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December 27, 2009


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Will M

Comical though this incident is, it was millimeters away from being tragic... Ian, I'd be interesting your view of the effect of a successful terrorist attack on the Obama administration. My own view is that it probably removes all political power and massively diminishes the chances of re-election for the President.

If you agree, I'd be interested in why the response has been so muted - despite what Ambinder writes, isn't this exactly one time to show every branch of the US government straining to find out what went wrong?


It's impossible to say in the abstract, with any certainty. Depends whether the public decides to blame the administration's policies for the attack. If however, there was a demonstrable link - if say, the plotters included prisoners released from Gitmo - then Obama would indeed take a very big hit.

It's emerged that one of the plotters on this failed attempt was released from Gitmo under Bush in 2007...which is probably why we're seeing a toughening of Obama's tone today...

Napolitano's statement probably the most harmful and certainly most idiotic and avoidable public gaffe made by a senior member of this administration.

Will M

Fully agreed re Napolitano. Though no doubt she'll keep her job, I think she's just limited any further ambitions she might have.

Interesting to see that few Republicans have been comfortable linking the failed attack to Obama's change of direction on Gitmo. Can't decide whether this is the Republican party having taste or a lack of leadership.

In terms of the public reaction though, if there was a time for Obama's administration to fluff it and it not really be noticed, I guess Christmas isn't a bad one.

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