Breaking news is that Obama has made an unannounced trip to Afghanistan to sign a security agreement and will hold a 7:30 p.m. address to the nation from Bagram Air Force Base.
At what point does this all backfire? It’s so transparently political taking place on the anniversary of bin Laden’s killing.
The power of the presidency is great. But something tells me Obama is going way too far, and other than the cheerleaders in the press, not many people will be impressed.
We can’t stop him from spiking the football, so just as well that he spikes it really hard, with everything he has.
Update: Dana Milbank had a pretty hard hitting column about Obama, President Obama, campaigner in chief:
In a political culture that long ago surrendered to the permanent campaign, Obama has managed to take things to a whole new level….
It’s not just the gatherings officially categorized as campaign events. To a greater extent than his predecessors, Obama has used the trappings of his office to promote his reelection prospects even while handling taxpayer-funded business….
The election is still six months away, but it’s increasingly difficult to distinguish Obama’s political events and speeches from the official ones.
And National Journal tries hard to make the case that a presidential visit was justified, but then notes that the document signed is a vague set of goals, not anything specific:
An Obama administration official told National Journal the strategic partnership agreement does not include specific dollar amounts of military or economic aid—or any details about how many American troops will remain in the country after the U.S. combat role ends in 2014.
Instead, the official said the “general document” lays out the framework for the long-term relationship between Washington and Kabul—which will include military activities, like continued U.S. training and equipping of local forces, and counterterrorism operations.
Why maintain the charade? It was a political trip, no need pretending otherwise. The question is whether it was an appropriate political trip.