The Other McCain

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Is The Post-Debate Benghazi Discussion Playing Into Obama’s Hands?
UPDATE: Krauthammer Snookered?

Posted on | October 19, 2012 | 31 Comments

by Smitty

Given a non-optimal event, or, as real people would call it, tragic failure, controlling the spin is crucial. Benghazi certainly qualifies. And the spin after the second Presidential debate is doing a fine job of keeping the discussion manageable for the Administration, if not where they want it.

Neo-Neocon gives a detailed overview of the Rose Garden remarks of 12Sep2012, concluding:

Obama’s Rose Garden speech was carefully written to make sure the President sounded as though he may have been hinting at quite a few things that he’s not really saying, in order to keep all his options open later.

Not bad. And how was Candy cued about the importance of those 12Sep2012 remarks? Axelrod told her on 30Sep2012, that’s how. Which is why Red Diaper David gets paid the big bucks. Also, CNN admits its complicity in supporting Obama during the debate. But that’s in character.

The real issue here is why the Administration is successfully focusing all eyes on words that were spoken on 12Sep2012, and debate verbiage on 16Oct2012. These are certainly interesting, but peripheral. What we need to know is: where was the security that any reasonable person would require in Benghazi, leading up to and on 11Sep2012?

We’re not going to get answers to any hahrd questions, of course. There are too many legitimate issues of classified information, too many illegitimate issues of covering backsides, too many international implications of where the truth could lead, too many sycophants still wanting to drag #OccupyResoluteDesk across the finish line next month ahead of Romney. Fine.

What is the purpose of having a blog if you can’t point a finger and call: NONSENSE when you see it?

via: Instapundit.

Update: great roundup over at Nice Deb

Update II: does anybody not see that ‘Not Optimal‘ is just another calculated distraction? BHO hates you, he hates your liberty, and he thinks you’re stupid. He knows he’s toast if there is a real focus on the facts of Benghazi, and so he offers smoke screens. #Choom

Update III: alas, the CIA may not be keeping time with the White House drum:

The CIA station chief in Libya reported to Washington within 24 hours of last month’s deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate that there was evidence it was carried out by militants, not a spontaneous mob upset about an American-made video ridiculing Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, U.S. officials have told The Associated Press.
It is unclear who, if anyone, saw the cable outside the CIA at that point and how high up in the agency the information went.

I’ve been impressed in the first two debates at Romney’s capacity to push his argument exactly as far as he wants to, despite the moderator, and then comfortably resume his stance. Despite running in sand, Romney still conjures the piano music.

Update IV: A very detailed breakdown at Perfect Under a Red Umbrella. Again, beware efforts to run out the clock, and mire the discussion in minutia. Ultimately, this Administration has been nothing other than a pack of thugs.
More at Stacy on the Right.

Update V: via Insty again, I submit that Krauthammer is going for the bait here:

Missed by Romney, missed by the audience, missed by most of the commentariat, it was the biggest gaffe of the entire debate cycle: Substituting unctuousness for argument, Obama declared himself offended by the suggestion that anyone in his administration, including the U.N. ambassador, would “mislead” the country on Libya.

Nobody is missing it. We’re chewing on the fine print now. Romney knew he’d made his point, and left it there. BHO wins if he can reduce the conversation to finger pointing–President wins in ties–and distract from the broader question of his leadership vacuum.

Update VI: linked at Jackie Wellfonder.



31 Responses to “Is The Post-Debate Benghazi Discussion Playing Into Obama’s Hands?
UPDATE: Krauthammer Snookered?”

  1. Rich Vail
    October 19th, 2012 @ 6:15 pm

    RSM, you’re expecting the Democratic operatives w/a byline to start asking Obama hard questions NOW? WTF is up with that. Having you been taking acid when we weren’t looking. Don’t be daft, or people will start taking you as seriously as Paul Krugman…
    But seriously though, I don’t expect the current media to ask Obama ANY difficult questions. After all, if you take “The View” as an example…they evil wenches there asked the Obamas’…about how “romantic” the president is…and grill Anne Romney on why Mitt didn’t serve in the military.
    Don’t expect ANYTHING from the MSM. They are all in the tank for Obama. There are a few who aren’t, like Jake Tapper, but they are marginalized for being lepers. I only expect the media to ask Obama is he likes kitties, while then asking Romney when he stopped beating his wife.

  2. EBL
    October 19th, 2012 @ 6:28 pm

    Libya is an issue that mostly fires up the right. For undecided voters it is off their radar. But Obama is on the defensive and Romney is winning on economic issues and on jobs. So press on, fight on all arguments, and as Pete says “ride right through them boys, they’re demoralized as hell!”

  3. smitty
    October 19th, 2012 @ 6:31 pm

    Rich, the media are going down with Obama at the ballot box. It’s the new media that has to pick this up. The next Drudge could be made off of serious Benghazi reporting.

  4. Friday Free-for-All: Obama’s Falling Through His Own Benghazi Trap « Nice Deb
    October 19th, 2012 @ 6:57 pm

    […] – WFB: Obama Crowd Silent at ‘al Qaeda’s on the Path to Defeat’ Linked by Smitty at AoSHQ Share this:TwitterDiggLinkedInPinterestTumblrRedditFacebookStumbleUponEmailLike this:LikeBe the […]

  5. #BOOM! American Crossroads: “Act of Terror” – Video | Stacy on the Right
    October 19th, 2012 @ 7:01 pm

    […] questions remain: How was it that Crowley just happened to have the proof that supported the President’s assertions handy to back him up as debate moderator?  Was […]

  6. Steve Skubinna
    October 19th, 2012 @ 7:14 pm

    But… but Romney said BINDERS!!!! Also, Bug Bird.

  7. Finrod Felagund
    October 19th, 2012 @ 7:26 pm

    Obama looking weak on foreign policy makes him look bad no matter how much he spins or prevaricates. Plus it does a good job of deflating his ‘I killed bin Laden’ boast.

    Keep the enemy off balance on multiple fronts, I say. The more they have to defend, the weaker they look. This whole thing wouldn’t be good for Obama even if the election wasn’t less than three weeks off.

  8. Shawn Gillogly
    October 19th, 2012 @ 7:55 pm

    RSM, you rock the fedora, and normally I agree with you. Furthermore I think that while Obama looks bad for saying “not optimal,” the language wasn’t his, he was merely repeating Jon Stewart’s question. So in a full clip, it doesn’t sound AS bad as in isolation.

    That said, I disagree this far: Anything that forces Obama’s team to keep talking about Benghazi and their negligence that led to American deaths is bad for him. Throw into this the very real possibility that our Amb. might have been brokering arms deals to the very jihadists who killed him? There are too many avenues for this to spin into a massive cover-up debacle for the White House.

  9. JeffS
    October 19th, 2012 @ 7:58 pm

    Obama has provided us with a target rich environment. Let’s not waste that opportunity.

  10. fondatori
    October 19th, 2012 @ 8:00 pm

    “…beware efforts to run out the clock, and mire the discussion in minutia. ”

    Great great great great point. I can’t believe how much time is wasted on stupid word games and talking about talking. Actions are important, not words!

  11. smitty
    October 19th, 2012 @ 8:18 pm

    Concur, bad for him. However, my contention is that, given a menu of bad, we’re letting Obama order for us.

  12. Adobe_Walls
    October 19th, 2012 @ 8:27 pm

    Maybe, but Evi’s right many Americans don’t even know where Libya is let alone Benghazi and what happened there last month or that there’s controversy over it now.
    Fortunately some Americans are starting to react to #OccupyResoluteDesk like this.

  13. Adjoran
    October 19th, 2012 @ 9:32 pm

    First, all should note this is a post by Smitty, not Stacy, although the doomsaying and butt-hurt moaning is surely reminiscent of the aftermath of another dissing by Candi Crowley’s little sister Tabitha.

    We are finding just now that the MSM can no longer contain the damage for Obama on Benghazi. The NYT had a front page story on Benghazi this morning, their first since the attack itself. It’s gotten too big to ignore and this break also means other outlets have to cover it or get left behind. Add in the documents released by Issa and Chaffetz today and the pattern is there of multiple warnings from multiple sources before the attack and immediate accurate intelligence after it, which has obviously been covered up for some reason.

    Obama hoped to get enough cover to be able to do exactly what Krauthammer predicted in September: claim they couldn’t comment because of the ongoing investigation which won’t finish until after the election. But he just can’t keep the story straight.

    If he knew it was an act of terror September 12 and said so, why did he and his entire Administration immediately go to blaming the video for two weeks before confirming it was an act of terror instead? Why is he telliing Jon Stewart they’ve made public “every bit of information as it came in” while State is saying they can’t comment and Carney won’t take questions?

    Don’t be discouraged now, remember Nixon still had strong public support throughout Watergate until the secret tapes were forced out and it all came unraveled. The poll trend has already turned against Obama in nearly every key state and nationally, and this is only going to hurt him more.

    Stonewalling works until it doesn’t, then the wall crumbles. Enjoy!

  14. Jackie Wellfonder - Raging Against the Rhetoric – Security Neglected in Benghazi
    October 19th, 2012 @ 9:34 pm

    […] agree with Stacy McCain’s conclusion at the end of his article, we’re not letting anything slide, we’re being strategic with our responses. Nobody is […]

  15. Adjoran
    October 19th, 2012 @ 9:39 pm

    What blogger is going TO Benghazi to have tea publicly with the chief suspect, a leader of an al Qaeda-affiliated group who admits being there and further remarks no one from the US government has even attempted to contact him since the attack?

    Okay, maybe Yon or Totten could, but they didn’t, and in any case don’t have the audience of David Kirkpatrick, especially on Page 1.

  16. Adjoran
    October 19th, 2012 @ 9:40 pm

    Notice he’s dropped the “al Qaeda is on its heels” line from his stump speech – but only in the last two weeks or so.

  17. smitty
    October 19th, 2012 @ 9:51 pm

    My point remains that we are ceding far too much control of the discussion to the very guy causing the problems.

  18. Taxpayer1234
    October 19th, 2012 @ 10:02 pm


  19. John Scotus
    October 19th, 2012 @ 10:16 pm

    I really doubt that Obama’s use of the words “not optimal” were meant to distract. In context, he was attempting to draw Stewart’s attention to the fact that four people died in the event. Yes, he was changing the subject from the bungled response. But if he was trying to distract attention from that, then why emphasis the greater tragedy? It served him no purpose. The problem with Obama’s choice of wording is that even in trying to underline the gravity of the situation, he could only do so in reference to himself and his own difficulties, showing an absolute lack of empathy for those men and their survivors.

  20. EBL
    October 19th, 2012 @ 11:06 pm

    I disagree about context. Stewart gave O a softball to “have the buck stop with him” and O manage to dodge responsibility and give a horrible answer. It was an Unforced Error.

    Now while we should hammer him on it, we need to hit O on all topics. O can’t seem to handle multiple topics well.

  21. smitty
    October 19th, 2012 @ 11:29 pm

    My thesis is that the defendant is showing the prosecutors a series of distracting objects in an attempt to defend a bigger crime that he REALLY doesn’t want to talk about.

    That’s coming out now as the CIA is revealing that they reported on the situation within 24 hours. But what was going on in the bigger picture? THAT is what BHO doesn’t care to come clean on.

  22. Wombat_socho
    October 19th, 2012 @ 11:30 pm

    Wait, the two-minute Muppet hate is over already?

  23. Bob Belvedere
    October 19th, 2012 @ 11:32 pm

    I think Evi’s idea will work. Neither Obama nor his campaign seem to react well when they’re being fired at from scattered locations.

    Commence firing – fire at will.

  24. Paratisi
    October 19th, 2012 @ 11:33 pm

    Nope, I can’t get off the subject of; How did Obama know Candy Cowley’s notes/debate prep, better than she did? How did he know that Candy had a “Transcript” of an Obscure speech, He planned to use to cover his Big Lie? When & where did they cook up a plan to catch Romney in a game of “Gotcha”? You could here the arrogance in Obama’s tone when he told her, “check the transcript”. Why would he know she had that obscure transcript?
    See, this is why I believe the Republicans need to take away the media’s power, by calling their credibility into question, regularly!

    God Bless America!

  25. Steve Skubinna
    October 20th, 2012 @ 12:03 am

    William F. Buckley (who was Catholic, which makes this funnier) once defined a Jesuit as a man who, when accused of murdering three men and a dog, triumphantly produces in his defense – the dog.

  26. Steve Skubinna
    October 20th, 2012 @ 12:05 am

    If Obama were not a chickenshit pussy, he would have responded to Stewart’s word choice by smashing him in the face, then breaking his arm while shouting “Optimal? Is THIS optimal, you asswipe?”

  27. Adjoran
    October 20th, 2012 @ 12:09 am

    I don’t see anyone ceding anything. Romney was stuck when Crowley cut him off, but the next debate is foreign policy & national security, no one can cover Obama for 90 minutes.

    Obama has essentially been dodging any serious questioning on the subject. As Prez, he is going have a certain amount of control as long as media was helping. The NYT story wasn’t a help.

  28. Adjoran
    October 20th, 2012 @ 12:11 am

    The revelations today will focus attention on those greater issues of why was security not provided. Those cables, both prior to and immediately after the attack, point directly to an intentional cover-up of the facts.

  29. Adjoran
    October 20th, 2012 @ 12:44 am

    CNN already effectively admitted they gave Obama more time intentionally “because he speaks slower” so collusion on this point is very likely. If as claimed Crowley “remembered” her interview on the subject with Axelrod from 9/30, why would she wave a paper at Romney, and how did Obama know she had the transcript right there?

  30. Paratisi
    October 20th, 2012 @ 10:56 am

    Thank You, Adjoran. That’s my point! Why isn’t anyone on this? It doesn’t get any more obvious!

  31. cmdr-buzz-corey
    November 17th, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

    We get nothing but lies from Obama and his administration. We want the truth. Sign the Whitehouse petition below and help make Obama tell the truth.