by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
“I see Obama’s visiting the United States,” said Rush Limbaugh on Thursday, the president’s first full day back in Washington after a spring break diplomatic tour of Latin America. For the White House, it was a touch of well-deserved sarcasm; Obama’s absence at the start of the Libyan hostilities, along with his haphazard conversations with members of Congress and his nonexistent effort to prepare the American public for war, left more than a few Washington insiders shaking their heads over how the president could have mishandled things so badly.
Say what you will about the Bush White House. It knew something about preparing Congress and the public for war, having done so before invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. A president needs to lay the foundation for military action by holding extensive briefings for Congress and also by explaining to the American people why action is needed and what it will involve.
That’s why veterans of the Bush White House can’t quite believe what they are seeing from the supposedly communications-savvy Obama administration.