October 2008

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About That Crisis

Joe Biden's recent comment about a "generated crisis" to test Barack Obama's mettle brings to mind a counterintuitive thought I've been nursing for a while. If, God forbid, there is a terrorist attack on the United States during the next four years, could it be the case that the hot headed and erratic John McCain would be the more measured in his response and that the preternaturally calm and cool Mr. Obama might be pressured into reacting rashly and imprudently?

Fair or not, as he takes control of managing two wars in a post-9/11 world, Obama will carry with him to the White House the generic public perception of Democrats being soft on national security. Should a national security crisis arise, especially at or near the beginning of his administration, Obama would be under immense, almost unimaginable pressure to respond - and respond forcefully.

McCain would face pressure, too, but one could argue that because he has such strong bona fides on national security and more public trust to handle an international crisis, McCain would have greater latitude and flexibility in crafting a response.

Put another way, if there is an attack on America Obama might be pressured into proving his "toughness," which is something McCain wouldn't necessarily have to do.

Agree or disagree? Email me.