President Obama confirmed the death of Libya's Moammar Gadhafi in a brief Rose Garden speech, welcoming the lifting of "the dark shadow of tyranny" in Libya and the definitive end of the Gadhafi dictatorship. "Without a single U.S. service member on the ground, we achieved our objective," he added. Obama's Republican rivals denied him credit, however, heralding Gadhafi's death without mentioning the president. As the Heritage Foundation's James Carafano quipped, "You can't lead from behind and then elbow to the front for applause." Is Obama claiming credit where none is due?
No, give Obama his due: As the 9.1 percent unemployment rate reminds us, "Obama has been a bad president," says Matt Lewis in The Daily Caller. "But when it comes to killing terrorists, pirates, and dictators," he's racked up some impressive wins: Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki, and now Gadhafi. And that's just the past six months. Others deserve credit, too — George W. Bush made sure Gadhafi didn't have nukes — but this happened under Obama's watch, and his policies.
"Praise where it is due"
Obama barely led, even from behind: It's "outrageous for this White House to take credit for Gadhafi's death," says Richard Grenell in Politico. In fact, "how about [accepting] blame for it taking so long?" Obama had to be dragged into action by France and Britain, then he "dithered and ended up doing too little too late." Remember, the U.S. only led the NATO mission for 10 days, and never committed the resources to the fight that our allies did.
"Credit due Obama for Gadhafi death?"
Obama earned the win, but it won't help him much: Obama did take credit, and rightfully so, in the same "low-key" way he waged war in Libya, sharing the spotlight with NATO and Libyans, say Eleanor Clift and Daniel Stone in The Daily Beast. But voters care only a little about foreign policy, so Obama's key role in taking out Gadhafi and his regime, "at minimal cost and with no loss of American life," won't matter nearly as much as his unfocused economic record.
"Should Obama get credit?"