On Friday, Barack Obama dropped a political bombshell with wide ranging implications for the U.S. war on terror and relations with the Muslim world. Obama then disappeared from the domestic political scene, as a fury of recriminations reverberated throughout the political sphere and blogosphere. Obama left others to deal with the political convulsion he had created.
That Friday was Friday, November 13, 2009. The announcement was that the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks — would take place in New York City, at the federal courthouse not far from where the World Trade Center had stood. At the time of the announcement, Obama already was on Air Force One heading for a week-long trip through Asia. Obama watched the domestic political explosion from the other side of the world.
That Friday also was Friday, August 13, 2010, when Obama announced his support for the Corboda mosque and Islamic Center being built at or near (depending on your perspective) where the World Trade Center had stood. Obama then left for vacation the next day, first to the Gulf coast and then to Martha’s Vineyard. Other than a quick comment on Saturday, August 14, Obama mostly has maintained radio silence as the politics has reached the boiling point.
Friday document dumps are a routine political tactic, but Obama’s tactic of dropping political bombshells just as he is leaving town is a bit much.