Both President Obama and Mitt Romney have pulled their commercials for the day, as a small gesture honoring the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. But while we’ll get a brief reprieve on campaign ads today, it’s worth noting that we’re seeing 9/11 politicking return to a level unseen since the attacks themselves.
This Sept. 11, John McCain is attacking Obama over Syria; Rudy Giuliani is attacking Obama over Iran; the cast of “Fox & Friends” is attacking Obama over his 9/11 proclamation; Dick Cheney is attacking Obama over his intelligence briefings; and House Republicans are using 9/11 to attack Obama over the looming defense cuts they proposed and voted for.
It appears, then, the political norms have shifted. In, say, 2008, it would have been largely unthinkable that partisans would go after the sitting president, during a war, on the anniversary of 9/11. Those who tried would expect to be condemned, at a minimum, for their insensitivity. Those days appear to be over.
For his part, the president spoke this morning at the Pentagon. Politics wasn’t part of his remarks.