|Romney & Obama fight over who would make better Commander in Chief|
This election has been called an economy election by more than a few of the pundits that seem to think they know everything. How many times have you heard a pundit say that it is “the economy stupid?” However, part of President Obama’s reelection strategy is to push the idea that not only has he been a stellar Commander in Chief, but also that Mitt Romney is so inept at understanding the world, that he would be a dangerous Commander in Chief.
Considering that, the events of 9/11 are still fresh in voters minds, and Bush is considered to have started a war that was launched under false pretense, Republican nominees should no longer feel assured about sustaining the national security vote. At the very least, Democrats have a valid argument about being a strong national security party. Valid meaning logical, not exactly true though. There is much to be debated about.
However, this in no way means that President Obama cannot be hit in the area of foreign policy, which directly affects the national security of the U.S.
News Max and others reported yesterday that an Israeli official has said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had requested a meeting with President Obama, but has been rejected.
“An Israeli official told Reuters on condition of anonymity that Netanyahu's aides had asked for a meeting when he visits the United Nations this month, and ‘the White House has got back to us and said it appears a meeting is not possible. It said that the president's schedule will not permit that"’. [Emphasis mine]
Netanyahu has pushed the White House to set a red line for Iran’s nuclear program. The U.N. has already set four rounds of sanctions against Iran, and it has failed to stop the program.
Netanyahu has said that "The world tells Israel 'wait, there's still time'. And I say, 'Wait for what? Wait until when?'" before adding that “Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don't have a moral right to place a red light before Israel," he added, addressing a news conference with Bulgaria's prime minister.”
This has to be something that the White House and Obama’s campaign team worried, however, not enough to address the criticism publically.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has stated that the U.S. will not set a deadline. This caused the Israeli Prime Minister to make clear that he did not agree with this policy, and for good reason.
"If Iran knows that there is no 'deadline', what will it do? Exactly what it's doing. It's continuing, without any interference, towards obtaining a nuclear weapons capability and from there, nuclear bombs ... "So far we can say with certainty that diplomacy and sanctions haven't worked. The sanctions have hurt the Iranian economy but they haven't stopped the Iranian nuclear programme. That's a fact. And the fact is that every day that passes, Iran gets closer and closer to nuclear bombs."
Here we are the White House and the Netanyahu are in disagreement over how to proceed on Iran’s nuclear program. However, the stakes for the two people running the show could not be more different.
President Obama has to worry about whether or not he offends his liberal base, or offending the Democratic Jewish coalition, which he will need in a close election. Netanyahu and the Israeli people have to worry about Iran gaining a bomb, and because the their leaders have threatened to wipe the state of Israel out, this alone should carry more weight with Jewish voters. It is entirely possible that a sizable swath of Jewish voters will abandon President Obama and vote for the Republican ticket.
However, the president has some obvious advantages in the Commander in Chief department. The most glaring aspect of this strength is the killing of Osama Bin Laden, who until his death was Americans most wanted person for a decade. For some voters, this is all they need to know, Obama will forever be the president who killed the man responsible for the nation’s worst homeland terror attack. This has become an avant-garde for Democrats this cycle, and as much as Republicans complain that the White House is politicizing Bin Laden’s death, there should be little doubt that a Republican President would have done the same thing, in fact Bush often cited successes in combatting terrorism as a reason to stick by him.
This alone will likely bring some voters to believe that Obama can be trusted to protect the U.S. from known terrorist threats. He does have a terrorist kill list after all. Many people already feel comfortable with Obama being in charge of protecting the country. However, this does not mean that Republicans should sit idle; there is plenty ammunition to put Romney on offence, such as what we mentioned about Israel, among other issues.
If you would believe Democrats, this world is already safe from the enemies that Republicans left for Obama to face. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Yes, Obama has done a good job of killing terrorist, but he did this with a system built by his predecessor after 9/11. It is invalid to give Obama full credit, when our military personnel should get most of it, and Bush should get credit for building an apparatus that has been used to a devastation effect.
However, where Democrats are touting these successes, Republicans should be talking about the president's record of dealing with Russia, which is growing as a regional menace. What exactly is Obama willing to deal to Putin’s Russia if he wins reelection? Obama’s unwillingness to buck his party to give the generals in Afghanistan the troops they requested has likely left that country a dangerous place for any fledgling democracy. Romney should argue that we might have been able to leave before 2014 if not of the lack of a surge that matched the size our military commanders wanted.
China's military grows stronger by the day, and they have blatantly gotten secret information left behind by Seal Team Six in Pakistan, which is supposed to be our ally, but they are not only selling our technology, they could possibly be torturing a man who helped the CIA find Bin Laden. The Pakistani government has imprisoned Dr. Shakil Afridi. He recently called Fox News’ Dominic Di-Natale to describe the brutal torture he says he has undergone since being arrested after helping the U.S. kill Bin Laden.
Israel is poised to attack Iran, and they are frustrated at the U.S.’s perceived tepidness for confrontation during the election cycle. Then there is Syria, with is citizenry under assault. The U.S. had stepped into the Libya conflict under the guise of a humanitarian cause because of the human cost and a rising death toll. However, the same thing is happening in Syria, but it has gone on longer and the death toll is higher. The difference is that the U.S. has done little to stop the violence. We look weak when we stand idle when thousands of innocent people are slaughtered. Why should anyone fear us if we continue to allow this to happen because of an election?
This is not a record of success for Obama, and Romney should use them to show that even though Obama authorized the strike that killed Bin Laden, the president has weakened the country by blatantly showing our enemies there is little to fear.
Romney has used the automatic, across-the-board budget restrictions set to take effect to hammer Obama as a president that has failed to lead, and he should do more of this. This is one of Obama's real weaknesses, the widely known fact that he is cocky, and does not lead well. The sequestration is a glaring weakness for Obama, because it threatens to devastate the defense industry. Even though Republicans in Congress passed the bill, however, out of those who brought such dangers to the economy, only Obama is running for President. He has failed the leadership test. Romney should point this out as often as he can.
Lastly, we all learned that Obama gone to fewer than half of his security briefings during his time in office. How much damage this can really do to the president is unknown, but from an optics standpoint, it does not look good. It helps Romney paint Obama has a man who is hands off when it comes to national security. This only helps make the case that Obama is not a strong national security president, he had just benefited from the last Republican administrations diligences in these matters.
Romney should use this to weaken Obama’s strength, and then fight this on the turf the president has tried very hard to push aside, the economy. Voters understand complexity, but only when it is told to them, Romney cannot count on the media, but the debates will give him time to outline an argument.