President Obama's re-election campaign is eager to remind voters of the mission that killed Osama bin Laden, especially now in light of the one-year anniversary of the raid. This led Obama's team to release a video last week noting the president's role and Mitt Romney's positions on the issue.
On Friday, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) feigned outrage, condemning Obama for trying to "politicize" his counter-terrorism accomplishment. In a statement promoted by the Republican National Committee, the failed former presidential candidate said, "Shame on Barack Obama for diminishing the memory of September 11th and the killing of Osama bin Laden by turning it into a cheap political attack ad."
Part of the problem here is that McCain still thinks he has credibility on matters related to national security and international affairs. He does not -- the bitter senator has been astonishingly wrong about every major foreign policy challenge in recent memory.
But the larger concern is that McCain seems to believe the president, during a re-election campaign, shouldn't "politicize" his counter-terrorism victories. It's an odd argument coming from the senator. Does he not remember this 9/11 tribute video at his own nomination convention?
Did this diminish the memory of September 11th? Is it as "cheap" to run a video about 9/11 as it is to run a video about killing the terrorist who orchestrated 9/11?
Digby noted several more videos from the 2004 cycle in which Bush bragged about being president on 9/11 -- and he didn't get bin Laden. I've looked for examples of McCain whining about Bush "diminishing the memory" of the attacks by "politicizing" the terrorism, but nothing came up.
I suppose the moral of the story is that Republicans can make campaign ads about 9/11 but Democrats can't.
There's a reasonable debate to be had about the propriety of any of these ads, from either party. But if can McCain and Bush exploit 9/11 for partisan gain, Republicans don't get to complain when Obama boasts about a development worth bragging about.