More evidence that the Obama campaign of 2012 is night and day different than the Obama campaign of 2008 has surfaced:
On Sept. 17, 2006, Obama spoke at Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin’s annual steak fry in Indianola, Iowa.
“And let me tell you something else I’ve had enough of: I’ve had enough of using terrorism as a wedge issue in our politics,” Obama told the crowd. “I’ve had enough of that. I’ve had enough of that. You know, I – I don’t know about you, but I think the war against terrorism isn’t supposed to crop up between September and November of even numbered years, and yet that seems to be the pattern. There is a sudden burst of activity, a sudden urgency about this whole thing three months before an election every other year.”
That was the ’08, hope and change, unite the country, turn back the tide of the oceans Barack Obama. But what we’re seeing now is the ’12 hate and envy, divide the country, bitter partisan Barack Obama. So what used to be a call to not use “terrorism as a wedge issue in our politics” has turned into this:
Obama’s re-election campaign has released a video questioning what Romney would have done about bin Laden, given a comment Romney made in an interview with the Associated Press that was published on April 26, 2007.
This newly discovered inconsistency fits the larger pattern of what we’ve seen in the man campaigning for re-election. In ’08 he was “anti-war,” now he’s Rambo. In ’08 he was about ending petty recriminations, now he can’t get enough of them. In ’08 he seemingly couldn’t do anything wrong in strategy, now he’s doing things that even Richard Nixon wouldn’t have done:
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Imagine if President Nixon had decided to base his 1972 re-election campaign on the boast that he landed on the moon. His predecessors tried and failed for eight years. It wasn't an easy decision--what if something went wrong? But that's why you hire a president, to make those gutsy calls. Which path would George McGovern have taken?
That's analogous to President Obama's effort to campaign on the killing of Osama bin Laden. His absurd braggadocio is turning one of the few successes to occur under his leadership into a political liability.
Last week the Obama campaign released an advertisement featuring Bill Clinton (the president who actually did pass up opportunities to get bin Laden) praising Obama's leadership and suggesting that Mitt Romney would have let bin Laden go. Nonsense, Romney replied: "Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order," the New York Times quotes him as saying. (James Fallows, who worked in the Carter White House, grudgingly confirms Romney's surmise.)
The sub-header for this James Taranto piece in the Wall Street Journal says it perfectly: “Obama manages to turn the killing of bin Laden into a political liability.” That isn’t the political messiah that was the object of worship in 2008. It’s a failed president desperately trying to give people a reason to support him again.