A year ago, President Obama's decision to order the daring Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden was a clear political winner. Now Obama's making his most spectacular foreign policy success a focus of his re-election campaign, and suggesting, in a video featuring former president Bill Clinton, that bin Laden would still be alive today if Obama's Republican rival, Mitt Romney, had been in office, because he once said it wasn't "worth moving heaven and earth" to get the al Qaeda leader. Sen. John McCain, among other Republicans, reacted angrily to the video, saying it was "pathetic" for the Obama campaign to politicize the killing of bin Laden. Will Obama regret making bin Laden a campaign issue?
This vile attack is already backfiring: Obama's assertion that Romney wouldn't have had the guts to get bin Laden is so "preposterous," says Jennifer Rubin at The Washington Post, that even his lap dogs in the media aren't defending him this time. This "vile attack" only serves to remind voters that "Obama is big on moral grandstanding (Close Gitmo! Help Syrians! Stop loading kids with debt!)," but he doesn't have the "moral courage" to simply do, and say, the right thing.
"Bin Laden, Obama and moral courage"
Republicans are mad because Obama has a point: The Obama ad "raises intriguing, substantive, legitimate questions," says Jon Meacham at TIME, "and the ferocious, sputtering Republican reaction is proof positive that they know it." It was "a courageous and risky decision to send in the SEALs." And Republicans know full well they would be the ones "politicizing" the raid if it had failed, as they did when Jimmy Carter's 1980 Desert One operation to save the hostages in Iran went horribly wrong.
"Why Obama owns bin Laden"
Get used to it: Republicans would love to stop talking about it, says Nicholas Schmidle at The New Yorker, but Vice President Joe Biden's "bumper-sticker ready" line, "Bin Laden is dead, General Motors is alive," is going to be a centerpiece of Obama's re-election strategy. Right after the raid, Obama said he didn't want to spike the football. But an election is a different game, so prepare for lots of "end-zone dances," and "clamorous appeals for an excessive-celebration penalty."
"Osama bin Laden, one year later"