Obama: `Battle-Tested,’ Saying So

Photograph by Luke Sharrett/The New York Times via Redux

President Barack Obama speaks to troops at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, on Aug. 31, 2012.

There was no talk of the war in Afghanistan in Republican Mitt Romney’s speech accepting his party’s presidential nomination. There will be plenty of talk about war, and peace, in Charlotte this week.

”You’re going to hear about it from the president,” said Tim Kaine, the former Democratic Party chairman who presided over the choice of Charlotte for the party’s convention, former governor of Virginia and candidate for Senate there. “This is a battle-tested, wartime president.”

Campaigning, Obama has spoken of his promise to end the war in Iraq — and he went to Fort Bliss last week to celebrate the second anniversary of the end of major combat. He has spoken of his pledge to withdraw from Afghanistan, a draw-down underway. And he has spoken of the raid that captured and killed Osama bin Laden. Vice President Joe Biden has put it more simply: “Osama bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive” — a refrain he repeated three times in one campaign speech.’

Kaine, who will address the party’s convention on its opening night tonight, comes from “the most military state” in the nation, he noted in an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” this morning, staged at Blackfinn, a bar in the media-occupied complex that has opened this week in the convention city.

One in nine people are either in the military or military retirees in Virginia, Kaine said of one of the two Southern states that Obama won in 2008 and is trying to win again this year. The other, of course, is North Carolina.

The party will be appealing to those voters, he said. And they will pay attention, he suggested, to the appeal of a “strong commander in chief.”

Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of state for President Bill Clinton, said on Morning Joe: “It is passing strange to me that (Romney) didn’t even mention Afghanistan” in his speech to his party’s convention in Tampa last week.

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