Desperate times call for unpresidential behavior

More than enough has been written about Candy Crowley’s improper and inaccurate “fact-checking” of answers regarding Libya during last night’s debate. But let me briefly discuss an aspect of the exchange that I don’t think has received much attention.

After Crowley opined that President Obama was correct in saying that, early on, he declared the Benghazi attack terrorism, Obama asked the moderator to repeat her assertion. Did anyone think it was presidential for Obama basically to beg a CNN personality to vouch for his truthfulness? I didn’t. To me it looked childish.

To make matters worse, Crowley declined Obama’s entreaty. Unwilling to be exploited further, she began walking back her statement vouching for the president (later, she would walk it back some more). So Obama was shot down to some extent by the CNN personality. That’s not presidential either.

Has any president ever looked so desperate trying to win reelection? In my lifetime, only Jimmy Carter comes close. Ironically, but not coincidentally, these are the two presidents in my lifetime who, in their first campaign, pretended they were a new breed of candidate that transcended traditional politics.

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