Seven Army former POWs greet the media from the balcony of their hospital ward at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) in Landstuhl, Germany, at noon, local time, on Friday, April 18, 2003. Image Credit: Melvin Tarpley, Visual Information Services Europe, 2d Signal Brigade - wikimedia.org
Obama’s Hell Or High Water Moment
Barack Obama, by most any measure, had a very good trip overseas in which his campaign for President of the United States got the much needed “Optics” for Barack Obama on international relations.
There are great photos and video of Barack Obama on the ground in a warzone, standing and walking with the top United States military leaders, shaking hands with political leaders of nations in conflict throughout the Middle East, talking in very friendly circumstances with major ally European national heads of state (Germany's Merkel, France's Sarkozy, Great Britain's Brown), delivering a speech in front of a large crowd in a major public square in Berlin … one could not hope for a better photographic record result.
The problem with this trip is what it exposed about the character of the presumptive nominee of the Democrat Party for President of the United States.
Pretty much, if a camera and a couple of reporters can not be with him as he went about his tasks he felt that were important for the day, then that activity would be scrubbed.
There are some activities, however, that are beyond the camera and of greater importance than a photo-op.
Activities that are directly related to being a standing United States Senator, and potential Commander and Chief of the United States military forces by becoming President of the United States … such as visiting our troops, wounded while carrying out military operations in support of United States interests, would be one such “Hell Or High Water” moment.
On this test of character and follow through of planned intention, Barack Obama failed miserably.
LANDSTUHL, Germany (June 14, 2007) - Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates presents the Purple Heart medal to U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Brent A. Homan at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany on June 13, 2007. Image Credit: Cherie A. Thurlby - arcent.army.mil
This excerpted and edited from Reuters via The New York Times -
Obama Defends Scrubbing Visit to Wounded Troops
By Caren Bohan, editing by Vicki Allen - REUTERS - Published: July 26, 2008 - Filed at 10:36 a.m. ET
U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama on Saturday defended his decision to cancel a visit with U.S. troops at a military hospital in Germany because of concerns it would be viewed as a political event.
Obama had intended to stop at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center on Friday morning, the day after delivering a speech on transatlantic relations in Berlin as part of his trip to the Middle East and Europe.
But the campaign issued a statement saying the Illinois senator decided to drop the visit from his schedule after an adviser was told it would be perceived as political.
"That triggered then a concern that maybe our visit was going to be perceived as political," Obama said. "And the last thing that I want to do is have injured soldiers and the staff at these institutions having to sort through whether this is political or not and get caught in the cross-fire between campaigns."
The Pentagon said it never told Obama he could not visit Landstuhl, only that he could not do so with campaign staff and reporters there.
The Obama campaign countered there was never any intention to allow reporters and that Gration was to be the only adviser to participate in the visit with the senator.
The U.S. Defense Department has long-standing policies that prohibit military personnel and military facilities from any association with partisan political campaigns and elections.
He was completing a tour that included Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, Jordan, Germany, France and Britain.
This question is begging to be asked, if the Barack Obama ampaign (or Barack, himself) intended to take cameras and reporters along to the planned trip and visit of our wounded troops at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) – Why scrub the trip?
It comes down to a matter of character. Barack Obama knew in his heart that this trip and the effort and money expended upon this international show, was for the OPTICS of the campaign. If there was to be NO return upon the investment in any activity that was planned into the trip, scrub the activity.
Barack Obama passed his “Hell Or High Water” moment as it relates to protecting the investment of his campaign, however, he failed this moment as it relates to his duties as a standing United States Senator and presumptive candidate for President and the installment of Carter's Second Term.
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