When 140 Characters Isn't Enough
Leadership: After the president rushed back to the White House to watch the Weather Channel, pundits said he acted "presidential" — as if he'd be judged by the last four days and not the last four years.
Acting presidential is one thing and being presidential quite another. Touring disaster areas is what every president finds himself doing sometime during his administration.
In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, President Obama is doing all the right things, such as telling FEMA to do what it's already tasked to do, even as the sequestration he pushed as part of the Budget Control Act threatens to cut $900 million from the agency's budget.
Pledging to cut red tape, signing disaster declarations,releasing emergency funds and saying the administration is with the victims all make for good photo-ops, just like the one showing the president having rushed back to the White House to watch the Navy SEALs get Osama bin Laden, an act made possible by intelligence-gathering and interrogation techniques employed by his predecessor and opposed by candidate Obama.
"The federal government's response has been great," New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, whose state bore the brunt of Sandy, told NBC News on Tuesday. "I was on the phone at midnight again last night with the president, personally — he has expedited the designation of New Jersey as a major disaster area."
Well, almost all the right things. There was no criticism when Obama urged Americans under siege from Sandy to stay inside and keep watch on ready.gov for the latest as the power went out for millions, or when FEMA urged those without power to use social media to stay informed.
The media that give him praise on Sandy are still looking the other way on Benghazi. That was also a time to look presidential and show leadership. But there were no photos of the White House Situation Room the night Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed in an organized terrorist attack and no real explanations of how or why it was allowed to happen.
Americans need answers to the questions of why the administration denied requests for additional security for our consulate, ignored two prior attacks, told potential rescuers during the attack to "stand down" as live streaming video of the attack was available in the Situation Room, and then blamed the whole thing on a video though it knew that Islamist militia group Ansar al-Shariah had claimed credit as it happened.
Read More At IBD: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/103112-631624-obama-presid...