Friday, July 25, 2008

Landstuhl is Public Relations Disaster for Obama

Barack Obama's cancelled visit to Rammstein and Landstuhl U.S. military bases has turned out to be an ultimate public relations disaster.

Indeed, the presumptive Democratic nominee is now seeeking to atone for his callousness
personally calling wounded soldiers at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center:

Obama made phone calls to wounded soldiers at Landstuhl Germany this morning, in lieu of a personal visit to the forces that was canceled by the Obama campaign.

Obama was expected to speak to a number of soldiers individually.
Also, Captain Ed shows that Obama scrubbed the troop visit after learning that he wouldn't be able to bring a media entourage to boost his campaign:

NBC’s Jim Miklaszewski and Courtney Kube get the skinny on the abrupt cancellation of Barack Obama’s visit to Landstuhl and Ramstein yesterday. The campaign tried to excuse it by claiming that it wouldn’t be appropriate to visit while on a campaign-funded portion of his trip, but that wasn’t the real problem. When Obama found out he couldn’t use the visit as a photo op, he canceled:

One military official who was working on the Obama visit said because political candidates are prohibited from using military installations as campaign backdrops, Obama’s representatives were told, “he could only bring two or three of his Senate staff member, no campaign officials or workers.” In addition, “Obama could not bring any media. Only military photographers would be permitted to record Obama’s visit”....

In fact, those same rules applied for the CODEL trip to Iraq and Afghanistan. They serve to keep politicians from exploiting military facilities for political reasons, and to ensure that all visitors get treated fairly. Andrea Mitchell, also of NBC, complained of this very issue during the earlier visits with the troops when she told Chris Matthews that the media couldn’t get access to Obama when visiting troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This makes the decision track very clear. Obama and his team set up the visits to military installations before going overseas. After seeing how the media got excluded in Iraq and Afghanistan, they decided it wasn’t worth traveling to Ramstein and Landstuhl to visit the severely wounded troops because they couldn’t bring the campaign and get the photo ops they wanted. Instead, Obama went shopping in Berlin.

As I noted yesterday, Obama's completely indifferent to the sacrifice and valor of U.S. military personnel.

I seriously doubt a few phone calls will heal the widening rift between the Democratic nominee and members of the armed forces.

See also, Rasmussen Research, "Military Veterans Favor McCain 56% to 37%."