The Associated Press has really outdone itself. Just look at this headline:
Analysis: Obama achieves defining TV shot in Iraq
It’s a drool-drenched piece on Obama’s masterful “achievement” — manipulating a politically expedient photo op with the troops in Baghdad. The AP “analysis” — or rather, adjunct public relations release — praises Obama for creating an image that will help him politically:
President Barack Obama went for the defining television shot in Iraq and got it — pictures of hundreds of U.S. troops cheering wildly as he told them it was time for the Iraqis to take charge of their own future.
The war zone photo opportunity produced a stunning show of appreciation for Obama from military men and women who have made great sacrifices, many serving repeated tours in a highly unpopular war.
And the televised outpouring of affection likely will prove critical to the credibility of a new and liberal commander in chief as he tries to sell U.S. warriors and the American public on the grim prospects now facing them in Afghanistan.
So: Using American troops to “achieve a defining TV shot” is a stroke of genius if you are Barack Obama.
But heaven forbid a Republican president ever dare to be pictured with our troops — and heaven forbid a Republican president take precautions to ensure that suspected Iraqi insurgents aren’t posing as journalists for hostile Western media outlets.