Awkward at AIPAC

Everyone was expecting Newtie to give a speech to AIPAC by satellite link from the campaign trail.  Everyone except Newtie that is.

After being introduced, he said that he understood there was a panel and that he would take questions.  Only there was no panel.  There were no questions.  Just silence.  Very awkward silence.

Finally, the man who introduced him told Newt there was no panel and that he should continue speaking.  Never at a loss for words, Newt launched into an attack on radical Islam.

Before he was introduced, Newt was caught on camera napping during Leon Panetta’s speech.  He looked old and tired and unprepared.


Combat Role in Afghanistan to End Next Year

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced that U. S. troops would end their combat role in Afghanistan in mid-2013 and assume an “advise and assist” role.

We currently have 90,000 troops in Afghanistan, 22,000 of whom are scheduled to leave by this fall.  All troops are scheduled to leave by the end of 2014.

I’m sure the GOP will go after President Obama for this, as they have on leaving Iraq, but public opinion is definitely on his side.  If the GOP wants to campaign on returning to Iraq and staying in Afghanistan beyond 2014, good luck to them.

Obama’s Lonely Bin Laden Decision

I have expressed my concern that Mitt lacks the guts and temperament to make tough decisions, such as the one to do the bin Laden raid.

Joe Biden now says that he advised the President “don’t go” on bin Laden and that when the President asked everyone on his national security staff (Joint Chiefs of Staff, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, National Security Adviser, etc.) what he should do, only Leon Panetta (then head of the CIA) said he should go.

With so many top advisers expressing doubts, it would have been easy for the President to take their advice and not do the raid.  It took guts for him to overlook all the reservations his trusted, experienced senior people were expressing.

I think if Mitt had been in that room, he would have hidden behind the qualms of the others and made a “business” decision to forego the raid.  I see him as operating more by consensus than by boldness, as basically risk averse and more interested in avoiding downsides than aggressively pursuing upsides.

We the people don’t get to make these decisions, we delegate them to our Commander in Chief.  President Obama has my proxy.