The Obama campaign did a pretty good job of staying above the fray during the campaign four years ago, but much of that may have just been because they had the luxury of doing so because of their healthy lead in the polls. This time around things are much closer, and we're going to see camp Obama's true colors come out. If this ridiculous attack on Romney, claiming he wouldn't have taken Osama bin Laden down, is any indication, their underbelly ain't pretty.
Watch: The Obama campaign's 'One Chance' ad
Most of all, Obama and company have no way of knowing how Romney would have acted had he been in office these last several years. A few different orders given to the right people and Romney may have gotten lucky and found bin Laden even sooner. He may well have chosen a similar path as Obama once he sat down with military and intelligence leaders and fleshed out his way forward, found him around the same time and taken him out in a similar way. It's also possible he may have made a few wrong choices and bin Laden could still be out there.
There is no way at all that we could possibly know, and this is plain to see for all but the most blindly partisan of observers.
The comments Romney made during the 2008 campaign, about not saying he would necessarily go after targets inside an allies borders without their permission, are not an excuse for this level of naked speculation. Team Obama is also taking a comment Romney made in 2008 about not wanting to move heaven and earth to get to one person way out of context. You can certainly disagree with Romney's ideas on the subject, but what he said was that he thought they were focusing too much on one person, and should take a wider angle lens view on going after Al Qaeda.
Worst for Obama, it tarnishes what previously was pure high ground territory for him. He took a risk and made the right call. While most of the credit should be given to the people on the ground that actually tracked him down, and the soldiers that assaulted the compound, the President did his job well that day and deserves praise. Romney took the high road after the act as well, congratulating Obama for his role in the mission. With this childish attack, camp Obama vomited this absurd speculatory attack at Romney and only accomplished ceding some of that high ground.
I don't generally like using the term "politicizing", as other people do when trying to say someone is playing politics with something that should be above the fray. Everything that comes out of a politician's mouth is necessarily being politicized to some degree, even if indirectly and unintentionally. There is a healthy level of staking claim on good decision-making that a candidate for higher office can engage in, and then there is this.
The killing of bin Laden is a political issue. The president ordered it. The terrorist organization Osama bin Laden headed has political ambitions, etc etc etc, but that's not the issue here. The issue is that Obama and company are gloating about it, using it as a political football or dig, in a way that is below the office he holds. Moreso, this is the precisely what the President does not want to be doing if he wants to keep that lead among the swing voters he needs to win in the swing states that will decide this election.
Solomon Kleinsmith is a former nonprofit worker, serial social entrepreneur and strident centrist independent blogger from Omaha, Nebraska. His website, Rise of the Center, is the fastest growing blog targeting centrist independents and moderates.
About It's A Free Blog
Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of a blog, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
WNYC is supported by the Charles H. Revson Foundation: Because a great city needs an informed and engaged public. Learn more at revsonfoundation.org.
WNYC 93.9 FM and AM 820 are New York's flagship public radio
stations, broadcasting the finest programs from NPR and Public Radio
International, as well as a wide range of award-winning local
programming. WNYC is a division of
New York Public Radio.