In a surprising move, Arianna Huffington, the leftist founder and editor-in-chief of the The Huffington Post, called the Obama campaign’s advertisement that questioned whether Mitt Romney would have ordered the assassination of Osama Bin Laden “despicable.” On CBS This Morning, Huffington stated:
I don’t think there should be an ad about that. I think it’s one thing to celebrate the fact that they did such a great job (with television specials). All that is perfectly legitimate. But to turn it into a campaign ad is one of the most despicable things you can do.
When Gayle King asked why the Obama campaign shouldn’t tout the “accomplishments” of what they’ve done, Huffington replied:
That’s not just what the ad does. What the ad does is questions … (The ad) quotes a snippet from Romney and uses that to imply that Romney would not has been as decisive. There’s no way to know whether Romney would have been as decisive. To actually speculate that he wouldn’t be is, to me, not the way to run a campaign, on either side.
It’s hard to understand why Huffington would take this angle. She and her cohorts are staunch leftists and supporters of Obama. Why would she suddenly criticize him for his lack of political decorum?
One answer could be that she’s doing a sly manipulation. Notice how she posits that the killing of Osama merited celebrating “the fact that they did such a great job.” Could it be that what she’s really doing is shifting the emphasis here? Over the last week, it became clear that contrary to the puff from the Administration, Obama had not done the heavy lifting on Osama; Admiral McRaven did. This meant that the one positive accomplishment for Obama was diluted.
So by deflecting the argument from Obama’s lack of his one accomplishment, Huffington may be craftily refocusing the argument to the campaign ad, shifting the focus away from the real issue: Obama didn’t have much to brag about to begin with.