syria when he was Secretary of State, when Syria was on the list of state-sponsors of terrorism. Here's the video.



Also Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska) accuses his colleague, Sen. John McCain, of being too political and unprinicipaled. It's worth noting that Hagel is the top ranking Republican of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

From The Huffington Post's Sam Stein:

"We know from past campaigns that presidential candidates will say many things," Hagel said of some of McCain's recent rhetoric, namely his policy on talking to Iran. "But once they have the responsibility to govern the country and lead the world, that difference between what they said and what responsibilities they have to fulfill are vastly different. I'm very upset with John with some of the things he's been saying. And I can't get into the psychoanalysis of it. But I believe that John is smarter than some of the things he is saying. He is, he understands it more. John is a man who reads a lot, he's been around the world. I want him to get above that and maybe when he gets into the general election, and becomes the general election candidate he will have a higher-level discourse on these things."

Hagel, speaking to a small gathering at the residence of the Italian ambassador, took umbrage with several positions taken by the McCain campaign, including the Arizona Senator's criticism of Obama for pledging to engage with Iran. Engagement is not, and should not be confused for, capitulation, he argued.

"I never understand how anyone in any realm of civilized discourse could sort through the big issues and challenges and threats and figure out how to deal with those without engaging in some way...."

Hagel then offered a wry tweak of his GOP colleague. "I am confident that if Obama is elected president that is the approach we will take. And my friend John McCain said some other things about that. We'll see, but in my opinion it has to be done. It is essential."

Hagel, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, went on to belittle the tendency for some within his own party to disparage those who tout diplomacy. "You take some risks in talking about this," he said, "especially in the Congress, because you can immediately be branded as an appeaser."

Hagel is also widely thought to be under consideration by Obama for VP. One Washington Post columnist argued for Hagel on Sunday.