Why campaign 2012 didn't really stop on 9/11
Sept. 11 is a day of remembrance, but it's also a day closer to a fiercely contested presidential election, and the campaign – via Internet, mail, even speeches – is hard to turn off.
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The conservative news site Breitbart.com was quick to point out that another of DJ Laz’s nicknames is “pimp with a limp," and that Obama had time to talk football during the appearance but made no mention of 9/11 itself.Skip to next paragraph
Peter Grier is The Christian Science Monitor's Washington editor. In this capacity, he helps direct coverage for the paper on most news events in the nation's capital.
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Meanwhile, the candidates traded veiled, long-distance shots at each other’s positions. In his speech in Reno, Romney said it was not the time or place to detail differences with his opponent, but continued on to criticize defense cuts scheduled to take place next year as part of the automatic budget “sequester," while saying the current end game for the war in Afghanistan lacks a clear mission.
In his own remarks at the Pentagon Memorial, Obama noted that “Osama bin Laden will never threaten us again." That’s an obvious point to mention in such a speech, but it also got mentioned quite a bit from the podium at the DNC in Charlotte.
Why the continued, sub-rosa campaigning? Well, modern presidential campaigns engage in ferocious political combat, and it’s hard to turn that off. Much political advocacy now occurs in small bites now anyway, via targeted e-mails, segmented Internet ads, direct mail appeals to specific groups, and so forth. It’s not all about ad buys in Colorado and whistle-stop speeches to hundreds of supporters.
Plus, the eleventh anniversary of 9/11 may mark a turning point of sorts. Many of the official ceremonies this year, even those at Ground Zero, were smaller than those of 2011’s tenth anniversary, wrote Vivian Yee yesterday in The New York Times.
“Even where the annual ceremonies are continuing largely unchanged, organizers are anticipating the day when the anniversary may be marked more quietly,” wrote Ms. Yee.
After all, as the event becomes more distant, it’s natural that society’s grief will lessen, adds Jen Doll at The Atlantic. But even so, it’s important to remember that’s not true for everyone, especially those who lost loved ones on what was a cruelly beautiful, yet awful day.
“As we talk of moving on and scaling back we should remember that there are plenty of people for whom, since that day in 2001, some things are forever unchanged,” writes Ms. Doll.