Ben Smith of the Politico notes a characteristic difference in the way Barack Obama and John McCain address the Russian invasion of Georgia. Note the diplomatic neutrality of Obama’s statement:
“I strongly condemn the outbreak of violence in Georgia, and urge an immediate end to armed conflict. Now is the time for Georgia and Russia to show restraint, and to avoid an escalation to full scale war. Georgia’s territorial integrity must be respected. All sides should enter into direct talks on behalf of stability in Georgia, and the United States, the United Nations Security Council, and the international community should fully support a peaceful resolution to this crisis.”
Obama refers to “the outbreak of violence,” calls on “both sides” to seek peace, and invokes “the international community.” Meanwhile, McCain bluntly speaks of the Russian invasion and makes prominent mention of the NATO military alliance:
Today, news reports indicate that Russian military forces crossed an internationally-recognized border into the sovereign territory of Georgia. Russia should immediately and unconditionally cease its military operations and withdraw all forces from sovereign Georgian territory
We should immediately call a meeting of the North Atlantic Council to assess Georgia’s security and review measures NATO can take to contribute to stabilizing this very dangerous situation.
So, if getting tough with the Russkies is what you want, Maverick’s your man. (Cross-posted at The Other McCain.)