Published November 15, 2012
Don't pick on the little lady.
Wednesday, President Obama bizarrely cast the U.N. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, as some delicate flower the boys should stop picking on for her dissembling claims on five Sunday talk shows following the killing of 4 Americans in Benghazi. But, there is no damsel in distress and Obama's paternalistic bravado in defense of a top administration official is going to come back to haunt him.
"If Sen. McCain and Sen. Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me," Obama intoned to the stenographers worshipping at his feet. The media had gathered for a rare "press conference" where Fox News' Ed Henry and ABC's Jake Tapper are usually the only ones who ever seem to ask a question that elicits anything other than filibustering presidential pabulum. (One "journalist" actually congratulated the president on his win and gushed about how she has never seen him lose an election.) Group hug!
Obviously caught up in his own silly yarn about meanie Senators and helpless U.N. Ambassadors, the President complained, "When they go after the U.N. ambassador apparently because they think she's an easy target, then they've got a problem with me."
Imagine George Bush saying that people criticized John Bolton because he was an "easy target." He wouldn't.
It's absurd and chauvinistic for Obama to talk about the woman he thinks should be Secretary of State of the United States as if she needs the big strong man to come to her defense because a couple of Senators are criticizing her.
Believe it or not, Rice isn't the first potential Cabinet nominee to be opposed by members of Congress up on the Hill. Obama also left out the inconvenient detail that there is another senator who has Rice in the crosshairs: Sen. Kelly Ayotte. But perhaps a female Senator holding Rice accountable didn't sound menacing enough in the era of the "War on Women."
But it gets much worse.
As the president expressed outrage over the atrocity of members of Congress holding administration officials accountable, he said, "I'm happy to have that discussion with them. But for them to go after the U.N. ambassador? Who had nothing to do with Benghazi?"
Feast on those words for a second: The U.N. Ambassador had "nothing to do with Benghazi." At this point, the White House press corps should have flown into a frenzy, demanding to know why a person who had nothing to do with Benghazi was put on five Sunday talk shows as...the face of Benghazi!
This was an issue that had people scratching their heads the day of the Rice interviews, and plenty of questions were asked as to where Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was, and why Rice was put out instead. The administration at the time acted as though there was nothing remarkable about it, even though there clearly was.
But now we know -- straight from the lips of the president of the United States -- that they sent out a person who knew "nothing" about Benghazi to explain an atrocious attack against the United States that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans serving their country abroad.
No temper tantrum from the White House on the insult of being questioned about a terror attack against the U.S. abroad would be complete without their perennial favorite: the straw man.
The conceit of Obama's argument is that people are picking on a helpless girl -- a lowly U.N. ambassador -- because they are afraid of the big bad president.
President Obama, incredibly, claimed that he was "happy to have the discussion" about Benghazi.
Because every time anyone asks the president about Benghazi he claims he can't say anything because there is an investigation going on. The State Department actually said at one point that they would no longer take questions on the issue from reporters.
Senator Graham's response to the president's revelations and accusations at the press conference was exactly right: He said, "Mr. President, don't think for one minute I don't hold you ultimately responsible for Benghazi."
The president says he is ready to talk about this? Great. We are all ears.