The audacity of Obama campaigning on having ‘bagged bin Laden’
posted at 11:16 am on April 29, 2012 by Howard Portnoy
Last night was the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, and the president was full of it. Mirth, that is. He had his audience in stitches with howlers like this one about his similarities with presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney:
We both think of our wives as our better halves, and the polls show to an alarmingly insulting extent that the American people agree. We also both have degrees from Harvard. I have one, he has two. What a snob.
His new BFF, Jimmy Kimmel, was master of ceremonies and at one point said, “There’s a term for President Obama, probably not two terms.” The cameras did not record the president’s response, so it’s hard to know whether he managed a rare laugh at his own expense or curled his bottom lip into the pouty expression he wears when he accuses his opponents of treating him like a dog.
One comic bit that was off the table was the boast that Obama’s foreign policy credentials are superior to Romney’s because he “bagged Osama bin Laden” while we “don’t know which path Mitt Romney would have taken.” This line is from a new Obama campaign web video titled “One Chance,” the release of which was intended to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the killing of the terrorist mastermind.
The opening frame in the video is a text screen reading, “The Commander-in-Chief gets one chance to make the right decision.” From there, it is on to Bill Clinton, declaring, “That’s one thing George Bush said that was right: The president is the decider-in-chief.” Ironic that the Obama campaign should choose Clinton as their mouthpiece for this particular bit of propaganda, considering that, as president, Clinton had bin Laden in his sights on numerous occasions and failed each time to make the “right decision.”
As for the video itself, one has to wonder what happened to Obama’s humility after the successful Navy Seal raid on bin Laden’s compound, when he noted that we “shouldn’t spike the ball” over this “score.”
The video also quotes Romney as having said in April of 2007 that it wasn’t “worth moving heaven and earth, spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person.” But Romney was hardly alone in that view. By that point, bin Laden had been chased into hiding and out of commission thanks entirely to efforts made by military leaders during the Bush administration. His capture or killing, were it ever to happen, would be a symbolic gesture, one that put closure for many on a painful chapter that he had orchestrated. It was just such a sentiment that prompted veteran British journalist Robert Fisk, who had interviewed bin Laden on three occasions, to declare at the time of his demise that the al Qaeda leader’s death was “pretty irrelevant” and that he had long ceded command to other higher-ups in the terrorist movement.
Finally, it is false to posit that Obama’s role in the death of bin Laden was anything more than having been there when the wheel came round. Far from having laid the groundwork for the “most audacious” military plan in history—as Vice President Joe Biden foolishly proclaimed—Obama put American ground forces in harm’s way by vetoing plans four months earlier to bomb the terrorist’s established hideout so that he could have DNA proof (aka bragging rights) for the takedown.
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