CNN correspondent Ed Henry hacked out 29 paragraphs on his network's Web site dedicated to the proposition that "President Bush launched a sharp but veiled attack Thursday on Sen. Barack Obama and other Democrats." Henry cited anonymous White House sources to acknowledge that "the remarks [before the Israeli Knesset] were aimed at the presidential candidate [Barack Obama] and others in his party." Henry then expended much energy tracking down Democrats to bluster about Bush's "veiled attack" and how specious it was, including a hot-tempered Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) declaring the charge, "bulls**t."But aside from the he-said/she-said treatment of quoting Democratic outrage and finding Republicans -- White House Press Secretary Dana Perino and presumptive GOP nominee Sen. John McCain -- on the defensive, Henry failed to look into Obama's past statements on his vision for presidential diplomacy. Yet Obama's presidential campaign Web site itself lays out in pretty simple terms the Illinois Democrat's view about engaging the Iranian regime in "direct" negotiations with no preconditions (emphasis mine):
Diplomacy: Obama is the only major candidate who supports tough, direct presidential diplomacy with Iran without preconditions. Now is the time to pressure Iran directly to change their troubling behavior. Obama would offer the Iranian regime a choice. If Iran abandons its nuclear program and support for terrorism, we will offer incentives like membership in the World Trade Organization, economic investments, and a move toward normal diplomatic relations. If Iran continues its troubling behavior, we will step up our economic pressure and political isolation. Seeking this kind of comprehensive settlement with Iran is our best way to make progress.
What's more, as Michael Goldfarb at The Weekly Standard noted on May 10, Obama was asked in last year's YouTube debate (emphasis mine):
[W]ould you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?
Obama's response (emphasis mine):
I would. And the reason is this, that the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them - which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration - is ridiculous.
(h/t e-mail tipster David Anasco)