Rising to command

Obama exhibited the right traits of a wartime president

For a guy who ended up leading the opposition to our presence in Iraq, Barack Obama has become a surprisingly good wartime president.

He not only didn't order a precipitous withdrawal of troops, as his campaign had foretold, but he actually added troops in Afghanistan.

His maneuver in Libya -- to quickly hand over responsibility and blame to NATO -- seems to have shielded him and the U.S. from gratuitous complaint.

And Obama's bold decision to get Osama bin Laden Sunday was an exquisite act of pinpoint leadership.

It gets even better.

The president had earlier been given an option of bombing bin Laden's suspected compound. Deftly, Mr. Obama declined -- knowing how important it would be to confirm the world's No. 1 terrorist's demise.

The president's subsequent speech to the world also hit just the right notes.

It's never easy to send someone else into battle, but it is the role of a commander in chief. This decision had to be one of the most difficult this president will ever face. Aside from the concern for our troops, and for civilians on the ground, there were undoubtedly political reverberations in the back of one's mind: If the operation went awry -- such as Jimmy Carter's attempt to free the Iranian hostages -- it could've unfairly scarred and perhaps fatally wounded Mr. Obama's presidency.

He went all-in and came out a winner.

More importantly, the former anti-war candidate exhibited the courage required of a true commander in chief.

The already-lanky president may have gotten a little taller this week.

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Sat, 01/21/2017 - 22:00

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