Today’s assassination of former Prime Minister and Pakistani opposition leader, Benazir Bhutto, is an undeniable tragedy that has dominated the news today. It appears from media reports that she was shot in the neck before being targeted by a suicide bomb blast. Her enemies were taking no chances.
Mike Huckabee commented on the news today, noting that thankfully in The United States we vote “not with bullets but with ballots.” A reporter pressed Mike for further comment, but Huck wasn’t taking the bait. He resisted grandstanding or making any specific criticisms. That’s a smart move. It’s not his place to do so at this point in time.
I asked him what he would do right now if he were President to tackle the situation. He avoided taking a strong policy position, saying he would offer sincere sympathies to the people of Pakistan, and monitor who’s behind it.
That’s exactly what should be done. Pakistan has to deal with the situation. Injecting himself into the tragedy and to attempt to switch the focus to himself would be the wrong thing to do.
When asked what he thinks of the Musharraf government and how it has handled the security situation and aid from the US, he replied, “I think today is not the best day to comment on what the Musharraf government should or shouldn’t have done” though “we need a full accounting of that money.”
Again, criticizing Musharraf, our ally, would be a stupid thing to do without having access to all the relevant information which Huck, as a candidate, is not privy to. It’s up to President Bush to handle the situation. A Presidential candidate should not undercut or try to usurp the responsibility of a sitting President at such a sensitive time.
He was also asked if today’s news highlights why the next President needs to have foreign policy, which he lacks. His reponse: “I think it’s more important to have the right principles for the American people.”
Another good answer. Who has the right principles? Mike Huckabee. He is clearly a great communicator and is quite familiar with the religious and philosophical issues underlying the current struggle against radical Islam. This is obvious to his current supporters and will also become clear those future ones as the race progresses.
But making specific policy statements and attempting to speak on behalf of the U.S. Government as a candidate is something he is unwilling to do. Good job avoiding the media minefield, Mike. You didn’t take the bait. It demonstrates your wisdom. Mike Huckabee demonstrates that he is well-suited for the Presidency every time he speaks. People would be wise to listen.
My thoughts and prayers go out to Benazir Bhutto’s family and the people of Pakistan. I hope that those responsible are tracked down and caught. Justice must be served. Terrorism cannot be seen as a valid and effective political tool. The world will be engulfed in conflagration if cowardly attacks like this go unpunished.
See also: Detailed coverage of the assassination and video of President Bush’s reaction over at Hot Air.
Update: Running with a minor criticism in the CBS report, Jason Bonham uses the opportunity to attack Huckabee over what he said regarding “Marshall [sic] law.” (The original post included the phrase “in the throws of Marshall Law.” LOL!)
Huckabee: “what impact does it have on whether or not there’s going to be martial law continuing in Pakistan.”
When something is discontinued, it can be resumed (or even continued). I see nothing odd in that statement, although Huck might have been clearer for Jason’s sake, I suppose. But it’s far more important to attack Huckabee over word choice than to simply be concerned and express regret about what’s happening in Pakistan. Classy, Jason.
Update 2: Speaking of classy, Ron Paul places the blame for the assassination squarely on the United States. Nuance!