The glee from Democrats, frustration from Republicans, and amazement from commentators has been easy to detect as the extent of President Obama’s advantage on foreign policy and national security has become clear.
There is obvious volatility to the unfolding events in the Middle East, and the possibility exists that developments in the coming days might somehow prompt voters to reconsider Obama’s leadership. But for now, Mitt Romney is gaining no traction from his effort to portray the unrest as an indictment of American policy under Obama –and may actually be hurting himself. A CBS News/New York Times poll released on Friday was the latest to give Obama a double-digit edge on the question of which candidate would better handle foreign policy.
The spectacle of a Republican White House nominee straining – and failing – to score political points on national security is understandably jarring to anyone who’s watched U.S. politics for the last decade. George W. Bush’s 9/11 exploitation and success at neutralizing John Kerry’s war hero credentials will be remarked on for years to come. And even in 2008, when he racked up the biggest share of the popular vote for any Democrat since LBJ, Obama succeeded in spite of most voters’ belief that John McCain would handle terrorism better.
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