Bill Clinton On Obama vs. Romney As Commander In Chief

Joe Biden: Osama bin Laden Is Dead and General Motors Is Alive

When I first heard Joe Biden use his quick pitch for the Democrats last week I was impressed that he could be so succinct: “Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive.” Steve Benen linked to a video of Biden saying this above. He also pointed out the significance of the use of this brief elevator pitch:

Democrats have traditionally struggled to craft compelling “elevator pitches” when it comes to their policies, records, and visions. But Biden’s 10-word pitch, a blunt instrument as political rhetoric goes, at least has the benefit of summarizing the points Obama for America hopes to stress: the president and his administration turned the economy around at home, and has scored high-profile national security successes abroad.

It’s seems likely the Democratic campaign will face considerable pushback if officials keep using this pitch out loud — the politicization of the bin Laden strike may prove tricky — but the fact that the likely Republican nominee opposed the policy that got the al Qaeda leader, and was inclined to “let Detroit go bankrupt,” the health of GM and demise of bin Laden at a minimum sets up the contrast the White House wants to see.

In an election year it is more important to contrast Obama’s achievements with his likely opponent, but I also cannot help but contrast this with George Bush’s record. While GM’s problems went beyond those of the economy as a whole, it was Bush who brought us to the brink of a depression. Obama’s policies prevented a depression, while Republicans would return to the same policies which got us into this economic mess. Obama is destroying al Qaeda, while Bush’s policies acted to strengthen it and placed the United States in greater danger. It was also the failure of George Bush to follow the recommendations passed on by the Clinton administration, and his failure to respond to CIA warnings of an imminent threat, which allowed the 9/11 attack to be a success.

There are a number of things which I wish Obama would do differently, but on the major issues of the day there is a clear difference between what Obama has accomplished and what the Republicans would do. There is no problem with Obama which would be improved upon by having a Republican in the White House.

Obama’s Foreign Policy Successes

I was initially disappointed in how Obama handled US involvement in Libya. Its not that his failure to obtain approval from Congress was any worse than what we have become accustomed to, but that this was an area where I had hoped to see change under Obama. At least American involvement was limited, without loss of life and, at least so far, it doesn’t look like we are going to be involved in prolonged nation-building or antagonizing people in the region. Andrew Sullivan quoted a reader:

Bush and Saddam – One Trillion dollars and thousands of US lives.

Obama and Qaddafi – One Billion dollars and zero US lives.

There’s also this score card for Obama’s foreign policy:

To rid the world of Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki and Moammar Qaddafi within six months: if Obama were a Republican, he’d be on Mount Rushmore by now.

One reason for Obama’s success on foreign policy–the Republicans are not able to stop him for political gain as they have been able to do on the economy.

Gadhafi Had A Crush On Condi

Which is weirder–finding porn in Osama bin Laden’s compound following his death, or finding tons of photos of Condoleezaa Rice in Moammar Gadhafi’s compound? We might have predicted this after Gadhafi talked about Rice in an interview with Al-Jazeera television in 2007:

“I support my darling black African woman,” he said. “I admire and am very proud of the way she leans back and gives orders to the Arab leaders. … Leezza, Leezza, Leezza. … I love her very much. I admire her, and I’m proud of her, because she’s a black woman of African origin.”

Quote of the Day

“New rule: you can’t rail against the decadence of the west and also maintain a fairly extensive porn collection. Yes, it turns out 9/11 wasn’t bin Laden’s only masterstroke. Among the titles found in his compound were ‘Deep Goat,’ ‘Radical Jizzlam,’ ‘Barely Visible,’ ’72 Virgins and One Very Exhausted Ron Jeremy, and, of course, ‘Yentl.'” –Bill Maher

David Letterman: Top Ten Surprises in the Osama bin Laden Diary

David Letterman: Top Ten Surprises in the Osama bin Laden Diary

10. Always dotted the ‘I’ in ‘Jihad’ with a smiley face
9. Expressed anger at not being invited to the royal wedding
8. Disguised himself by wearing a fake beard over his real beard
7. Was the first one to suggest Hugh Grant as a possible replacement for Charlie Sheen
6. Admitted in college he experimented with a member of the opposite sect
5. Preferred exploding boxers to exploding briefs
4. As much as he hated the United States, he loved Red Lobster’s coconut shrimp bites
3. The guy just wouldn’t shut up about the new Beastie Boys album
2. Would occasionally fax jokes to Leno
1. Turns out he was kind of a coward

Craig Ferguson on Osama bin Laden’s Diary:

“The CIA is going through the stuff they found in Osama bin Laden’s compound, including a diary. I didn’t know he had a diary. That is so sweet. They haven’t read the diary yet because they can’t find the little key to open it up.” –Craig Ferguson

“Osama bin Laden kept a diary. Well that’s very sweet, isn’t it? Turns out his secret desire was to sneak into New York and catch a showing of ‘Mamma Mia.’ He briefly considered joining the cast of ‘Two and a Half Men.'” –Craig Ferguson

“Isn’t it odd how history’s greatest monsters have an artistic side? Osama bin Laden was a writer. Hitler was a painter. Justin Bieber is a singer.” –Craig Ferguson

David Letterman: Top Ten Questions on the Application to Replace Osama bin Laden

David Letterman: Top Ten Questions on the Application to Replace Osama bin Laden

10. “How many threats per minute can you type?”
9. “Can you work weekends?”
8. “Are you just doing this for the sweet 8-inch picture tube television?”
7. “How do your co-terrorists describe you?”
6. “What is the current bounty on your head?”
5. “Any ideas for a new catchphrase? ‘Death to America’ is kind of played”
4. “Would you require the use of the company llama?”
3. “How often do you delouse your beard?”
2. “Were you bar mitzvahed?”
1. “What are your long-term goals, besides not getting killed by Navy SEALs?”

Quote of the Day

“Now that it’s become clear that the Republicans, the fiscally conservative, strong on defense party, are neither fiscally conservative nor strong on defense, they have to tell us what exactly it is they’re good at. Because it’s not defense. 9/11 happened on your watch. And you retaliated by invading the wrong country. And you lost a 10-year game of hide-and-seek with Osama bin Laden. And you’re responsible for running up most of the debt, which, more than anything, makes us weak. You’re supposed to be the party with the killer instinct. But it was a Democrat who put a bomb in Gaddafi’s bedroom and a bullet in bin Laden’s eye like Moe Greene. Raising the question: How many Muslims does a black guy have to kill in one weekend before crackers climb down off his ass?” –Bill Maher

Quote of the Day

“In the wake of the killing of Osama bin Laden President Obama’s approval rating jumped to 56 percent, his highest in two years. Which shows there is literally nothing he can do to please the other 44 percent.” –Seth Meyers

Quote of the Day

“It would be a horrible, horrible, horrible coincidence if Bin Laden died and suddenly no one could locate Santa Claus.” –Dana Gould