Today, someone from President Obama’s administration finally labeled the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, what it is: a terrorist attack. “I would say yes, they were killed in the course of a terrorist attack,” said Matt Olsen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center at a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing, referring to the four Americans murdered by Islamist terrorists.
It took long enough. For over a week, the Obama administration refused to label the obvious terrorist attack in Libya what it was. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice maintained that it was “spontaneous,” not preplanned, and solely in response to an obscure YouTube video. Even today, White House press secretary Jay Carney said “based on what we know now and knew at the time, we have no evidence of a preplanned or premeditated attack.”
There is a reason that the White House sent out a low-level surrogate to finally whisper to the press that the attack in Libya was a terrorist assault: it’s great campaigning. If the Obama administration had announced at the outset that the attacks in Libya were terrorist and preplanned in nature, no doubt the American public would have been even more outraged by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s lax security preparations in Libya, and the Obama administration’s ridiculous kowtowing to Islamists in the country. Instead, the Obama administration buried the truth. They leaked it out, maintaining plausible deniability, only after Obama’s media allies successfully shifted the narrative to Mitt Romney, calling him unpatriotic for challenging the Obama administration’s apologetic attitude.
This is great politics. It quashes the story of how Obama’s people fell asleep at the switch, mesmerized by their own mirages about the Arab Spring.
It is awful governance. Americans around the globe – and our allies – are in more danger now than they ever were. And all the Obama administration’s late acknowledgement of the Libyan terrorist attack achieves is a modicum of ass-covering.
This is the essence of Barack Obama. He’s a great campaigner. He’s a lousy president.
Make no mistake: the wheels are coming off this administration. This week, American embassies around the globe burned; al Qaeda flags flew over our embassy in Tunisia; an American ambassador in Libya was killed; eight American soldiers in Afghanistan were murdered by supposed Afghan allies in so-called “green on blue” attacks; our ambassador in China was physically attacked. America had intelligence on the Libya and Cairo embassy assaults in advance, yet the Obama administration spent more of its rage on the creator of a miscellaneous YouTube video than they did on the terrorists behind this wide variety of attacks, assaults, and uprisings. Obama’s Secretary of State presided over a security contract with unarmed foreign security company in order to maintain a “low profile” in Libya.
This week, the Department of Justice’s inspector general released a report exonerating Attorney General Eric Holder of responsibility in the Fast and Furious scandal that ended with the murder of US Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. No surprise there, since the DOJ has been a political tool for the Obama administration – they’re coordinating with Media Matters for America, a non-profit Obama campaign ally dedicated to the destruction of conservative media figures. But even the DOJ couldn’t cover for everyone – it implicated 14 other department employees, and two resigned.
This week, President Obama called on his good friend Ben Bernanke at the Federal Reserve to violate the institution’s independence and inflate the economy permanently, until unemployment numbers recovered. Egan-Jones promptly downgraded US debt for the second time under Obama.
This week, the US Office of Special Counsel reported that Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius had violated the law by campaigning for Obama during a speech to the Human Rights Campaign.
Suffice it to say, it’s been a rotten week for the Obama administration.
But it’s been a great week for the Obama campaign. Even as the world burned, the media turned its attention to Mitt Romney, focusing on his claims that Obama’s attitude toward Islamists in the Middle East has been sympathetic, and his secretly-taped argument that 47 percent of Americans perceive themselves as victims and therefore will vote for Barack Obama. The media has ignored the implosion of Obama’s foreign and domestic policy in favor of shining his shoes.
And Obama has run himself ragged campaigning around the country. Last week, he took to Las Vegas and Telemundo. Last night, he took to David Letterman; he also threw a fundraiser with Jay-Z and Beyoncé at which he apparently violated campaign law. Today, Michelle Obama told a North Carolina Crowd that Obama “has been struggling with us.” And last month, Obama outraised Mitt Romney. Overall, polls show Obama with a small but significant lead over Romney.
Why the disconnect? How can a president be this rotten, but still be leading the polls? The answer is obvious: Obama has never owned a business, so his economy is terrible; he’s never truly studied foreign policy, so his foreign policy is terrible. But he has run a bang-up campaign. Back in 2008, Obama told Anderson Cooper that he was more experienced than Republican Vice Presidential candidate and Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin because his campaign budget was “about three times that” of Wasilla. “I think that, uh, our ability to manage large systems, uh, and to, uh, execute, uh, I think has been made clear over the last couple of years,” he said.
Obama was right. He’s a great campaigner. He’s proving it this year by dividing and conquering Americans, slyly leveraging perceived victimhood into support for his campaign while simultaneously pretending that he’s a uniter.
But he’s a terrible president.
The question is whether Americans will tell the difference between the two come election day.