“A serving SEAL Team member said: ‘Obama wasn’t in the field, at risk, carrying a gun. As president, at every turn he should be thanking the guys who put their lives on the line to do this. He does so in his official speeches because he speechwriters are smart.
“‘But the more he tries to take the credit for it, the more the ground operators are saying, ‘Come on, man!’ It really didn’t matter who was president. At the end of the day, they were going to go.’…
“Brandon Webb, a former SEAL who spent 13 years on active duty and served in Iraq and Afghanistan, said: ‘Bush should get partial credit for putting the system in place.’…
“‘My friends that work in Special Operations Command (SOCOM) that have been on video teleconferences with Obama on these kill or capture situations say that Obama has no issue whatsoever with making decisions and typically it’s kill. He’s hitting the kill button every time. I have a lot of respect for him for that.'”
“The Obama campaign’s bin Laden ad, which has stirred a fierce debate, looks to some like a hit below the belt, using a questionable premise to make a political argument that Democrats can be just as tough in dealing with the nation’s enemies as Republicans…
“The Obama campaign’s grounds for doing so are one Romney quote that has nothing to do with how he would have handled the bin Laden operation, and another that appears to show Romney had a policy position that would have prevented him from approving the strike, but that crumbles under further inspection of its context…
“Edelman, a top Pentagon official during the presidency of George W. Bush, added a jab at Clinton for not catching or killing bin Laden during his presidency, despite the opportunity.
“‘Interesting choice of messenger since Clinton declined to ‘make the tough choice’ when he had the chance,’ Edelman said.”
“While contemplating how the killing of bin Laden reflects on the president, consider the way he emphasized his own role in the hazardous mission accomplished by SEAL Team 6:
“‘I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority . . . even as I continued our broader effort. . . . Then, after years of painstaking work by my intelligence community I was briefed . . . I met repeatedly with my national security team . . . And finally last week I determined that I had enough intelligence to take action. . . . Today, at my direction . . .’
“The man from whom President Obama has sought incessantly to distance himself, George W. Bush, also had occasion during his presidency to announce to the nation a triumph of intelligence: the capture of Saddam Hussein. He called that success ‘a tribute to our men and women now serving in Iraq.’ He attributed it to “the superb work of intelligence analysts who found the dictator’s footprints in a vast country. The operation was carried out with skill and precision by a brave fighting force. Our servicemen and women and our coalition allies have faced many dangers. . . . Their work continues, and so do the risks.’…
“He did mention himself at the end: ‘Today, on behalf of the nation, I thank the members of our Armed Forces and I congratulate them.'”
“That summer, Gillespie turned the Republican National Convention into a martial victory parade. Speaker after speaker bragged that Bush had defeated, deposed, and captured Saddam—and that Kerry couldn’t be trusted to make such tough calls. ‘We have captured or killed hundreds of al-Qaida,’ Vice President Dick Cheney crowed. ‘In Iraq, we dealt with a gathering threat and removed the regime of Saddam Hussein. … Tonight he sits in jail.” Cheney went on: ‘Time and again, Sen. Kerry has made the wrong call on national security. … America needs and America has a president we can count on to get it right.’
“Introducing Bush at the convention, New York Gov. George Pataki reminded voters of the hole in which Saddam had been found: ‘President Bush understands we can’t just wait for the next attack. We have to go after them, in their training camps, in their hiding places, in their spider holes.’ The convention’s keynoter, Sen. Zell Miller, D-Ga., used Saddam’s capture to smear Kerry: ‘As a war protester, Kerry blamed our military. As a senator, he voted to weaken our military. … President Bush is committed to providing the kind of forces it takes to root out terrorists, no matter what spider hole they may hide in.’
“McCain, the main speaker on the convention’s opening night, hailed Bush’s courage: ‘He ordered American forces to Afghanistan and took the fight to our enemies, and away from our shores, seriously injuring al-Qaida and destroying the regime that gave them safe haven. … President Bush made the difficult decision to liberate Iraq. … We need a leader with the experience to make the tough decisions and the resolve to stick with them.’ Romney, in his speech, argued that Kerry lacked this toughness: ‘I don’t believe Sen. Kerry is the leader our country needs. … He’s campaigned against the war all year, but says he’d vote yes today. I don’t want presidential leadership that comes in 57 varieties.’ And Bush, in his acceptance address, described the loneliness of making the call to take down Saddam: ‘I faced the kind of decision that comes only to the Oval Office.'”
“It’s true that by explicitly bringing Romney into the ad, the Obama campaign veers from the subtle to the unnecessarily heavy-handed. Yes, Romney said the things Obama says he said in the ad, like ‘It’s not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person.’
“Here, however, is the issue. Since at least 1968, Democrats have traditionally been more circumspect than their Republican foes in presidential politics. The lesson of the Clinton years and of Obama’s win of both the nomination and the general election in 2008 is that Democrats need to be as tough as JFK was (tough was a favorite Kennedy term). Is the bin Laden ad fair to Romney? No, not really. But politics is not for the faint of heart…
“The way to put oneself in a position to take the harder, more honorable political path is to argue for one’s virtues in a vigorous way. That’s what Obama has done, and is doing. There’ll be more punches coming.”
“In this 2007 interview from National Public Radio’s ‘Diane Rehm Show’ then Senator Joe Biden attacked candidate Obama’s tough talk on Pakistan as ‘naïve.'”
“‘I say any president, Jimmy Carter, anybody, any president would have, obviously, under those circumstances, done the same thing. And to now take credit for something that any president would do is indicative of take over campaign we’re under — we’re — we’re seeing…So all I can say is that this is going to be a very rough campaign,’ McCain told Fox News in an interview set to air Monday night. ‘And I’ve had the great honor of serving in the company of heroes. And, you know the thing about heroes, they don’t brag.'”
Via the Daily Caller.