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From Dan: Perhaps They Should Have Listened To Eisenhower
posted on September 13, 2012 by Dan
President Dwight Eisenhower once said, "I do not believe any political campaign justifies the declaration of a moratorium on common sense."
This comes to mind in thinking about what happened yesterday as candidates in the current Presidential campaign responded to attacks on U.S. diplomats in Libya and Egypt. Common sense called for both candidates, each in his own way, to set politics aside, mourn the dead (the American ambassador to Libya was murdered, some other U.S. foreign service patriots were wounded and - in Egypt - others were threatened), do what could be done to console families, acknowledge the suffering of those directly involved, and lead the nation in mourning, reflection and contemplation.
That's what common sense, to say nothing of common decency and leadership called for. But what we got was pretty much politics as usual, more campaigning.
Mitt Romney made a big mistake in immediately lambasting President Obama, trying to use the tragic and dangerous events to score some political points. One could legitimately argue otherwise, but I believe President Obama would have been better advised not to go ahead with scheduled campaigning, including Las Vegas, as he did. I think taking a few hours, at a minimum, suspending and/or postponing his vote-seeking would have been the better decision.
Romney's clearly was the worst of the two declarations "of a moratorium on common sense." And even some of his own most influential, most experienced supporters are saying so. He's already paying a price for it, and the price may get heavier in the days ahead. That doesn't mean his chances for election are doomed. It does mean that he has again hurt his prospects, if even just in the short run.
There's still a long way to go. For each of these two candidates, they're three-quarters of the way up the mountain, but the hard climb is still to come.