Obama’s Super Tuesday Coup

WASHINGTON – Post Super Tuesday, one thing we know. Pres. Obama won the day.

And the reason I called Ms. Fluke is because I thought about Malia and Sasha, and one of the things I want them to do as they get older is to engage in issues they care about, even ones I may not agree with them on. I want them to be able to speak their mind in a civil and thoughtful way. And I don’t want them attacked or called horrible names because they’re being good citizens. And I wanted Sandra to know that I thought her parents should be proud of her, and that we want to send a message to all our young people that being part of a democracy involves argument and disagreements and debate, and we want you to be engaged, and there’s a way to do it that doesn’t involve you being demeaned and insulted, particularly when you’re a private citizen. – Pres. Obama, Super Tuesday press conference

What a move.

Not only did Pres. Obama step on Super Tuesday with his press conference, but he showed Mitt Romney how you respond to a media bully, while doing a beautiful bank shot to hit chickenhawk Republicans on Iran.

Now, what’s said on the campaign trail — those folks don’t have a lot of responsibilities. They’re not Commander-in-Chief. And when I see the casualness with which some of these folks talk about war, I’m reminded of the costs involved in war. I’m reminded that the decision that I have to make in terms of sending our young men and women into battle, and the impacts that has on their lives, the impact it has on our national security, the impact it has on our economy.

This is not a game. There’s nothing casual about it. And when I see some of these folks who have a lot of bluster and a lot of big talk, but when you actually ask them specifically what they would do, it turns out they repeat the things that we’ve been doing over the last three years, it indicates to me that that’s more about politics than actually trying to solve a difficult problem.

[...] This is not just an issue of Israeli interest; this is an issue of U.S. interests. It’s also not just an issue of consequences for Israel if action is taken prematurely. There are consequences to the United States as well.

And so I do think that any time we consider military action that the American people understand there’s going to be a price to pay. Sometimes it’s necessary. But we don’t do it casually.

When I visit Walter Reed, when I sign letters to families that haven’t — whose loved ones have not come home, I am reminded that there is a cost. Sometimes we bear that cost. But we think it through. We don’t play politics with it. When we have in the past — when we haven’t thought it through and it gets wrapped up in politics, we make mistakes. And typically, it’s not the folks who are popping off who pay the price. It’s these incredible men and women in uniform and their families who pay the price.

“Popping off” described Mitt Romney on Iran perfectly.

Romney has said Pres. Obama hasn’t stressed “all options are on the table,” which he has, as I wrote about recently. But Romney also denied containment would work, which is not even Obama’s policy, though I’d prefer it. Then Romney whined about diplomacy and sanctions, saying Obama’s weak on Iran. What Mitt Romney doesn’t know about foreign policy would fill the Grand Canyon.

This is a huge problem for Mitt Romney, because by any objective analysis no one has been tougher on Iran in decades, not George W. Bush or Bill Clinton.

People can disagree with Obama’s foreign policy, which I do on Libya, Syria, targeted assassinations and other issues, but what is provable is that he’s been tough on Iran.

Pres. Obama’s point on our military men women paying the price is an important one.

The last time I looked Mitt Romney had five sons, none of whom are in the military.

It’s always the chickenhawks who are so eager to give up other people’s sons and daughters to gunfire. It’s one of the more despicable habits of Republicans in recent memory.

So, not only did Pres. Obama call out Mitt Romney by showing his understanding of women through his daughters, but he also took him to the woodshed on Iran.

High fives all ’round at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.



Taylor Marsh is the author of the new book, The Hillary Effect – Politics, Sexism and the Destiny of Loss, which is now available in print on Amazon. Marsh is a veteran political analyst and commentator. She has been profiled in the Washington Post, The New Republic, and has been seen on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, CNN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera English and Al Jazeera Arabic, as well as on radio across the dial and on satellite, including the BBC. Marsh lives in the Washington, D.C. area. This column is cross posted from her new media blog.

Photo credit: President Barack Obama talks with National Security Advisor Tom Donilon and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Oval Office, March 5, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)