Only crazy conspiracy theorists think that the Commander-in-Chief’s presence and attention count when an American diplomatic facility is under siege.
According to Obama aide Dan Pfeiffer, Obama’s whereabouts during the attack don’t matter. Oddly enough Bush taking the time to finish reading a children’s book to a class of nervous children did.
WALLACE: with all due respect, you didn’t answer my question. what did the president do that night?
PFEIFFER: kept up to date with the events as they were happening.
WALLACE: he didn’t talk to the secretary of state except for the one time when the first attack was over. he didn’t talk to the secretary of defense, he didn’t talk to chiefs. the chairman of the joint who was he talking to?
PFEIFFER: his national security staff, his national security council.
WALLACE: was he in the situation room?
PFEIFFER: he was kept up to date throughout the day.
WALLACE: do you know know whether he was in the situation room?
PFEIFFER: i don’t know what room he was in that night. that’s a largely irrelevant fact.
WALLACE: well —
PFEIFFER: the premise of your question, somehow there was something that could have been done differently, okay, that would have changed the outcome here. the accountability roof board has looked at this, people have looked at this. it’s a horrible tragedy, and we have to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
WALLCE: here’s the point, though, the ambassador goes missing, the first ambassador in more than 30 years is killed. four americans, including the ambassador, are killed. dozens of americans are in jeopardy. the president at 4:00 in the afternoon says to the chairman of the joint chiefs to deploy forces. no forces are deployed. where is he while all this is going on?
PFEIFFER: this has been tested to by —
WALLACE: well, no. no one knows where he is, who was involved, the —
PFEIFFER: the suggestion of your question that somehow the president —
WALLACE: i just want to know the answer.
PFEIFFER: the assertions from republicans that the president didn’t take action is offensive. there’s no evidence to support it.
WALLACE: i’m simply asking a question. where was he? what did he do? how did he respond in who told him you can’t deploy forces and what was his president?
PFEIFFER: the president was in the white house that day, kept up to date by his national security team, spoke to the joint chiefs of staff earlier, secretary of state, and as events unfolded he was kept up to date.
Tellingly Pfeiffer does not provide a single name.