Smart Move, Mr. President

Replacing McChrystal with Petraeus wins over critics
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2010 3:04 PM CDT
President Obama, accompanied by Gen. David Petraeus, announces his decision in the Rose Garden.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – President Obama's decision to replace McChrystal with Petraeus is playing well among pundits on the left and right:

  • Victor Davis Hanson, National Review: "Obama had no choice but to do what he did, and the wise Petraeus move was obviously a mitigating factor. Obama’s speech, despite the customarily excessive use of 'I,' 'me,' and 'my,' was workmanlike and wise in its emphasis on continuity of strategy."
  • Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo: "If something like this went unchallenged Obama's status as the ultimate commander of the American military would pass a threshold level of credibility. And yet ... I'm not sure I thought he had it in him. But he did. I've learned something."

  • Max Boot, Commentary: "If there is one general who can step quickly into the top job in Afghanistan, it is Petraeus. ... And if there is one general who knows how to handle the media and the political process (skills that McChrystal obviously lacked), it is Petraeus."
  • Susan Davis, Wall Street Journal: "Obama may have made a smart tactical move that will shield his nominee from any pushback from congressional Republicans because they like Petraeus. They really, really like him."

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