Tales from the Trail

Swing state ad from hawkish Democrats hits Romney on foreign policy

A group of hawkish Democrats with close ties to President Obama’s re-election campaign announced on Thursday a new swing state television advertisement attacking Mitt Romney on national security and foreign policy issues.

The 60-second advertisement by the Truman National Security Project is part of a low six-figure media buy and is set to run in veteran-heavy Ohio, one of a handful of states that could prove pivotal to the Nov. 6 election.

The advertisement oscillates between press footage and a montage of young veterans speaking directly to a camera questioning Republican White House candidate Mitt Romney’s ability to keep Americans safe in a dangerous and unpredictable world.

“We deserve a Commander in Chief that understands what is at stake,” says Army Veteran Keith Johnson. “You don’t seem to have a plan, Mr. Romney.”

It jabs Romney for not mentioning in his nomination acceptance speech the war in Afghanistan and says the former governor of Massachusetts seems to be “grasping after straws” on tough foreign policy issues.

Washington Extra – Changing hats

The national security musical chairs was made official today by President Barack Obama.

On stage was a daisy-chain of Washington insiders who have worn many hats over the years and criss-crossed different administrations. They all report to Commander-in-Chief Obama, who by comparison appeared a relative newcomer.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a former senator and first lady, was there to welcome back into the fold Ryan Crocker, who was chosen to be ambassador to Afghanistan.

How bad was Intelligence Czar’s Libya “gaffe”?

USA-INTELLIGENCE/The columnist Michael Kinsley once quipped that in Washington a “gaffe” is when a political notable accidentally tells the truth. Intelligence and national security officials are describing the latest controversial statements about Libya by National Intelligence Director James Clapper as that kind of “gaffe.”

At a Congressional hearing on Thursday, Clapper said that rebels trying to oust Muammar Gaddafi from power had lost momentum and that the Libyan leader could well survive for some time to come. “We believe that Gaddafi is in this for the long haul…He appears to be hunkering down for the duration.”

“This is kind of a stalemate back and forth,” Clapper said, but added that, “I think over the long term that the (Gaddafi) regime will prevail.”

Cheney touches a nerve at the White House

Well there he goes again. Former Vice President Dick Cheney has got ‘em all riled up again at the Obama White House over his Fox News Sunday interview. GUANTANAMO-CHENEY/

Cheney feels strongly that the tough interrogation techniques employed against terrorism suspects by the Bush administration worked, in spite of the complaints about human rights.

He went on Fox to sharply criticize Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to launch an investigation into the alleged abuse of prisoners held by the CIA during the Bush administration.