It’s been a good year for President Barack Obama: first Osama bin Laden, then Anwar al-Awlaki and now Muammar Gaddafi. And he claimed partial credit for the last, on Thursday, knowing how contentious the decision was at home.
While a section of his own party had criticised him for getting the US involved in support of Libyan rebels, Republicans went after him for not taking full ownership of the action, and ceding leadership to Nato.
But on Thursday, within hours of the confirmation of Gaddafi’s death, Obama said took ownership: “We’ve taken out al Qaeda leaders... And now, working in Libya with friends and allies, we’ve demonstrated what collective action can achieve in the 21st century.” And the last was achieved without putting a single US soldier on the ground.
Senator Mark Kirk, a Republican, gave credit to the administration but singled out secretary of state Hillary Clinton. “The administration, especially Secretary Clinton, deserves our congratulations,” he said.