|Sorry Redstate (which still hasn't gotten the basic facts of the rescue straight -- no, dears, the captain didn't jump off the boat a second time...) "No Drama" Obama's handling of the pirates of the Horn of Africa is getting kudos, even from the increasingly wingery Associated Press:
Obama's handling of the crisis showed a president who was comfortable in relying on the U.S. military, much as his predecessor, George W. Bush, did.
But it also showed a new commander in chief who was willing to use all the tools at his disposal, bringing in federal law enforcement officials to handle the judicial elements of the crisis.
The rescue appeared to vindicate Obama's muted but determined handling of the incident. What won't be known for some time is whether Obama will benefit politically.
And the pillars of Obama's success should be remembered by the wingers:
1. No exploitation for political gain:
When Obama campaigns for re-election, he may take Bush's approach of turning any such incident into evidence of his leadership acumen. On the other hand, Obama didn't go before the cameras Sunday to trumpet the success, instead releasing a written statement that saluted the bravery of the military and Phillips but claimed no credit for himself.
2. No empty, Bush-style "tough talk":
He didn't call in his Cabinet for a high-profile command meeting. He let military and top administration officials do the talking, but even they kept saber rattling out of the equation.
White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel said Obama's silence should not be interpreted to mean that he wasn't deeply involved. The president's public posture was calculated to not raise the temperature on the situation or give the hostage-takers anything to exploit.
3. Actual work instead of Rovian marketing:
So what Obama did was receive regular briefings, sometimes as often as half a dozen times a day. He weighed in with two critical decisions allowing the military to take action to save Phillips' life. And he laid the groundwork for a federal criminal law enforcement response.4. No "war on terror" B.S.:
Obama doesn't like labels for himself or catch phrases for policy. So it's notable that in an administration that has virtually banned the phrase "war on terror," no one called the pirates "terrorists." Oh, and it worked.
Meanwhile, ABC News has the story of the dramatic rescue of the captain by U.S. Navy SEALs, who are the big heroes of the day. And Somali pirates are vowing to take revenge on the U.S.
Labels: Navy SEALS, pirates, President Barack Obama, RedState, right wing smear machine