Poor Obama. He’s the last person to realize what a debacle this Bowe Bergdahl mess has become. Why, he’s the real victim here.
The White House has been caught off guard by the negative reaction to the deal that freed Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the last American prisoner of war in Afghanistan.
It has been particularly surprised by criticism of Bergdahl, who is accused of walking away from his unit shortly before being abducted by the Taliban.
The surprise helps explain why the administration has struggled to respond to the criticism, which appears to have caught officials flat-footed.
Political observers say the White House miscalculations were highlighted by the decision to have President Obama appear alongside Bergdahl’s parents in a Saturday night address at the Rose Garden address.
“They put too positive a spin on what is a very ambiguous set of circumstances,” Southern Methodist University professor Cal Jillson said.
“A big part of the WH stew on this is typical photo op hubris,” said Boston University political strategist Tobe Berkovitz. “Instead of just bringing Bergdahl back, they had to do the full kissy-huggy announcement with mom and dad figuring this good news would push the VA mess off the front page.”
So to get one scandal out of the headlines they rushed headlong into another one, and it’s all a big surprise to them. Then when they can no longer quell any criticism they do what comes naturally. They smear anyone who speaks out. The Chicago Way.