FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
It was masterfully done, the result of political instincts seldom seen except in Chicago.
But it was also blatantly transparent.
If President Obama had simply gone to Afghanistan to sign the document with Hamid Karzai, give the troops a pep talk and address the nation on winding down the war there - the rest of it would likely have taken care of itself.
But the chest pounding over killing Osama bin Laden that preceded the trip, the use of Navy SEALS as chips in a sinister game of political poker, the questioning of whether Mitt Romney would have made the same call if given the chance to take down the Al Qaeda leader, cheapened the whole thing.
There's a difference between classy and cheesy, and this came off as cheesy to the max.
After telling the country "You don't spike the football," you come off as a hypocrite when you go out of your way to spike the football.
And as far as winding down things in Afghanistan, where we have been spending somewhere around $2 billion a week for years. That's very much an open question.
The document Karzai and Obama signed was an agreement to work on an agreement to keep an American presence in that sand pile until 2024. For what?
The Karzai government is corrupt, and can barely stand us. Look at the Afghan leader's body language with Obama.
The rest of the country is a tribal sewer that for thousands of years has been a no man's land for invading armies - and we want to remain there for another decade?
I don't get it. And 72% of Americans don't get it either. They want us out of Afghanistan.
In the end, I'm not sure President Obama didn't do himself more harm than good with this little stunt.
Here’s my question to you: President Obama in Afghanistan: foreign policy or campaign stop?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Brian in San Antonio:
It was a campaign stop. Otherwise, he would have waited until Karzai attended the NATO Summit in Chicago, and would not have done the trip on the anniversary of bin Laden's death.
Mary in Sarasota, Florida:
Jack, You sure can be hard-headed. Sometimes I think you're just saying these things as the devil's advocate. Sad commentary on a masterfully done week of out-Karl Roving the Republicans, don't you think? I do, and I'm still a Hillary girl. But I have to admire the chutzpah this whole OBL complimentary tour showed. Good for the president.
Dennis in Chicago:
Another $2 million dollar campaign stop. The only Hope & Change: the president hopes you won't talk about the economy because nothing is changing. It is going to be a long summer talking about dogs, bin Laden, comedy sketches and God knows what other distraction they will come up with. Chicago politics transplanted to D.C.
Mark in St. Louis:
You're missing the point, Jack. As the adage goes, "keep your friends close and your enemies closer." A continued American presence in Afghanistan might just prevent another 9/11.
Campaign stop, no doubt about it and he didn't even have to use any of his campaign funds. Apparently he just wanted us to know that we would remain over there until we "get the job done." My question: what exactly IS the job?
D. in Minnesota:
Did you just bash the president for visiting the troops? I seriously hope you aren't paid for this.