Lucky bounce for Romney as Top Ten polls show him three points ahead.
A bitter feud is going on between State and the White House as to who gets the lion’s share of blame for the death of Ambassador Steven in Benghazi. And Bill Clinton is rushing to the aid of his embattled wife.
Relations between Barack Obama’s White House and Hillary Clinton’s State Department my be about to rupture publicly over the growing Benghazi scandal….and thus damage Obama’s re-election chances further. Some pollsters last week had Romney gaining 5 pts following the first candidates’ debate.
Former President Bill Clinton is apparently so concerned about White House moves to dump responsibility for the Libyan atrocities onto Hillary, he has hired a team of lawyer and media volunteers to work all hours on protecting his wife’s reputation. Sourced close to the Clintons suggest he may advise the Secretary of State to threaten resignation now if the Obama administration tries to make her the fall guy for Benghazi.
This isn’t just paranoia on Slick Willy’s part. Last Friday, the White House press secretary Jay Carney, when asked if Obama and Biden knew security was lax in Libya, suggested they didn’t by observing that “matters of security personnel are appropriately discussed and decided upon at the State Department by those responsible for it.”
This came just 24 hours after Vice President Joe Biden flatly stated that the Obama administration did not know U.S. interests in Libya needed more security before the attacks.
What has been a long running Clinton-Obama feud. It dates back to the 2008 Democratic Convention, when Obama’s advisers only narrowly managed to persuade the cocksure Obama that Bill Clinton needed a prominent role at the convention.
It heated up a few weeks back when Bill – on hearing that Obama was being over-confident about his first Romney debate – placed a phone call offering to give the President some advice. The Black Dude didn’t return the call. Clinton’s astonishment quickly turned to anger and suspicion when the White House started briefing against Hillary.
If the Romney team can grasp this opportunity, and suggest that a political civil war is getting in the way of US foreign policy at a crucial time, then the challenger could open up his lead further still.
“Neither [Democratic] camp has anything to gain from this,” says a trusted Washington source, “be that Obama now or Hillary in 2016. If she even threatened to resign now, Romney would pick up votes on the basis that the President’s foreign policy would’ve lost it’s rigour. But Obama’s antennae are not, shall we say, the best in town.”
The arrogance of Barack Obama in private is rapidly becoming the stuff of legend, a trait thus far kept out of the public eye and hugely softened by the open, relaxed style of his wife. But to date in this campaign, the President has not handled things well against an opponent who, until a fortnight ago, was heading for the political footnotes.
On the other hand, the Romney team tends to fumble the ball time after time, and Mitt’s bold promise to up the Middle East ante may prove to be a double-edged sword in a country becoming more isolationist by the month.
Meanwhile, the release of the latest Gallup poll yesterday (Saturday) confirmed an average 3% lead for Romney in all ten national surveys. This clean sweep represents a come-back of stunning proportions. With the Obama team very much on the back foot, the last thing the White House needs now is self-inflicted damage.