Obama Explains Nixed Troop Visit in Germany

by Sean Hackbarth

In London Sen. Barack Obama explained why he canceled a meeting with U.S. troops at a base in Germany:

“The staff was working this so I don’t know each and every detail but here is what I understand happened,” Obama said. “We had scheduled to go, we had no problem at all in leaving, we always leave press and staff off — that is why we left it off the schedule. We were treating it in the same way we treat a visit to Walter Reed which I was able to do a few weeks ago without any fanfare whatsoever. I was going to be accompanied by one of my advisors, a former military officer.”

Continued Obama, “And we got notice that he would be treated as a campaign person, and it would therefore be perceived as political because he had endorsed my candidacy but he wasn’t on the Senate staff. That triggered then a concern that maybe our visit was going to be perceived as political. And the last thing that I want to do is have injured soldiers and the staff at these wonderful institutions having to sort through whether this is political or not or get caught in the crossfire between campaigns.”

“So rather than go forward and potentially get caught up in what might have been considered a political controversy of some sort,” Obama said, “what we decided was that we not make a visit and instead I would call some of the troops that were there. So that essentially would be the extent of the story.”

So one guy, Maj Gen. Scott Gration (Ret.), caused the cancellation of the entire visit. Why is Gration that important? Obama couldn’t talk to a few soldiers without him? I doubt Gration was with Obama when he visited troops in bases in Iraq and Afghanistan since the Pentagon didn’t show any concerns about those visits.

The McCain campaign and Obama critics are making too much of this incident. This was pretty much a staff snafu. A Senate staffer could have stuck around in Germany for the military base visit. However, it’s a legitimate question of why Obama ditched the visit simply because of one man.

Obama Explains Scrubbed Visit with Wounded Troops in Germany”

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