Now let’s turn our attention back home, and I’ll say something that my conservative friends will find shocking: Barack Obama’s record on keeping Americans safe from terrorism isn’t just good, it’s downright spectacular. You might not want to give him credit for it, and that’s Okay. Maybe it would have happened anyway, regardless of the decisions he made. Maybe it’s because of the efforts of the FBI, the NSA, and the Department of Homeland Security. Maybe it’s because there are relatively few people actually willing and able to mount attacks within the United States. It could be a combination of all those things.
But imagine that right after September 11 — when everyone thought that Al Qaeda would soon be killing thousands more Americans, and who knows, maybe they’d blow up a city with a nuclear bomb — you told people that there would be a president elected in 2008, and over the first seven years of his presidency, the total number of Americans killed by jihadi terrorists would be not 100,000, not 1,000, not even 100, but 29. Or an average of about 4 per year, in a country of over 300 million souls. Most people would have said that that president must be some kind of anti-terror genius, who would unite all Americans in admiration and gratitude for his strength and resolve.