It ain’t bragging when it’s true

At an event in Austin last night, President Obama reminded donors about some of his many accomplishments since taking office. It was a familiar list, but this time, the record included a new success.

“And because of the extraordinary bravery of the men and women who wear this nation’s uniform and the outstanding work of our intelligence agencies, Osama Bin Laden will never again threaten the United States of America,” the president said, provoking cheers and more applause. “We couldn’t be prouder of them.”

Including the bin Laden line in the stump speech isn’t going over well in some Republican circles. But before folks get too worked up, I hope they’ll consider Adam Serwer’s wise words on this.

This is exactly how Obama should refer to the operation — give the lion’s share of the credit to the tireless work of American servicemembers and intelligence agencies. The president refocused time and resources on finding Bin Laden, and he deserves credit for doing so. Presidents run on the accomplishments achieved during their term, and by all rights, the killing of Bin Laden is one of his. One poll released today shows that nearly three quarters of Americans now believe Obama can “effectively handle terrorist threats.”

Obama may come under fire from Republicans for mentioning Bin Laden in his speeches, but it’s unwarranted. The president’s actions following the announcement — from his sober speech to his relatively low-key appearance at Ground Zero — stand in stark contrast to the kind of triumphalism that the last administration engaged in….. If Obama continues to mention Bin Laden’s death, he may face his own accusations from Republicans that he’s politicizing 9/11. But as long as Obama refrains from spiking the football, so to speak, they won’t have anything to complain about.

Agreed. I’d just add one question for those complaining this morning about last night’s stump speech: if Bush could mention bin Laden’s successful attack in his stump speech, why can’t Obama mention bin Laden’s demise in his stump speech?