[Romney’s] doubling down on criticism of the President for the statement coming out of Cairo is likely to be seen as one of the most craven and ill-advised tactical moves in this entire campaign.Time’s Mark Halperin. In case you missed it: Yesterday, Mitt Romney knocked President Obama for “sympathiz[ing] with those who waged the attacks” on US diplomatic compounds in Libya and Egypt. This claim was false to begin with—Obama didn’t express any sympathy for the attackers—but was made all the more awkward when, six hours after Romney’s statement, news came out that the US ambassador to Libya was killed in the attacks. After that revelation, Romney doubled-down on his attacks on POTUS, and so now, it seems a bit as if Romney is claiming that Obama supported the killing of one of his own ambassadors. Notable here is that very few prominent Republicans are backing Romney up on this—he’s more or less alone. source
» The Pentagon’s plan awaits President Obama’s approval. That said, $25 million is a relatively very minor cost to the U.S. in the context of a military action. It would, however, explicitly not go towards arming the rebels with western weaponry, but would rather send vehicles, supplies, medicines, and radios. The Gaddafi government threatened that such supply shipments would extend the bloody battles and “encourage the other side to be more defiant,” which is a pretty difficult quote to read with feeling unbearably angry.
Last night, we got a friendly message from nhaler about the contradictions in the messages we’re hearing on Libya: ”What’re your thoughts on the plain contradictions that are being repeated by the mass media regarding Obama’s claims that USA ‘led the charge’ against Gaddafi?” Good question. In many ways we saw clear leadership from France before reports that the U.S. led the mission first came out. But on the other hand, they were in front of the coalition behind the airstrikes, even as they only modestly took on the endeavor. To us,this whole situation plays into Obama internal conflicts. He was slow to discuss Libya until weeks after the original crisis began, which has made it hard for him to jump on the issue decisively. That’s the problem here. He needs to be less conflicted and his cabinet more focused as a unit.
At this point, in addition to maintaining a no-fly zone protecting civilian populations, we also have political tools, diplomatic tools, sanctions freezing his assets — all of which continue to tighten the noose. And so our expectation is that as we continue to supply steady pressure, not only militarily but also through these other means, that Gaddafi will ultimately step down.President Barack Obama • Offering a follow-up to the sentiments he made last night about the American military action in Libya. While Obama says he was reluctant to start another military campaign, here we are — Obama emphasizing that we could “save a lot of lives” in Libya. Doesn’t this contradict all the stuff he’s been saying about this being a specific mission with a limited scope? source (via • follow)