Why is Obama still in Hawaii?
President Obama wants us all to know he's taking seriously the attempted terrorist attack of Christmas Day and that his administration is doing all it can to ensure our safety. But his words would be a lot more convincing if not delivered during time snatched between rounds of golf, swimming and sunbathing. . . .
Returning to Washington would have sent the world a powerful message of a president willing to drop everything and roll up his sleeves -- someone who really means business. I can't imagine Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano initially being so sanguine about the system working if her boss had hotfooted it back to the Oval Office to personally check up on things. Work situations vary, sure, but in my experience there's always a lot less pressure when the boss is away.
By staying in Hawaii, the president has sent the message that the situation really isn't all that serious, that things can proceed just fine until he's back. And isn't it that kind of reasoning that emboldens our never-vacationing enemies into thinking Christmas Day is the perfect time for them to strike?
Scampering back to Washington -- "hotfooted" or otherwise -- would have been the worst possible thing that Obama could have done. It would have created a climate of frenzy and panic and thus helped to terrorize the country even more -- which, one might want to recall, is the goal, by definition, of Terrorists. The fact that Obama doesn't hysterically run around like some sort of frightened chicken with his head cut off every time Al Qaeda sneezes -- or swagger to the nearest camera to beat his chest and play the role of protective daddy-cowboy -- is one of the things I like best about him. As for Armao's "point" about how Janet Napolitano probably took it easy because the "boss was away" -- and her belief that Terrorists will strike more on holidays if Obama isn't affixed to his chair in the Oval Office, as though he's the Supreme Airport Screener: those are so self-evidently dumb it's hard to believe they found their way even into something written by one of Fred Hiatt's editorial writers.