White House Backs Biden On Audaciousness Of Bin Laden Raid

As I noted yesterday, Vice-President Biden raised more than a few eyebrows when he called the raid that killed Osama bin Laden the most audacious plan in 500 years. Not surprisingly, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked about the comment yesterday:

The White House on Tuesday defended Vice President Joe Biden’s colorful claim that the daring May 2011 raid to kill Osama bin Laden was as “audacious” as any military endeavor of the last 500 years.

“I think he meant that the decision the president made … was a very difficult one,” press secretary Jay Carney told reporters at his daily briefing.

Carney stressed that the intelligence that bin Laden lived at the compound in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad was of “high quality” but “not conclusive” and said the advice President Barack Obama was getting from his top national security aides about whether to order the raid was “mixed, at best.”

“In the end, he had to make a very fateful decision,” said Carney. “Obviously, it would have been a different story if bin Laden had not been in that compound.”

So was Biden right to place the assault alongside the D-Day invasion of Normandy in 1944, the surprise landing at Inchon in 1950 that turned the tide of the Korean War or, going back a bit further, George Washington’s daring nocturnal crossing of the Delaware River before the Battle of Trenton in 1776?

“The historical assessments I’ll leave to him and others, but there’s no question that this was a very very difficult decision,” Carney said.

Did the vice president misspeak? “No.”

To be fair, I’m not sure what Carney was supposed to say. A response along the lines of Hey guys, this is Biden, he says crazy stuff all the time just wasn’t going to be coming out of the White House Press Secretary. Nonetheless, I would think that even the White House would acknowledge that Obama’s “gutsy call” was hardly the most audacious decision ever made by a leader in the past half a millennium. I realize they want credit for it, and they’ll get it, but the hyperbole is a bit much.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Politicians, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Joe Biden for Class Clown says:

    Why would anyone expect something intelligent to flow from the silver tongue of Joe Biden? The man is a Buffoon. Has been for years, will be until he drops dead. Overexaggeration is part of Biden’s DNA. He was elected to the US Senate at the minimum age to be seated in that body. Aside from “talking” in the Senate, Biden’s neer really held a position of any authority which would require him to use his brain and make intelligent decisions. Talk, talk, talk. That’s all Biden’s ever done, that’s all he’s capable of. Of course he makes stupid remarks all the time – he’s a Buffoon.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Actually, I’d read Carney as declining to back Biden beyond agreeing that Obama is a badass.

  3. Andy says:

    Kind of ironic that UBL reportedly wanted to assassinate Obama in order to get Biden into office.

  4. Brummagem Joe says:

    @James Joyner:

    Actually, I’d read Carney as declining to back Biden beyond agreeing that Obama is a badass.

    I’d say he went a bit further than that but not much. For some reason Doug seems fixated on this bit of routine vice presidential hyperbole. It was a fairly audacious military exploit although not one of the greatest in history. On the other hand it could have gone awfully wrong with serious political consequences for the president one of the less serious of which would have been Doug penning comments about Obama’s poor decision making skills. LOL.

  5. Joe,

    I have given the President the proper credit for that mission, I believe. And if one cannot have a little bit of fun with the comments made by whoever happens to be Vice-President at the moment, then why do we even bother keeping them around?

  6. jenos idanian says:

    Stuck on stupid

  7. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    then why do we even bother keeping them around?

    Funerals.

  8. Tsar Nicholas says:

    I still say to cut Biden some slack. It probably was the aneurysms talking. Plus it’s not even the dumbest thing he’s said since Jan. 2009. The promise that the unemployment rate wouldn’t exceed 8% if the stimulus bill were passed. The “rape” comment directed towards GOP Congressmen and Senators? The comment in China about the one child policy? The man is a talking gaffe machine.

  9. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: You know, I was leaning that way myself. I mean, it’s Joe Biden — that’s who he is, that’s what he does.

    And then I thought about how his supporters who treat every single conservative utterance that is not 100% verifiably true as if it was a lie under oath. No, strike that — we know how they consider lying under oath. This is something they take seriously. Remember Sarah Palin’s “Party like it’s 1773” line? And they’re still pretending Obama didn’t lie about Rutherford B. Hayes while going ape on Romney talking about how “they” banned Edison’s lightbulb.

    Screw them. It’s time we went Alinsky on their asses for a change.

    Rule 4: Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.

    There’s no way in hell Obama and Biden — especially Biden — could survive the standards they demand of conservatives. Hell, no human being can. But if that’s the rulebook, then bring it on.

    Hey, Obama! How many diabetic’s feet will be saved from greedy doctors under ObamaCare? For bonus points, answer in Austrian!

    There is absolutely no reason to let this slide… and every reason to pursue it.

  10. KariQ says:

    Conservatives do seem obsessed with Alinsky. Most liberals have never heard of him.

  11. Brummagem Joe says:

    @KariQ:

    Conservatives do seem obsessed with Alinsky.

    Tsar Nick and Jenos …the Republican brains trust.

  12. An Interested Party says:

    There is absolutely no reason to let this slide… and every reason to pursue it.

    Oh yes, please do, although it won’t do anything towards achieving the objective of actually defeating the President…but hey, if you want to keep blowing out hot air, enjoy yourself…

  13. Jenos Idanian says:

    @KariQ: Consciously or not, the left has done wonders at following Alinsky’s principles.

    And in his defense, his “rules for radicals” are actually pretty universal. They’re not specifically liberal. They apply pretty well to any weaker side willing to engage in out-and-out political war.

    Andrew Breitbart totally got that, and used Alinsky’s rules against the left ruthlessly. It was one of his greatest strokes of genius — to recognize that they did not “belong” to the left.

    If you haven’t read them, I recommend you do so. If you’re as ignorant as you profess, you’ll be surprised at how many of them you’ll recognize as common tactics of the past few years.

  14. An Interested Party says:

    Andrew Breitbart totally got that, and used Alinsky’s rules against the left ruthlessly. It was one of his greatest strokes of genius — to recognize that they did not “belong” to the left.

    Oh my goodness, those on the left should be so grateful that he died, otherwise he would have eventually destroyed them…

  15. Jenos Idanian says:

    @An Interested Party: ACORN and Anthony Weiner are not available for comment.

  16. An Interested Party says:

    ACORN and Anthony Weiner are not available for comment.

    True, but then again, neither is Andrew Breitbart…

  17. Jenos Idanian says:

    @An Interested Party: Breitbart expired of natural causes. ACORN and Weiner, I’d call “assisted suicides.”

  18. An Interested Party says:

    ACORN and Weiner, I’d call “assisted suicides.”

    Well hell, if those are the major scalps he collected, that doesn’t say much about how his magical powers…