During times of crisis Americans rightfully expect their president to be many things including an Empathizer-in-Chief.
Given his presidency has been a complete failure when it comes to the economy, foreign policy, transparency, and job creation, one could only hope Obama would have tried a little harder to show us he can feel our pain. But, some things can’t be faked. Empathy is one of them.
Ask Charles Woods, the father of the slain Navy Seal hero Tyrone Woods, who was killed during the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya.
Sure, Obama appeared to be empathetic when standing near the four flag-draped caskets at the highly publicized memorial service at Andrews Air Force Base, but behind-the-scenes – not so much. Mr. Woods went public to say Obama refused to make eye contact with him at the service and said Obama mumbled a “totally insincere, more of a whining type, ‘I’m sorry.”’
Woods said Obama’s handshake was “like shaking hands with a dead fish.”
Dead fish. Okay, I get the lack of eye contact, considering certain facts and emails continue to surface pointing toward a full-fledged cover-up, but, a “dead fish” handshake? Wow.
According to an interview with Fox News last weekend, retired Intelligence Officer Lieutenant Colonel Tony Shaffer claims, according to his sources, President Obama was watching the attack go down, “in real time.” According to the Weekly Standard, Mr. Woods concurs alleging, “the White House situation room was watching our people die in real time.”
We now know the CIA was denied the help they needed, although assistance was not far away. Presumably under the direction of CIA director David Petraeus, the CIA put out a statement on October 26 clarifying that the CIA had nothing to do with the decision to deny help, hence bouncing the blame back in the lap of the one whom the buck is always supposed to stop (the president).
After being told to “stand down” twice, Tyrone (and five others) made the gutsy decision to disobey orders to rescue those in harm’s way. Tyrone’s father told Fox News, “For seven hours the cowards in the White House were watching something they knew that was going to potentially kill those 30 people and potentially kill my son…they had a moral duty to send support and they chose not to…”.
Hours later, President Obama hopped on his jet to entertain followers at a campaign rally in Las Vegas. He began his remarks speaking to the “tough day we had today…”. How nice it would have been if Tyrone Woods and three others could have lived to talk about theirs.
Lest you think President Obama’s bizarre handling of Benghazi is an anomaly, think again. Remember Fort Hood?
Just hours after the attack and while Americans were glued to their TVs in shock as death tolls and injury numbers rose — an obviously disconnected and fairly jovial Obama made his first public statement about the shootings.
Obama’s short statement sounding much like an afterthought about “a tragic shooting,” came after his two minute lighthearted “shout out” (his words) to an audience member and talk about the necessity for healthcare reform.
The obvious disconnect between what happened at Fort Hood and the words flowing from the president’s mouth was shocking. Jolting, even.
Providence, by way of Hurricane Sandy, has granted Obama one last chance to show us that he is not the heartless clod he comes across as during times of crisis. I was almost impressed to see him at FEMA headquarters Sunday – just up until he jetted off to Florida for a campaign rally Sunday night; he was “coming early to try to beat the storm” according to the Huffington Post. Sure, he returned to DC hours later, but isn’t that the least he could do after four years of campaigning?
Susan Stamper Brown is an opinion page columnist who writes about politics, the military, the economy and culture. Email Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org or her website at susanstamperbrown.com.
©2012 Susan Stamper Brown. Susan’s column is distributed exclusively by: Cagle Cartoons, Inc., newspaper syndicate. For info contact Cari Dawson Bartley. E-mail Cari@cagle.com, (800) 696-7561