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THE MUSINGS OF A TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT

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Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Why Obama’s ‘We don’t have a strategy’ gaffe stings

From The Washington Post:

By now, President Obama's remark that "We don't have a strategy yet" has made the rounds. Republicans were quick to pounce on it, as well they should have.

But while the White House went into damage-control mode, emphasizing that it was a reference to the lack of decisions about increasing military action in Iraq and/or Syria and not a lack of a broader strategy there, the damage was already done.

As with all gaffes, the worst ones are the ones that confirm people's pre-existing suspicions or fit into an easy narrative. That's why "47 percent" stung Mitt Romney so much, and its why "don't have a strategy" hurts Obama today.

Moreso, though, this strikes us as a legacy problem for Obama. For a president confronting a bunch of overseas crises in the final two-plus years of his presidency – including ones that involve or could involve U.S. force. -- “don’t have a strategy yet” could become a pretty unhelpful shorthand for his foreign policy if things don’t go well.

Kind of like “lead from behind” … or “47 percent.”

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