If it doesn’t make good campaign propaganda, provide useful campaign imagery, or lend itself to raising campaign funds, Obama isn’t interested.
We know Obama doesn’t really care about what is happening in Afghanistan. If he did care, Obama would have conducted hearings on Afghanistan. Obama never held a single hearing on Afghanistan:
Barack Obama: “I became Chairman of this committee at the beginning of this campaign, at the beginning of 2007. So it is true that we haven’t had oversight hearings on Afghanistan.” (MSNBC Democratic Presidential Debate, 2/26/08)
Obama didn’t visit Iraq to see the progress accomplished by the surge, until goaded into doing so by McCain and groups like Vets for Freedom. According to the New York Times, When Obama finally returned to Iraq it had been “well past 900 days,” two and one half years, since Obama had made his only other visit there.
We know Obama voted against $94 billion in critical funding for U.S. troops fighting to protect us in Afghanistan and Iraq.
We know that Obama’s recent so-called fact-finding trip to Afghanistan and Iraq wasn’t a fact-finding trip at all. Obama made it very clear before he left that as far as he was concerned the facts were already found. Obama’s trip to Afghanistan and Iraq was just for photo ops and fake interviews.
We know Obama’s decision to cancel his scheduled visit with wounded troops after Obama learned his campaign photographers would not be allowed to accompany him. This incident developed into a full-blown kerfuffle between Obama and the military.Obama senior strategist David Axelrod tried to blame the military. Axelrod said that Pentagon notified an Obama military adviser the day before the scheduled visit that Obama should not come.
The military made it clear that Axelrod’s story wasn’t accurate. Defense Department Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said, “Obama is more than welcome to visit Landstuhl or any other military hospital around the world. … But he has to do so, just as any other senator has to do so, in his official capacity. It is not acceptable to do so as a candidate.” Undersecretary of Defense David Chu explained that Obama would not be allowed to bring any of his campaign staff — only one Senate staffer and security. He also would not have been able to address the media or make any campaign-related statements.
So when confronted with the rule that campaigns are not allowed to use wounded U.S. troops as campaign props, Obama chose not to visit wounded troops. Instead, Obama chose to use the time for a visit to the gym at the Berlin Ritz Carlton — which did provide campaign imagery, and to enjoy a martini with his campaign staff and the press at a downtown Berlin restaurant.
The McCain campaign sums all this up nicely in a new ad “Troops,” which you can watch below.