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Obama Trumpets Killing of Bin Laden, and Critics Pounce

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PETER BAKER and MICHAEL D. SHEAR
New York Times
April 28, 2012

WASHINGTON — Presidents running for re-election typically boast of programs they created, people they helped or laws they signed. They talk about rising test scores or falling deficits or expanding job rolls. President Obama is increasingly taking the unusual route of bragging about how he killed a man.

To be sure, that man was Osama bin Laden, and he is not mourned among either the president’s supporters or detractors. But in the days leading up to the first anniversary of the raid that finally caught up to the Qaeda mastermind, Mr. Obama has made a concerted, if to some indecorous, effort to trumpet the killing as perhaps the central accomplishment of his presidency.

Mr. Obama has used the rarefied setting of the Situation Room to give an interview about how he made the decision to send in Special Operations forces. Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. gave a speech saying the re-election slogan would be “Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive.” The president’s campaign released a Web video showing former President Bill Clinton praising Mr. Obama’s fortitude, as it questioned whether Mitt Romney would have made the same decision.

Other presidents have boasted of their toughness, of course, notably Mr. Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, who campaigned for re-election in 2004 on a record of having deposed Saddam Hussein in Iraq, while his vice president, Dick Cheney, warned that electing John Kerry could lead to a terrorist attack. But few presidents have talked about the killing of an individual enemy in such an expansive way.

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This article was posted: Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 2:28 am





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