Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Obama in Carolina: Political or patriotic?

President Obama's (with First Lady Michelle Obama) visit just hours ago to Fort Bragg to mark the ending of the U.S. war in Iraq lured commentators worldwide and had some pointing to political views for his geographic choice of North Carolina for commemorating the war's finale. So the question is was it more political than patriotic?

For most journalists covering the event, it was news regardless. The BBC News was on hand with their reporters pointing to the fact that as a state senator Obama had once called the war "dumb." The Guardian was on hand also calling the idea "that the Iraq war is over attractive but deeply misleading."

Most news reports noted that the president made very few references to the divisiveness among Americans over the war and pointed out that he didn't mention his own opposition. Instead the speech was chocked with praise for the returning troops, those who were casualties of the war and the U.S. military in general.

But the New York Times and others took note of the probable political nature of his trip. This was Obama's first to the N.C. army base, and pundits said it is an especially meaningful one because of the president's potential path to reelection in 2012, which could include winning Virginia and North Carolina, a typically red state that Obama turned in 2008.

"But Fort Bragg and neighboring Fayetteville, with its large African-American population full of veterans of both Iraq and Afghanistan, will need to join urban areas like Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh-Durham in turning out for Mr. Obama if the president is to have a chance of repeating that unlikely win next year," says the Times. Mitt Romney has also acknowledged the significance early on, and is already running anti-Obama ads locally.

Speaking of Romney, the GOP presidential contender tried to steal some of the president's limelight by writing a letter to the Fayetteville Observer that appeared in the morning's edition criticizing Obama's economic policies. In the letter, he also joined the president in "expressing our nation's gratitude" toward the returning troops.

The National Journal pointed to the fact that Gov. Bev Perdue was there with Obama and alluded to the notion that she tried to avoid him the last time he was in the state. She was overseas on a trade mission to Asia. The Journal said: "North Carolina will be an important swing state for the president's reelection team and the Democratic National Convention will be held in Charlotte next year. So it's difficult to imagine how Perdue can, in any effective way, dodge the president. Opponents will tie her to the president no matter what she does, so she's best served to appear with him when she can, especially since he has a fighting chance in the state."

Obama's fighting chance might be better against Newt Gingrich, who has surged recently in the polls among Republican presidential candidates, than against Romney. That's what N.C. registered voters said in a survey by Public Policy Polling of Raleigh. Obama wins against Gingrich, 49 percent to 45 percent, in a hypothetical matchup put before 865 registered voters.
Obama was tied against Romney with each getting 46 percent of the vote in the survey.

- Posted by Fannie Flono


One Discerner said...

The President's visit is subject to interpretation or spin so it really doesn't matter. The only thing that really matters is that he is President of the entire United States.

DistrictSix said...

Running on your lack of accomplishments, is a tough hurdle to overcome.

After three plus years, saying you ended the War is a great one, I think Bush did that once or twice.

Adolf said...

The election is Obama's to lose. The GOP just does not have its house in order.