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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

'Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face'

What's the connection between the US economy, the Wisconsin recall election, the 'fast and furious' investigation and the Iranian nuclear threat? They're all threatening to derail President Hussein Obama's reelection bid (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
Washington without leaks would be like watching the Weather Channel for more than 10 minutes: monotonous and repetitive, with very little new information. But exposing national security secrets has always been a sensitive issue for both parties. When filmmakers were given special access to details of the Bin Laden raid, the protests were mostly Republican. When a Pakistani doctor was imprisoned because his identity was exposed in a New York Times article sourced to administration officials, the concern became bipartisan. The most recent leaks involve highly classified plans to undermine Iran’s nuclear program — and appear to have come directly from the White House. That has most everyone in Congress calling for an investigation.

Unfortunately, America’s chief law enforcement officer has big problems of his own. Attorney General Eric Holder is already facing contempt of Congress charges for failing to turn over documents related to a dubious federal anti-gun-running operation. Now, rather than appointing an independent counsel to investigate the national-security leaks, he’s handed responsibility to two political appointees. The same Democrats who demanded an independent counsel in the Valerie Plame case during the Bush administration have gone strangely silent.

Grilled last week before a Senate Committee, Holder awkwardly proclaimed, “I heard the White House press officer say yesterday that the president has absolute confidence in me.” The only thing that could have made that statement more damning would be if the president had tweeted it.

None of these mishaps would be telling on its own. Taken together, they expose a White House and a campaign that are adrift, out of momentum, and out of touch. With five months to go, the election could easily go either way. But for Obama, potential downsides loom large, especially as economic forecasts keep getting revised downward.

As Mike Tyson famously observed, “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” Then the panic sets in.
Anyone want to speculate what would happen if that 3:00 am phone call comes now?

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