President Barack Obama made this little dig on Bush during remarks to service members at the Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida in October 2009.
“I Promise I will never rush the decision to send you in harms way.”
“I am completely mystified,” says former top Bush aide Karl Rove, who supports the Libya intervention, “that this administration, of all administrations, makes a decision on a Tuesday night and does not bother to call anybody in Congress until Friday morning, 90 minutes before the policy is going to be executed, to tell them what is going to happen. Can you imagine what would have happened if we had tried to do that? We’d have been barbecued!”
There’s also the question of why Obama did not explain his decision to the public in a forum that conveyed the gravity of the situation. After ordering troops into action, the president headed off to South America with his wife, daughters, mother-in-law, and mother-in-law’s friend in tow. There was no solemn, reasoned speech to explain why the U.S. was going to war.
“We would have marked that in a very significant way,” says Dan Bartlett, the former White House communications director. “We would have built a whole, for want of a better word, campaign to articulate what was happening.” The president would have given a speech, probably from the White House, and in following days would likely have visited a military base from which some of the forces were deployed. Other high-ranking administration officials would have been dispatched to defend the effort.