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A Noun, A Verb and Bin Laden

As we recalled a couple of days ago, Vice President Joe Biden’s one example of genuine wit that I’m aware of was his line that a Rudy Giuliani sentence consisted of a noun, a verb and 9/11.  Those who listen to Biden’s boss are probably thinking about that painfully accurate quip every time he takes to the stump.

As Jackie Calmes of the New York Times notes in the paper’s Caucus blog today, President Obama’s standard speech about his administration has been revised in the last week. Every address, from commemorations to fundraisers in the last week has included a section where he takes credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden. According to Calmes, this will “be a staple of his political message into the 2012 election.”

By making the fateful decision to launch the expedition into Pakistan to get bin Laden, Obama has earned some bragging rights here. It might be easier for his opponents to stomach his strutting about this were he more gracious about giving credit to others such as predecessor, though he does praise the troops as part of his presentation. But those who are finding it tough to take Obama’s new image as a war leader had better get used to it. The killing of bin Laden enables the administration to portray its generally confused approach to armed conflicts (such as the decision to keep fighting in Afghanistan while setting a withdrawal date so as to encourage the Taliban to hold on until the Americans leave) as decisive and his feckless foreign policy as successful. Osama’s corpse will be the “bloody shirt” that Democrats wave endlessly as they attempt to convince Americans to give the president a second term.

We don’t doubt that poor Joe Biden, who has been known to doze off while his boss bloviates, will now help keep himself awake during presidential speeches by chuckling privately as he thinks of how his line about Giuliani can be revised to fit Obama.



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