President Obama is becoming increasingly alienated from our uniformed military, military households and veterans. Need proof? Look no further than the speech he gave yesterday at the American Legion’s national convention in Charlotte. The reaction was politely described as “tepid” and, by all accounts, his applause lines fell flat with the audience of veterans, especially when explaining his foreign policy objectives. Even his overtures to the audience about fixing the Department of Veterans Affairs were met with relatively muted enthusiasm.
I think the president’s speech got the worst reception of any he has given since his commencement address at West Point in May. While the commander in chief was not treated disrespectfully at West Point, his reception was decidedly cool, and the substance of the speech was slammed as well. Charles Krauthammer characterized the president’s speech as being full of “weak, leaderless, rudderless foreign policy,” and it was widely panned.
And don’t forget: Former defense secretary Bob Gates revealed earlier this year that, when he served under President Obama, he felt that “there was a lot of suspicion in the White House of the military.” And members of our military are equally suspicious of President Obama. Instead of being praised by the military after obtaining the release of Bowe Bergdahl from captivity in Afghanistan, the president faced an onslaught of criticism. The backlash over Bergdahl’s release still lingers. In fact, there are rumors that books may be written and television movies made about the swap – and they are not likely to be flattering for President Obama.
It is worrisome how unpopular President Obama is with our military and their families and how uncomfortable he seems with military culture. At a time when the president still has to rely heavily on our military, it is troubling that he cannot seem to gain their trust or even appear to be able to relate to their challenges.
So far, this has been underreported, but with yesterday’s speech, the Democrats’ problems with the military and military families are becoming more obvious. Add this to the growing list of problems the Democrats face as we approach the 2014 elections.
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