July 16th, 2008
04:02 PM ET
15 years ago

Czechoslovakia gets star treatment for third day in a row

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/16/art.nunn.ap.jpg caption="Nunn brought Czechoslovakia back to center stage."] (CNN) - A lot of countries haven’t gotten a share of the spotlight at any of this week’s foreign policy-themed presidential campaign events, or shown up in any of the new national security-focused ads: most of the United States’ hemispheric neighbors, for instance, or just about any nation on the African continent.

Rating no fewer than three references in three days: the non-existent state of Czechoslovakia.

That country – which ceased to exist in 1993, when it split into two nations, the Czech Republic and Slovakia – has now been referred to as a present-day area of concern by two of the most respected current and former Senate foreign policy experts in the space of less than a week. On Monday and Tuesday, it was presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, who said he was worried about recent Russian moves to reduce energy supplies to “Czechoslovakia.”

On Wednesday it was the Democrats’ turn, as Republicans quickly circulated a clip of former Georgia senator and current VP prospect Sam Nunn making the same slip at a mid-day national security summit, flanked by his party’s presumptive nominee Barack Obama.

“…We in this country are about to, under this government, under the Bush administration, deploy [a] missile defense system in Poland and Czechoslovakia,” Nunn said at the Indiana event Wednesday.

So far this week, Persia, Yugoslavia and Siam have yet to come up for discussion.

Filed under: Sam Nunn
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. TonyinKentucky

    Angus, do you know who McCain really is? If so why on earth would he even enter your thoughts as someone to vote for.

    Experience is just another word for familiarity. Many of the PUMA/notfallinginline people love to harp on experience. My question is if experience is such an important part of the puzzle, then why were you for Hillary? She's like the #39 ranking Senator.

    People have had plenty of chances to become more familiar with Obama but refuse to. If he's flip/flopped then I'd like to know when he had the original stand because from the opinions in his book "Audacity of Hope" and his speeches, the tune has been AMAZINGLY CONSISTENT.

    FISA is the only change he has made at all and that honestly was political survival. If he votes no, he's even more so painted as soft on terror.

    What does a 20+ year sojourn in congress do to prepare you to lead the country anyway? The last three candidates standing have less executive/administrative experience than I do...COMBINED.

    Demeanor, intellect, ideas, and comprehension of issues is what it's about here and Obama is KILLING McCain in all categories.

    Even a different kind of player has to participate in the same game.

    July 16, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  2. Christie of PhIlly

    Is there a point to the whole stupid matter. Pretty much ALL of us on this blog, until it was pointed out by the Media, would and do still call that country Czechoslovakia! Move on with the pettiness..........two gaffes for McCain on this issue, one by an Obama surrogate on this issue. Total Score = 2 McCain, 1 Obama. And, the winner is of the least gaffes on the Caechoslovakia gaffe is...............BARACK OBAMA!

    July 16, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  3. Tony

    It's amazing to me the level of hypocrisy from Obama supporters. "Nunn isn't running for President", etc. Guess what? He's being talked about for VP, which is one step from the Presidency, and frankly, the fact that someone else made the error the day before should have GUARANTEED that no one else would make it.

    That said, I agree with part of what PCA said, which is that all this little soundbyte stuff that the media loves so much, and that incites so many blog comments, is really insignificant. How about both McCain and Obama agree on the 6 or 7 key issues, then respectfully (with one another) lay out their postions and let US decide who to vote for? Why is that so hard???

    Folks, our society is really getting pitiful in that we're SO soundbyte oriented, reality-show based, that we grind our wheels on that and that's exactly what the media gives us. We deserve better...we deserve substantive discussion on substantive issues, and BOTH the candidates deserve our respect.

    A special shout out to Kim, by the way...golly, I never heard McWar or McSenile. You're very McClever. Did you think of those all by yourself? YOU are EXACTLY the stereotype of the obnoxious, arrogant (with NO reason to be) Obama supporter that frankly is the biggest weakness of Obama as a candidate. You are nowhere NEAR as smart or as informed as you think you are–if it wasn't so pathetic it would be funny. How about another post...but don't forget to talk about McSame, McShame, McBush, etc....they've only been used about a grillion times already so they're probably funny to you.

    July 16, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  4. Tony

    Folks, another thing to remember about Czechoslovakia is that for McCain and Nunn and others, Czechoslovakia was more than just the name of a country but had some significant history related to the USSR, etc. I know it's hard for you Obama supporters who lack empathy and who believe that anyone past Obama's age is worthless, but it's not just a name on a map...it was part of a very scary and very challenging period in our history. How about you cut the folks some slack and spend your energy focusing on important matters.

    July 16, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  5. Tony


    You're kidding right? You're saying that the news of Nunn doing this is part of a Republican smear campaign? But of course the Democrats are pure as the driven snow with regard to the McCain slip? Are you really that naive? Try looking up Occam's Razor...the simplest explanation is that the media loves to report this kind of thing because it drives everybody crazy.

    July 16, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  6. Astrid

    BARACK OBAMA.......


    July 16, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  7. Concerned

    I am truly concerned on McCains age, I know my mom she says things all the time that makes little sense. I think as a Presidential canidate you must be able to think smart and sharp!
    Truly concerned REP.

    July 16, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  8. TheTruthHurts

    Could be a sign that McCain AND Nunn are too ingrained in their thinking to be a flexible leader or drive change. Haven't heard enough from Nunn to make that claim, but I've been listening to McCain for months.

    July 16, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  9. Roger from CA

    Well, Sam, so much for the VP slot.

    Wasn't that excited about him, anyways. I blame him for knocking Bill Clinton off balance right out of the gate after his first inauguration by deliberately forcing the issue on gays in the military. Picking Nunn may appeal to the "Reagan Dems" and seniors, but would sap even more of the energy out of Obama's supporters on the left.

    July 16, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
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