Losing from Behind
11:46 AM, Oct 27, 2012 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
On September 11, 2012, Rasmussen Reports had President Obama's job approval at 52 percent approve, 47 percent disapprove. Today, October 27, the numbers have reversed—47 percent approve, 52 percent disapprove. The economic news over these past six weeks has been on the whole a bit better than expected, so it's hard to believe that's the cause of the change. The campaign and the debates could of course have played a role. But the main real-world event that might have affected voters' approval or disapproval of President Obama's job performance is Libya.
It was President Obama's commitment to "leading from behind" that was presumably key to the decision not to put more security on the ground for our ambassador in the first place, and then key to the decision not to send military assistance during the attack in Benghazi on September 11. President Obama and his team were proud of their novel doctrine—novel for a modern American president—of leading from behind. Could his commitment to that doctrine cost Barack Obama reelection to the presidency?
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