Politico: Obama Makes “Triumphant Return To Ground Zero”

So far, I have avoided criticizing Mr. Obama on the killing of Osama Bin Laden, despite Team Obama’s many gaffes and oopsies. Of course, you have the compliant media and Lefty partisans yammering on about how great Obama is, how he single handedly saved the mission, how targeted killings are now awesome, that the military and CIA (whose budgets they always want to cut) are now awesome, and how killing Osama personally with a dull, rusty Teleprompter panel has already won him the 2012 election. But, today, Obama visits the former site of the World Trade Center, to proclaim he killed Osama, after proclaiming a few days after 9/11 that we should empathize with the jihadis. Obama’s ground zero balancing act

President Barack Obama on Thursday will mark the killing of Osama bin Laden with a triumphant return to ground zero, a hallowed site that has often been a place of discord, controversy and – for the president – mixed emotions.

When was he there? He skipped it in 2009 and 2010, instead, sending Joe Biden and giving his speeches at the Pentagon (in fairness, he visited in 2008 on the 7th anniversary with McCain). I don’t think visiting Manhattan on a date night with wife Michelle counts. Or, are Glenn Thrush and Haberman referring to Obama’s notion of having civilian trials for KSM and other terrorists right down the street from the WTC site? Or his support of “it’s not really a mosque” within the the range of the 9/11 debris field?

Bush and Giuliani have both praised Obama’s daring in authorizing the mission that ended the long search for bin Laden, and Obama invited both to Thursday’s event. Bush declined, citing his desire to avoid the post-presidential spotlight; Giuliani will be there, along with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state’s two Democratic senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.

Bush probably doesn’t want to be used as a political prop for Obama’s victory tour, which is reminiscent of his jaunt over to the Lincoln Memorial to talk about how he kept the doors open on a building with no doors.

White House officials have praised Bush’s commitment to fight terrorism, but they’ve repeatedly made it clear that Obama’s breaks with his predecessor – his refusal to describe the fight as a “war on terror” and his opposition to waterboarding – contributed to the successful hunt for bin Laden.

Really? Calling it Operation Overseas Contingency led to the killing of Osama? Put that excerpt among the years best ridiculous quotes.

In New York, emotions remain raw nearly a decade after the attacks, with some family members ambivalent about Obama’s trip – and others questioning why the event wasn’t opened to all who wanted to attend.

“I hope it’s not something where the president’s coming here to get points,” said retired city firefighter Lee Ielpi, whose 29-year-old son, Jonathan, died in the collapse of the south tower.

So, the whole thing is being stage managed for the best photo op?

Many family members expressed frustration over how the invitations have been handled, with some saying organizers should have been better prepared for the outpouring of requests to meet Obama.

“As we speak, I do not know where I am going and don’t know at what time,” Debra Burlingame, who’s been among the most outspoken of the victims’ relatives, said Wednesday.

Families are “viewing this as an opportunity to thank the president of the United States … I believe this is nothing but a choreographed photo op from the president … it’s really ugly.”

We’ll have to wait and see what happens today, whether this is All About Obama, and part of his 2012 campaign, or truly about healing and coming together. For myself, if he says “I” more than 6 times, it’s about Obama. He needs to be really careful with his visit. If he was wise, he’d lay a wreath, give a very brief comment, then meet with as many 9/11 families as he can.

Late evening update: I’d be remiss for not saying that, based on what most of the media and 9/11 families are saying, this was anything but political. Quite often over the past few years, we can say that Obama has been pretty bad over his optics, but, apparently, not today.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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