Apparently, it is in poor taste for a politician to politicize a decision he made as it relates to policy. Yes, in the latest chapter of the condemnation of convenience culture we’re currently soiling ourselves in, President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign is taking many hits in various directions for his latest Osama bin Laden-focused campaign ad. The former President Bill Clinton-narrated clip highlights the “harder and the more honorable path” our current commander-in-chief took in ordering the assassination of the terrorist leader, while asking, “Which path would Mitt Romney have taken?”
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That question has sparked criticism from largely the right, though even select leftists have joined in. Enter Arianna Huffington, though, who has denounced the ad as “despicable” in a recent interview with “CBS This Morning,” and even went as far as saying she agrees with the Romney campaign.
Watch Obama’s bin Laden ad here:
The Huffington Post founder said, “I think it’s one thing to celebrate the fact that they did such a great job. It’s one thing to have an NBC special from the Situation Room. All that, to me, is perfectly legitimate. But to turn it into a campaign ad is one of the most despicable things you can do.”
She likened the ad to Hillary Clinton’s infamous 3:00 a.m. 2008 campaign ad, which at the time sparked criticism for questioning whether then-Sen. Obama had the experience to make the kinds of tough decisions required of the president.
Huffington added, “There is no way to know whether Romney would’ve been as decisive. And to actually speculate that he wouldn’t be is, to me, not the way to run campaigns on either side.”
A former Navy SEAL Team Operator offered a similar complaint, telling the Daily Mail:
“Obama wasn’t in the field, at risk, carrying a gun. As President, at every turn he should be thanking the guys who put their lives on the line to do this. He does so in his official speeches because the speechwriters are smart. But the more he tries to take the credit for it, the more the ground operators are saying, ‘Come on, man!’ It really didn’t matter who was president. At the end of the day, they were going to go.”
Yet, we don’t know whether or not Mitt Romney would make such a declaring call based on the evidence presented in the ad, hence its purpose. Romney may now be saying “even Jimmy Carter” would’ve made the call to target bin Laden, but such a claim isn’t a sure thing and Romney himself criticized the decision a year ago. He also made clear that he thought it’d be foolhardy to make an attack in Pakistan — a 2007 statement the ad documents.
Why exactly isn’t the President allowed to make those comments readily available to the masses as we debate who should lead the country for the next four years? Why can’t he highlight how his point-of-view has helped make us safer? Especially if the accomplishment is something neo-conservatives openly yearned for years ago, but never brought to fruition.
As for other Republican opposition, raise your hand if you sincerely believe a GOP presidential candidate wouldn’t capitalize on such a well-received decision for political gain? After that, take that hand and slap yourself silly in order to snap out of your own delusion. Finally, take a field trip to YouTube and look up all the ads former President George W. Bush used in 2004 that fixated on 9/11.
Watch one of Former President Bush’s campaign ads here:
The interesting part about those campaign clips is that Bush was presented evidence about a potential terrorist attack that he failed to act on. Sure, he was quick to act after the fact, but arguably, his unwillingness to do so beforehand helped cultivate tragedy – making backlash much more so conceivable for his ads than Obamas.
Is it fair to say that the ad is a boast of bravado? Perhaps. Is Obama merely giving the GOP a dose of its own medicine? Surely. Is that wrong? Not if he’s just being honest.