The Associated Press gushed over Obama’s trip to Dover to honor the return of 18 fallen heroes who were killed in Afghanistan.

Here’s a picture that released:

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The A.P. story references President Bush never going to Dover to witness the remains coming off the plane, but Bush thought it was better to visit the families in private and was a man willing to sacrifice appearances (and, as a result sometimes, approval points) for proper respect.

Obama’s people should be careful with this sort of thing, because skeptics might suspect that they didn’t lift the ban on photographing flag-draped coffins of fallen soldiers so America can better understand the harsh realities of war — but only so the media could take photos of Obama saluting near the caskets.

I hope Obama’s early morning trip to Dover was done in all sincerity, but since Obama and his administration are wildly “image driven” people, it’s only natural to fall on the “it’s a shameless photo op” side of things. Obama saluting these fallen heroes during the deadliest month in Afghanistan while military leadership in Afghanistan is practically begging for reinforcements and he’s dragging his heels on a decision could be viewed as a collision of cause and effect. These facts alone make this “photo op” — if that’s what we want to call it — backfire.

Unless Obama wants to make a lot more trips to Dover, he’d better stop dithering and either fight the war to win it, or get out altogether. “Rushing a solemn decision” isn’t a mistake when you’re a president — as a matter of fact, it’s a job requirement — and one that Obama seems to think is above his pay grade.

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