President Obama has always been careful not to neglect veterans in his bid for reelection, often including them among the groups — along with students, seniors, etcetera — to which he makes pointed appeals. While the Democrats have made much ado about Obama’s veterans’ jobs bill as another case of “Republican obstruction” and gridlock, the major fly in that ointment is that President Obama’s shortcomings as an actual commander-in-chief are all too glaringly obvious, especially in the aftermath of the tragic security failure in Benghazi that resulted in the deaths of four Americans.
Making the rounds of news shows on Monday morning, Arizona senator, veteran, and erstwhile GOP presidential candidate John McCain spoke to how the Benghazi disaster is playing among the military and veteran community. When asked about a new advertisement from 500 retired top military officers in support of Mitt Romney, McCain made the larger point that the roller-coaster-ride of damning revelations about the administration’s response to repeated security concerns has done nothing to allay that community’s fears that President Obama is an incompetent leader, at best, via CNN:
“I’ve been traveling all over the country and veterans are angry. They’re angry; they’re upset; they don’t trust Barack Obama. There’s 1.6 million of them in Florida, for example. I think they could have an impact on this election,” said McCain appearing on CNN’s Starting Point Monday.
While conceding the focus of this election is jobs and the economy, McCain said “I’ve never seen veterans as upset and as angry as they are over Benghazi.” …
“This cover up is worst that I’ve ever seen, either incompetence or cover up. There was no demonstration,” he said. …
“There was no demonstration there,” McCain repeated. “There was no hateful video and the Libyans called it right away and everybody knows it.”
While it may be true that the Benghazi debacle isn’t having much of an effect in the minds of average low-information voters when compared to issue of the economy, the Obama administration’s attempts to sweep this foreign-policy failure under the rug is of particular import to veterans, who especially want to be certain that the president of the United States is not in the business of putting politics above American interests and lives. In the wake of the 9/11/12 attack, the Obama administration has conspicuously declined to put up much of a defense (other than that stupid “video” excuse) against the charge that the president put protecting his “I’ve decimated al Qaeda” narrative in front of national security — ergo, it’s looks suspiciously like they don’t actually have a good defense against that charge.