The Corner

National Security & Defense

Obama, Seeking to Reassure Americans, Compares U.S. to Cancer Patient with No Immediate Cure

A new CNN poll, conducted before the deadly mass shooting in San Bernardino, finds 81 percent of Americans think terrorists associated with ISIS with the resources to launch a major terrorist attack are currently in the country. The poll found 61 percent said they thought it was very or somewhat likely that there would be acts of terrorism in the U.S. over the next several weeks.

Last night, President Obama addressed the country . . . and began with a not particularly reassuring metaphor: “I know that after so much war, many Americans are asking whether we are confronted by a cancer that has no immediate cure.”

Andrea Mitchell, hardly a knee-jerk critic of the president, thought it was a terrible choice of metaphor:

I thought that was actually a bad metaphor to use, because people think of cancer in one way. What he needed to project is that we have solutions and in fact with no new strategy to announce, having elevated this to a Sunday-night prime-time speech from the Oval Office, which is incredibly rare, to not have a new strategy to not explain new military options or your political options or to embrace some sort of unifying vision really is a problem.

He needed to speak after Paris. It was too long for him to not try to correct the imagery. . . . In fact, he came to this position last night because of Democrats as well as Republicans, but primarily Democrats in the leadership who are up for Senate seats, saying you’ve got to deal with this. The country is really scared.

Mark Halperin concurred the speech was “business as usual” at a moment that is anything but that for the country. It was far from just conservatives who felt Obama’s speech was more unnerving that reassuring.

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