The Obama Administration has gotten itself into a bad pretzel over the Benghazi attacks. The opening question on Libya struck me as particularly bad for Biden in last week’s debate; sure enough, even as the rest of Biden’s performance has since faded into general lore, his answer on Libya has lived on in specifics. Romney has made hay of the fact that Biden et al didn’t know about additional security requests. And especially with conflicting statements from the State Department, he’s actually got a good case for criticism.
Moreover, I don’t think Clinton taking a hit on this is going to convince anybody, and it opens Obama up to exactly what John McCain, Kelly Ayotte and Lindsey Graham fired at him immediately following Clinton’s late-night emergence from under the bus:
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and two of his colleagues said that “the buck stops” with President Obama with respect to the terrorist attacks in Libya, but they praised Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her willingness to claim the blame in the absence of the White House taking responsibility.
“The security of Americans serving our nation everywhere in the world is ultimately the job of the Commander-in-Chief,” said McCain in a joint statement with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. “The buck stops there.”
[…] The senators took issue with her statement on two points. “If the President was truly not aware of this rising threat level in Benghazi, then we have lost confidence in his national security team, whose responsibility it is to keep the President informed,” they said.
If you’re a fired-up Mitt Romney, you hit Obama with this all night. Romney has gotten nowhere all campaign with his “Obama = apologizer” foreign policy line; now, just weeks before the election, he has a legitimate FP gripe with the administration. All of Obama’s increased debate prep may be for naught if he can’t find a good answer to Romney’s challenge.