Obama exploits Osama anniversary

Maybe I’m too cynical, but the timing of President Barack Obama’s trip to Afghanistan to sign off on a post-U.S. engagement strategy seems a little too coincidental.

The White House has been trying for days to make campaign hay out of the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s assasination by Navy Seals. The spin increasingly portrays Obama as the mastermind of the operation, despite evidence that the military commanders called the shots, as they should have.

Administration officials also suggested that if Republican challenger Mitt Romney had been president, bin Laden might still be alive. How they deduced that is anyone’s guess. Yesterday, the White House trotted out a military official to offer that assassinating Obama was a top priority for bin Laden. He later backed that down to killing the president maybe wasn’t a priority for the terrorist kingpin – but merely on his wish-list.

And now we have the president suddenly coming to terms with Afghanistan on conditions there after the American withdrawal, and it comes precisely on the anniversary of Bin Laden’s death.

I don’t recall anyone making such a big deal of the anniversary of Saddam Hussein’s capture, or of his execution. But Obama has had so few tangible achievements he has to reprise them lest voters forget he did get some things right. More evidence here that the Constant Campaigner isn’t doing anything this year unless it offers the hope of a political return.

(Nolan Finley is editorial page editor of The Detroit News. Originally posted on The Michigan View.)