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Comedian Sinbad weighs in on Democratic foreign policy debate

March 13, 2008 |  2:10 pm

Barack Obama's presidential campaign took the serious approach earlier this week in attempting to refute rival Hillary Clinton's claim that her time as first lady had the side effect of turning her into a grizzled foreign-policy hand. But the Obama campaign also got a light-hearted assist in making its case from Sinbad, the comedian.

Chatting with Mary Ann Akers, who pens the Washington Post's Sleuth blog, Sinbad scoffed at the notion that the trip that he, Clinton and singer Sheryl Crow took to Bosnia in 1996 was a perilous mission freighted with import.

The excursion's primary goal was to provide some entertainment for U.S. troops and, according to Sinbad (via the Sleuth), the scariest part of the trip "was wondering where he'd eat next."

In a quote that has gained some notice, the avowed Obama supporter went on to tell Akers: "I think the only 'red-phone' moment was: 'Do we eat here or at the next place.' "

The rest of the item includes the Clinton camp's response and Sinbad's take on another of the campaign's great controversies: the degree to which ...

"Saturday Night Live" is carrying water for the Clinton cause.

Much as Obama might be tempted to invoke Sinbad's crack the next time he and Clinton debate and she broaches the questions her campaign has raised about his foreign-policy experience, he more likely will take as his guide the more sober-minded memo we referenced above.

The missive was issued Tuesday by Greg Craig, a one-time State Department official who switched gears to play a major role in defending Bill Clinton during the impeachment turmoil and now, intriguingly, backs and counsels Obama. Exploring a number of specific fronts -- Northern Ireland, Kosovo, China and others -- he asserts that, as the release was headlined, Clinton's "claims of foreign policy experience are exaggerated."

You can read Craig's argument in its entirety here.

-- Don Frederick