Following yesterday’s doubts on Mr. GW Bush focusation in the pre 9/11/01 time, in today’s NYT we find hints how in effect attention in the early GW Bush Presidency was given to his father’s unfinished agenda on Saddam’s Iraq and the comment that the GW Bush persona is the elephant in the room that overshadows now Mr. Mitt Romney in 2012.
Then we find how Mr. Romney, in his early student years seeked his own path by correcting his own position versus his father’s attitude on the Vietnam war – this long before his attempt now to disengage from the memory of the GW Bush years.
We start asking if much of the Barak Obama persona positive but restrained side did not result from the fact that there was not much of a father figure in his own upbringing, beyond the feeling of thanks to his maternal grandfather – a WWII veteran – that he had to compete with?
Compare above to the Al Gore relationship to his own father and the thematic picture might point to the possibility for a study of in-home training for Presidency and the measure of success the son (some day daughter) achieves.
In the Al Gore case, the father actually secured a safe position for the son he sent to Vietnam. In the Bush family the son did not not go to Vietnam at all, luckily for Romney, he went to Stanford instead. But this is a different topic – What makes for a better President – the person who can pay to others to fight for his interests, or the person who has the physical safety of the citizens at heart? In Austria there is now a major debate – should the country have a citizen’s army based on obligatory National service, or a professional military? Not an easy question if you do not have the facts of the American experience at your fingertips.
Also related to the above is the immediate question posed to President Obama and contender Romney by the Prime Minister of Israel, who wants to hear a clear American position on the topic of a nuclear Iran. Is there an American interest in divulging such a position at the present time? Is the chasing for votes going to force an open hand prior to this November? What is strength and what is mere politics?
Will the killing of four Americans at the US Mission in Benghazi, Libya, bring in a further split among American voters, or will it help heal the divided Nation and lead it to disengagement from dependence on oil.
With Hillary Clinton by his side, the president lashed out at the attack that left four Americans dead, including the US envoy to Libya.
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney also condemned the attack on the consulate in Libya and repeated his criticism of the Obama administration’s response to the earlier attack on the U.S. Embassy in Egypt, calling an embassy statement “akin to an apology” that was “disgraceful.”
By ROSS DOUTHAT – The New York Times, September 12, 2012
POLITICS - THE LONG RUN
Dissecting Romney’s Vietnam Stance at Stanford -
Mitt Romney’s position in favor of the war during his freshman year reflected his family’s views and his faith in traditional values but later shifted markedly.
By MICHAEL WINES – The New York Times, September 12, 2012