Obama on 60 Minutes

The president pretty much nailed it, I thought. If the economy comes back, Obama may manage to make calm and sanity fashionable again.

The thing about gut instinct is if it works then you think, “Boy, I have good instincts.” If it doesn’t, then you’re gonna be running back in your mind all the things that told you maybe you shouldn’t have done it.

It’s like having Bogart as President. (To be sure, the interviewer didn’t push very hard.)

My favorite moments all involved the President’s almost preternatural self-restraint. When the interviewer asked about how he felt when he saw the pictures of bin Laden dead, Obama resisted the invitation to introspect; he just said, “It was him.” Asked “Were you nervous?” he said – without any trace of a smile – “Yes.” And when he was asked about releasing the photos to quell conspiracy theories, he made no reference to his birth certificate. Better yet, he didn’t even look tempted to do so.

I still disagree with Obama about framing this as “justice.” Bin Laden’s history of mass murder made his death not only unlamentable but heartily to be desired. Yet he was still innocent in law. On the other hand, as the chief of al Qaeda he, and his HQ, were legitimate military targets. He was killed in action. I don’t see anything here anywhere close to the line.

[Cross-posted at Same Facts]

Mark Kleiman

Mark Kleiman is a professor of public policy at the New York University Marron Institute.