Obama on Petraeus: A tale of two videos

posted at 2:53 pm on June 23, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama managed an unusually adept maneuver today by tempering criticism over the cashiering of General Stanley McChrystal with a replacement appointment of legendary General David Petraeus, perhaps the most well-known and trusted American commander since Eisenhower. Jules Crittenden wonders whether we have only two generals capable of handling the assignment with the de facto (and voluntary) demotion of Petraeus back to field command, but the point wasn’t really capability anyway, as Obama himself points out in his statement. It’s about re-establishing trust and confidence, and who better to do that than Petraeus, the hero of the Iraq surge? Obama emphasizes this in his introduction of Petraeus in the Rose Garden:

However, Obama wasn’t always so sanguine about Petraeus or surge strategies. Cubachi finds this revealing moment from 2007 in which Obama blasts the Bush administration’s surge decision and tells Petraeus that we were losing Iraq despite that effort. Pay special attention to the moment at 3:45 or so, where Obama derides Bush using now-familiar language:

This isn’t a criticism of either of you gentlemen, it’s a criticism of this President and the administration, which has set a mission for the military and our diplomatic forces that is extraordinarily difficult now to achieve. And there has been no acknowledgment of that on the part of this administration, so we have the President in Australia suggesting somehow that we are, as was stated before, kicking A-S-S. How can — how can we have a President making that assessment?

Really? In the end, Bush turned out to be right, and Obama wrong. And later, it seems that Obama has a lot less distaste for presidential ass-kicking rhetoric than he did when he spent ten minutes barking at the man who now has to save Obama’s bacon.

Update: Did MoveOn scrub “General Betray-Us” from their website?

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Obama = The Anti-Midas, he can take a gold standard health system, 4 star commander, an economic juggernaught like the US… and turn it to crap with but a deft touch of his hand.

Archimedes on June 23, 2010 at 4:02 PM

Funny in a tragicomic kinda way…

Buy Danish on June 23, 2010 at 8:01 PM

We wish Barry was Dubya’s third term. At least, Dubya was believable when he was using profanities.

Illinidiva on June 23, 2010 at 2:58 PMwas chuggin a beer with his bestest buddy YAAAA BARRY BAMSTER !!!

cableguy615 on June 23, 2010 at 9:08 PM

What do we expect from this hack?

Obama is all about showing face and hiding the fact he is nothing more than a partisan jerk.

I hope this bites him in the ass and Petraeus clears out Afghanistan in a few months, it would make him the thing of Legend and a great Repub spokesman (he is a registered Repub in his home state isn’t he?)

Rbastid on June 24, 2010 at 1:13 AM

Update: Did MoveOn scrub “General Betray-Us” from their website?

Of course. What do you expect from an organization set up to deflect from Bill Clinton’s serial molestation cases and rape accusations?

MNHawk on June 24, 2010 at 7:47 AM

General Betray-Us vote, reprise:

NAYs —25
Akaka (D-HI)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Byrd (D-WV)
Clinton (D-NY)
Dodd (D-CT)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Harkin (D-IA)

Inouye (D-HI)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)

Levin (D-MI)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Murray (D-WA)

Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Rockefeller (D-WV)

Sanders (I-VT)
Schumer (D-NY)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)

Not Voting – 3
Biden (D-DE)

Cantwell (D-WA)
Obama (D-IL)

Jaibones on June 24, 2010 at 2:54 PM