01 May 2012

Spiking the Football Backfires on Obama Campaign

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click on cartoon for larger image

Barack Obama’s reelection campaign of 2012 is increasingly looking like Michael Dukakis’s campaign of 1988, in which the conspicuously Dove-ish Massachusetts liberal governor tried bolstering his commander-in-chief creds by being photographed wearing a helmet and riding in the turret of an M1 Abrams tank.

First, there was the attempt to portray Mitt Romney as mean to dogs for taking his Irish setter along on a vacation trip in a rooftop carrier which exploded in a nationwide gale of jokes after Jim Treacher pointed out that Barack Obama had referred, in his famous autobiography, to eating dog as a child in Indonesia.

Then, there was the short-lived attempt to push voters’ buttons by having various democrats note that Mitt Romney was a descendant of Mormon polygamists. This one also failed when Republicans responded that it was true that, like many Mormons, Mitt Romney had fairly remote polygamous ancestry, a great-grandfather, but Barack Obama’s father was also a polygamist.

The latest attempt on the part of the Obama campaign to gain advantage involved putting Bill Clinton in a video to praise Barack Obama for making the oh-so-very-difficult decision to send in the Navy SEALs to take out Bin Ladin.

The response to what is being referred to as the Obama campaign “spiking the football” has been a combination of criticism of the president for exploiting the bravery of members of the US military and ridicule.

Mitt Romney retorted that even Jimmy Carter would have made the same decision.

John McCain, in a follow-up rejoinder, delivered a withering response.

I’ve had the great honor of serving in the company of heroes. And, you know the thing about heroes, they don’t brag.”

And, worst news of all for the Obama team, this particular campaign ploy provoked pushback from former SEALs.

Daily Mail:

Serving and former US Navy SEALs have slammed President Barack Obama for taking the credit for killing Osama bin Laden and accused him of using Special Forces operators as ‘ammunition’ for his re-election campaign. …

Ryan Zinke, a former Commander in the US Navy who spent 23 years as a SEAL and led a SEAL Team 6 assault unit, said: ‘The decision was a no brainer. I applaud him for making it but I would not overly pat myself on the back for making the right call.

‘I think every president would have done the same. He is justified in saying it was his decision but the preparation, the sacrifice – it was a broader team effort.’

Mr Zinke, who is now a Republican state senator in Montana, added that MR Obama was exploiting bin Laden’s death for his re-election bid. ‘The President and his administration are positioning him as a war president using the SEALs as ammunition.

Some political observers think many SEALs are so infuriated by the Obama Administration’s exploitation of their valor for political gain that they are bitterly angry. SEALs commonly believe that, from the time of the actual operation, the White House has shamelessly used the Abbottabad raid, hastily and irresponsibly making details public, and placing its own interests above the safety and security of SEAL team members and American long-term strategic goals.

There is active speculation that an organized group of SEALs may play an active role later in the campaign to “Swift Boat” Barack Obama.

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SDD

This is just one more attempt to make the election about something other than what it must be: a referendum on the “transformation” (to use Obama’s words) of the United States into a government-commanded nation.



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