Fred Barnes — who will help the John Locke Foundation analyze election results during a Nov. 15 Headliner luncheon — offers Weekly Standard readers his observations about the political impact of President Obama’s response to Hurricane Sandy.
President Obama comes to work, conducts a few conference calls on Hurricane Sandy, holds a press conference, and later travels to New Jersey to survey the damage caused by the storm. In doing so, he performs a job expected of him as president.
But does this qualify, as the Washington Post declared today, as Obama’s “commander-in-chief moment”? Did the president really pivot “from candidate to commander-in-chief,” as the Huffington Post says?
Not at all. The ever-friendly media are rushing to the aid of Obama on an issue where he needs all the help he can get. Obama lacks credibility as commander in chief – that is, as boss of the military. And it’s a problem for him in his bid for a second term in next Tuesday’s election.
The killing of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, in Benghazi, Libya, only made matters worse for the president on exactly this issue. Two of the Americans were killed after at least three reported requests for military support were not acted on. Asked last week by a Denver TV reporter if requests were denied, Obama couldn’t answer. “We are finding out exactly what happened,” he said.
But apparently not yet. One of the few answers from White House came two days later when an Obama aide said neither the president nor his staff “had denied any requests for assistance.” What role did Obama actually play? We haven’t been told.