Howard Fineman: ‘No Combat Troops’ Declaration Will Come Back To ‘Haunt’ Obama
Howard Fineman: ‘No Combat Troops’ Declaration Will Come Back To ‘Haunt’ Obama (RealClearPolitics)
CHRIS MATTHEWS: It seems to me when you say administration official and you're doing it at the DoD you're really disguising the fact that it's a White House person, Tony Blinken or Denis McDonough, it's somebody who works in the White House doing this. Why else would they be briefing the DoD right next door?
HOWARD FINEMAN: Exactly.
MATTHEWS: They cover themselves by saying this is on background, it's an administration source, as if it came from the Pentagon or State [Department]. So clearly this has a grand policy purpose, is what you're saying.
FINEMAN: Yeah, I think it has a policy and political purpose. I think even though the president made this categorical statement and you know sometimes President Obama makes categorical statements for political reasons and to reassure the public that he then has to work around later. I think the sort of no-combat-troops phraseology that he used is one that could come back to haunt him and one that clearly Pentagon planners and others who say, you shouldn't dare draw such lines, are trying to fuzz up in and around the president's own statements.