Benghazi is a campaign issue because it’s an issue of leadership and trust. What did the President know and when did he know it? How deep does the cover-up go? If it’s true that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton approved Ambassador Stevens’ request for 16 additional security personnel, who failed to execute the order? Was the White House involved in that decision or just the decision to send spokespeople out to lie to the American people for nearly two weeks?
Author and reporter Ed Klein of the New York Post told listeners of my radio program that his sources describe a White House that is more directly involved with State Department decisions than any president since Nixon, and the idea that National Security Advisor Tom Donilon didn’t pass along pertinent cables from State to Obama is inconceivable. This solidifies the appearance of a tragically dysfunctional relationship between Obama and Hillary. Sadly, that would be the “best case” scenario in this tragedy of foreign policy failure.
The many questions swirling around the reported timeline speak to leadership and foreign policy. Leaders build trust by being trustworthy. Swagger and blamecasting works well for those whose followers are blinded by a charismatic character, but only for awhile. It’s part of President Obama’s character to say he “takes responsibility” only after an underling says it first. Can you hear the Obama Motors bus revving up while the driver sets his GPS for “Hillary?”
In addition to Hillary’s plea to avoid making this tragedy “political,” ( i.e. don’t bring this up in debate, Governor Romney, because it could ruin my run for president in 2016 if the American people are so outraged they vote Republican), she told Margaret Brennan at CBS that everyone had the same information. Since the question is about both the White House and the State Department, this means President Obama knew about the earlier IED bombing of the embassy, the legitimate threats against Americans in Libya, that the British and the Red Cross leaving due to escalating violence against westerners, there was no video protest and the attacks were planned and carried out with precision at the same time Obama sent his underlings to tell the American people a completely different story.
That story ignored advance warnings from the Libyan militia Obama’s State Department trusted for intel and security. That story ignored the video and now testimony proving the Obama Administration lied about some imaginary protest. This story is just one of many foreign policy failures of this administration. This story is the one Mitt Romney needs to tell the American people at the final Presidential debate this Monday. He needs to tell it and he needs to tell it well.
Mitt tried running with that ball at Hofstra and fumbled, giving the ball to Obama defensive back Candy Crowley. She fumbled, too, handing yardage to a smirking Obama. Now, Mitt has the ball again in Monday’s debate. We’ll all be watching to see if he can carry it well enough for Congress and the mainstream press to get back in the game.
© Copyright 2012 Rick Jensen.
Rick Jensen is Delaware’s Award-Winning Conservative Talk Show Host on 1150AM WDEL and 93.7FM HD3, Streaming live on WDEL.com from 1pm – 4pm EST.