As the liberal media generally but MSNBC most intensely has attacked for an October 30 Ohio event in which Governor Romney spurred on rally attendees to help pack relief supplies for folks displaced by Hurricane Sandy, the Washington Post's Al Kamen (formerly a legal reporter at the paper) groused that Gov. Romney is trying hard not to look like he’s still in campaign mode, while praising President Obama for "trading his role as a candidate for that of commander in chief."
Kamen cracked that Romney is “finding that, unlike franks and beans, charity and politics can be a tricky mix.” As we at NewsBusters have noted, this is hardly the Post columnist's first foray into Obama puffery and gratuitous swipes at Gov. Romney.
First of all, assessing storm damage is not the role of a commander in chief, which is the president's constitutional role vis-a-vis the men and women in the country's armed forces. Members of the military report ultimately to the president as commander-in-chief, not civilians, especially not civilians displaced from their homes because of a hurricane.
As any president would be, Mr. Obama is responsible as the nation's chief executive to ultimately oversee the federal civilian agencies at work responding to the disaster. Even then, of course, this president, and indeed, no president, would or should be practically devoted to the day-to-day, hour-by-hour response. As almost any objective journalist would admit, no amount of damage-surveying and press conference-holding does a thing to speed along cleanup or place much-needed resources into the hands of the displaced.
Kamen also repeated the MSNBC tack by swiping at Romney for packaging up relief supplies, rather than simply encouraging folks to donate money to the Red Cross. Surely Kamen knows that if Gov. Romney had appeared at a campaign rally yesterday and spoke briefly, merely encouraging folks to get out their checkbooks for the Red Cross, that Romney would have been castigated at unfeeling and out of touch, unwilling to take practical steps to aid those who are suffering.
In other words, Romney couldn't win with the liberal media either way, a point Kamen of course failed to acknowledge. This isn’t the first time Kamen’s columns have devolved into an abject mush fest for the 44th president – or included a gratuitous swipe at Governor Romney.
In June, Kamen wrote a piece claiming it was our “civic duty” to pick out the First Family’s next vacation spot. The following month, in July, he wrote that “summer’s in full swing, and unless your family is rather Romney-esque, there’s a chance you’ll be spending some time in one of the country’s hundreds of national parks.” The piece wasn’t political in nature, but rather an interview with Jonathan Jarvis, head of the National Parks Service.
Lastly, the fact that Kamen attacked Romney for being charitable and didn’t slam, but praised, Obama as commander in chief, even though what he did during the Benghazi terrorist attack could be construed as dereliction of duty, is telling. Kamen should focus his next piece answering colleague David Ignatius' piece about the subject.