The media has been in overdrive all day feverishly writing every story from any angle that squarely puts the focus on Mitt Romney and not the fact that Obama’s foreign policy experienced a colossal failure with 2 embassies being attacked an ambassador being murdered and three other fatalities on the anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in American history. This was because Mitt Romney boldly stepped forward into the leadership void of President Obama’s silence, and issued a statement condemning violence and castigating an apology for hurt feelings of murderous extremists written by Embassy officials in Egypt in response to the uprising.
But what if Mitt Romney had waited for President Obama’s press release 24 hours after the attacks and press conference that following morning at 10:30am?
What would be the press focus? Would they focus on the tragic murders? Would they focus on the extremism being fomented by groups like the Muslim Brotherhood? When politics arose, would they focus on the policy failure?
We know the answers to those rhetorical questions because outside a few exceptions like a Jake Tapper or John Dickerson the media will always play a “heads they win, tails you lose” game with Republicans, especially when their chosen candidate is both at risk and is suffering the worst foreign policy failure of his Administration, an allegedly impenetrable strength in his re-election efforts.
The first wave of stories would be how “no drama Obama” remains cool in the face of tragedy.
The second wave of stories would be how Mitt Romney was caught flat-footed because he waited so long to reply.
The third wave would be how Romney is scrambling to catch up to always fleet-footed Obama.
The fourth wave would be how each act by Romney falls short in comparison to “no drama Obama.”
The fifth wave would be how in Romney’s first test on foreign policy, he was found wanting — recycling the earlier “flat-footed”stories and how his actions/statements fall short of the grandiose Obama. A negative feedback loop always in play with Republicans.
The sixth wave of stories would be how inept the Romney campaign was to miss the golden opportunity to fill the leadership moment inherent in the cautious “no drama Obama” You can hear the quotes: ‘Can you imagine Axelrod or Carville/Clinton not pouncing on this opportunity?’ ‘Those pros never would have waited for the President to speak.’ ‘They would have jumped right in to defend America under attack.’ The embedded hypocrisy of this last wave is not lost on me but the double standard absolutely applies to Romney while “no drama Obama” relies on his re-election team in the mainstream media to carry water on his behalf.
At no point would the media have appropriately focused on the policy failure, just as they are not today. Every election the media decries the nature of campaigns not being about policy, ideas or issues. Here was a colossally big issue of policy where the media circled the wagons to cocoon the inept and failed foreign policy of President Obama. On the anniversary of 9/11 two US embassies were attacked and desecrated. One US Ambassador was murdered along with three other US personnel. In each of the countries the US was instrumental in bringing democracy and freedom to its citizens. This is a story about failed ideas of the Obama Administration leading from behind. This is a story about a policy that distances America from our greatest ally in the region Israel while embracing the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt who are openly directing the actions in Egypt. This is a story about issues going to the core of President Obama’s unwillingness to support democracy movements in enemy-state’s like Iran while tossing aside allies like the Mubarek regime in Egypt in favor of extremists like the Muslim Brotherhood.
This is a story from beginning to end fraught with every substantive issue imaginable about the foreign policy of the current President yet the media wants only to talk about press releases, timings of press releases and hope for regret from a Presidential challenger who stood tall for American values in the face of Islamic extremists.