s skippy the bush kangaroo: obama isn't visiting the troops, each side blames the other

skippy the bush kangaroo

Friday, July 25, 2008

obama isn't visiting the troops, each side blames the other

this time the shrill pearl-clutchers were just plain wrong about barack "to the future" obama's decision to not visit troops in germany on his european vacation.

the hardly-ever-right wing cried aloud, oh that obama is snubbing our hard working men and women in uniform, but he's happy to raise cash at a nazi rally!

except, it was the pentagon that nixed obama's visit w/the troops. lynn sweet @ the chisun-times:

a scheduled visit by presumptive democratic nominee sen. barack obama (d-ill.) with u.s. troops friday at a military base in rammstein, germany was cancelled because the pentagon told the campaign it would look too political…

though the rammstein visit had been planned for days, obama senior strategist david axelrod said that that pentagon notified obama military advisor scott gration only yesterday or the day before that he should not come.

the pentagon "viewed this as a campaign event and therefore they said he should not come," axelrod said. obama has been at the base in previous overseas trips. he visited with troops--even played basketball--when he touched down in kuwait during the iraq and afghanistan leg of his swing.
but the plot thickens. the dod sez obama was welcome, just not his campaign staff. nytimes blog:

geoff morrell, the pentagon press secretary, issued a statement emphasizing that the pentagon did not cancel mr. obama’s visit.

“senator obama, in his official capacity, is always welcome to visit landstuhl or any other military hospital. but it is not permitted to bring with him campaign staff. his team was notified of that, and they made a decision not to visit the hospital. but we were ready and willing to host him there. in fact, we had made arrangements for his campaign plane to land at ramstein, and to take care of the campaign staff and press in a passenger terminal there, while the senator and senate staff, if he liked, went on to visit wounded warriors. they made a decision based on their own calculations not to visit. senator obama, like any other member of the senate, is always welcome to visit our wounded warriors or our military hospitals around the world. but they do so in their official capacity, and not as a candidate. he can come in and bring senate staffers as well, if he likes, but campaign staffers and press are not permitted to accompany him. that would be a violation of dod directives.”
so perhaps obama wanted a photo-op, and decided against it when none was available. which would be too bad for him, if true.

(tip o' the kangaroo tail to memeorandum for the links!)

addendum: greg sergent at tpm central confirms that it was the pentagon who nixed the trip, not obama's campaign:

"we have longstanding department of defense policy in regards to political campaigns and elections," pentagon spokesperson elizabeth hibner told me. "we informed the obama staff that he was more than welcome to visit as senator obama, with senate staff. however, he could not conduct the visit with campaign staff."

after being told this, the obama campaign announced yesterday that it had decided it was "inappropriate" to make the visit as part of a campaign trip.

it's unclear how obama could have made the visit at all, given the pentagon's directives. no senate staff was on the trip, and the obama camp says they received the pentagon's directives on wednesday, after they were already abroad.
posted by skippy at 9:59 AM |


So, in effect, the right wing was right on this one, because Obama could have dropped by Landstuhl and said hi to the injured from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nice. I have pitching them a softball.
commented by Blogger Carl, 11:09 AM PDT  
Errr, I mean hate, hate pitching them a softball...
commented by Blogger Carl, 11:30 AM PDT  
carl, upon update from greg sergent, it turns out obama had planned the trip w/campaign staff and not w/senate staff. it wasn't until he was overseas that he was told he couldn't take campaign staff and needed to take senate staff. so he was kind of screwed.
commented by Blogger skippy, 11:48 AM PDT  
Yea, I get that, but then why the weaseling about deciding it wouldn't be appropriate?

There's an open question, as well, seeing as he is on the Armed Services subcommittee on Veteran's Affairs, as to why he didn't think to ask ahead of his trip regarding protocol.

In the grand scheme of things, I think this is a non-issue and goes away quickly, I just wish the GOPpers had to work harder to come up with stuff.
commented by Blogger Carl, 12:44 PM PDT  
Without photo evidence, there's no way to refute a phony narrative about what he did there, so going alone is out. But his excuse was ill-thought-out for sure.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 1:28 PM PDT  
So why couldn't he enter alone or with a couple of aides, or certainly his secret service detail? What, he's only geared to handle 200,000 foreigners, but not a few score GI's? Sorry, but he botched this.
commented by Anonymous sean, 10:10 PM PDT  

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