President Obama delivered a rather sleepy performance at yesterdays news conference, save for one impassioned moment. After ABC News’ Jon Karl asked him about Sens. John McCain’s, R-Ariz., and Lindesy Graham’s, R-S.C., call for a select committee to investigate why four Americans died in Benghazi on 9/11. Obama replied:
Let me say specifically about Susan Rice, she has done exemplary work. She has represented the United States and our interests in the United Nations with skill and professionalism and toughness and grace… If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me…. to besmirch her reputation is outrageous.
Graham issued a statement just seconds after Obama’s press conference ended, reading: “Mr. President, don’t think for one minute I don’t hold you ultimately responsible for Benghazi. I think you failed as Commander in Chief before, during, and after the attack.”
McCain then organized a colloquy on the Senate floor with himself, Graham and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., in which he said, “This president — this administration — has either been guilty of colossal incompetence or been engaged in a coverup, neither of which is acceptable to the American people.”
We’ll see how this Benghazi issue plays out, or whether Obama even tries to nominate Rice for Secretary of State to begin with. But look for a second at the three Republican Senators fighting with Obama over Rice: McCain, Graham, and Ayotte. Those just also happen to be the three most likely “yes” votes for any immigration amnesty plan Obama hopes to get through the Senate.
The Benghazi issue got real personal real fast yesterday. Maybe McCain and Graham are just feigning anger. But if they aren’t, Obama may end up poisoning the well if he presses the Rice nomination.
From The Washington Examiner
Examiner Editorial: Big Labor loses on its own turf
Byron York: Jindal “absolutely rejects” Romney’s explanation of loss
Sean Higgins: Actually, yes, Susan Rice did say the Benghazi attacks were spontaneous
Tim Carney: Should we be creeped out by Team Obama’s ability to manipulate our emotions?
In Other News
The Wall Street Journal, FHA Nears Need for Taxpayer Funds: The Federal Housing Administration is expected to report this week it could exhaust its reserves because of rising mortgage delinquencies, a development that could result in the agency needing to draw on taxpayer funding.
The Washington Post, Shale gas fueling an American industrial revival: The shale gas revolution is firing up an old-fashioned American industrial revival, breathing life into businesses such as petrochemicals and glass, steel and toys.
The New York Times, Ferocious Israeli Assault on Gaza Kills a Leader of Hamas: Israel on Wednesday launched the most ferocious assault on Gaza in four years after persistent Palestinian rocket fire, hitting at least 20 targets in aerial attacks that killed the top military commander of Hamas, damaged Israel’s fragile relations with Egypt and escalated the risks of a new war in the Middle East.
McClatchy Newspapers, Republicans, Democrats elect leaders on Capitol Hill: All of the top leaders who helped make the last Congress the most unpopular Congress in the history of America (House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Minority Leader Nancy Pelois, D-Calif., Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.,) won party elections to keep their current roles yesterday.
Reuters, How a vicious circle of self-interest sank a California city: San Bernadino’s decades-long journey from prosperous, middle-class community to bankrupt, crime-ridden, foreclosure-blighted basket case is straightforward — it succumbed to a vicious circle of self-interests among city workers, local politicians and state pension overseers.
James Pethokoukis does the math and shows that Obama’s new ‘balanced’ debt plan is 73% tax hikes.
Bill Bennett says Republicans have lost the culture war.
The Weekly Standard‘s Charlotte Allen on the Decline and Fall of California
John Avlon on Mitt Romney’s Clueless Gift Gaffe
Think Progress claims that Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS never registered as a charitable organization as required by Virginia law.
David Weigel on John McCain’s Long War Against Susan Rice