Gen. Clark: "But he hasn't held executive responsibility. That large squadron in the Navy that he commanded? It wasn't a wartime squadron. He hasn't been there and ordered the bombs to fall. He hasn't seen what it's like when diplomats come in and say, 'I don't know whether we're going to be able to get this point through or not, do you want to take the risk, what about your reputation, how do we handle this publicly?' He hasn't made those points Bob."
CBS' Bob Schieffer: "Well, General, could I just interrupt you. I have to say, Barack Obama has not had any of those experiences either nor has he ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down."
Gen. Clark: "Well, I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be President."
The RNC called this an attack. Is it? Not to me. I served three years in the Army as a linguist and radio operator. Does that qualify me to be president? Not in the least. Would I be offended by someone who pointed this out? Not at all. Sen. McCain obviously does have qualifications to be president, and the fortitude he showed as a prisoner may be one of them, but flying an airplane is not.
The other criticism is the sense that Obama is changing his positions on issues, shifting to the right and failing to adhere to his promise to bring a new kind of politics to the American system.
Promises to change politics are always open to interpretation. But I never imagined that changing politics would mean rewriting its fundamental principles. Politics has always been about compromise, negotiation and finding mutual ground. It always will be. Obama's shift toward the middle encourages people like me, who worry that he might really be too liberal, especially if elected along with a sizable Democratic majority, as seems likely.
Instead, he comes across as pragmatic, realistic, bright and flexible. After eight years of Bush, those traits sound awfully appealing.