Obama gets lucky on Benghazi conspiracy
The Kansas City Star
The Benghazi controversy won’t go away, courtesy of Fox News but also because some Americans - including me - want more definitive answers on what happened there.
But unless you’re watching Fox News or reading a lot of conservative-based websites, you aren’t hearing much about the possibility that President Barack Obama’s administration either a) lied about what happened at Benghazi or b) really messed up in protecting the compound in the first place.
Here are two facts that Republicans and Democrats on both sides of this matter should agree on:
- Hurricane Sandy has pushed Benghazi not just off the front page but clear to the back of the newspapers and of newscasts.
Obama got lucky - receiving a tremendous public relations gift with the superstorm and its aftermath, in which his administration has done a good job responding to a national emergency.
Notice, too, that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney isn’t using the Benghazi mess much to attack Obama. He knows it’s not on the minds of many Americans down the stretch run. So if the actual candidate isn’t pumping up a notion of a conspiracy in Benghazi, the story lacks the kind of “legs” that would get it more attention with the media.
- The Benghazi controversy may have Republicans up in arms, but they have to admit that - based on how past presidential administrations of both parties have bungled international affairs - it likely would not have mattered whose watch the attack occurred on.
In other words, I’m sure a Republican president would be assuring the American people (just as Obama is doing) that he had done everything he could to protect our embassies and their people abroad. I’m sure a Republican president would not be forthcoming in taking much of the blame when things went wrong overseas.
In fact, the American people saw exactly what I’m talking about a decade ago, when George W. Bush rallied the world to attack Iraq and a trillion-dollar war resulted. As we later found out, Bush and his hawkish advisers were factually wrong and had little idea what they were doing by taking on the Iraq (and later) Afghanistan wars.
The media - all of it - will continue to pull at the threads of the Benghazi affair long after Tuesday’s election results are final.
They may find nothing of any great substance there, despite all the “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” reporting right now of Fox News.
Or the media may find that the Obama administration, perhaps the president himself, lied to the American people about Benghazi. If Obama is re-elected Tuesday, that would be a bombshell.
If Mitt Romney becomes president, and Obama badly handled Benghazi, that fact will besmirch Obama’s reputation for years to come.