During Round 2 action of the presidential debates, President Obama aggressively scolded challenger Romney for suggesting that the president’s actions were inappropriate following the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi that left 4 Americans dead inside the US Embassy. To wit that the President delivered a prepared statement on the situation in Libya at a brief Rose Garden appearance a few hours after the attack, then boarded Air Force One and went to Las Vegas for a high dollar campaign fundraiser and on to Colorado for more of the same. No big deal, right?
The fact of the matter is that people, especially political figures, are constantly judged by the actions they take and the priorities they assign to things. Those actions and priorities reveal more about their character than do their words.
So far in this campaign, I have written with a sincere attempt to keep a lid on any emotion with regard to either candidate and their comportment. That lid blew off, however, when Barack Obama dressed down Mitt Romney for calling attention to his actions. Before my liberal readers get lathered, they need to know that it would have blown off no matter who or what party was the protagonist in such an episode.
America had just been attacked. Correct, 3000 people weren’t killed with commercial jet planes, nor was it Afghanistan or Iraq where we have grown callous to such atrocities. But our soil, sovereign American soil, had been attacked; a US diplomat and three others in the service of our State Department were murdered; and our embassy was in flames in a new foreign country. Exactly what would be required for the Commander in Chief to alter political plans in order to provide presidential leadership and presence to a rapidly deteriorating situation in what was already a tense region of the world where so many new unknowns suddenly emerged?
The reason was immaterial at the time, even though the intelligence community and the State Department knew very early that it was a full-out Al-Qaida ambush and not an unprovoked response to a stupid, yet provocative, film trailer – the facts remained: four dead and an American embassy looted and burned. The US had sustained a terrorist attack on the anniversary of September 11. Was there more to come?
What did President Obama think would be the reaction of his decision to leave Washington DC to raise money for his reelection in, of all places, Vegas? I am one that didn’t forget how much grief President George W. Bush took for not rushing back to DC on 9/11. Instead, he was forced to follow security protocol and circle in Air Force One until the ‘all clear’ was received and allowed to return. Nonetheless, he was skewered by the left! But that was then, this is now, and Barack Obama has come to know he has been granted license to act on his will and tell the story his way with complete immunity. Am I the only one who senses a double standard?
We live in a world where technology has made life and its opportunities accessible whenever and wherever. The White House has at its command a team of facilitators that could have provided a real-time jumbo-tron address from the Oval Office directly to his constituents attending the Las Vegas function. My gut feeling is that they would have understood, but you would not have known it by the blistering lecture he delivered to Mitt Romney and anyone else who saw his actions as that of someone who was detached from the loss of an American outpost on foreign soil and focused on his reelection effort.
President Obama averred he finds it utterly offensive that anyone would attempt to connect for political gain his campaign trip to Las Vegas and the way he and his team reacted to the Benghazi assassinations.
You are almost correct, President Obama. It is offensive; your actions surrounding this attack, the lack of compassion you showed the families of the fallen, the propagation of the Muhammad video myth, and you and your administration’s refusal to unequivocally label Benghazi as a planned and executed terrorist attack. What is most informative, however, was your attempt to turn this debacle around and display a sense of incredulity when Mitt Romney had the audacity to call you out on it.
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