House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's blaming of President George W. Bush for the Veterans Health Administration scandal is a shrewd political move, according to David Drucker, senior congressional correspondent for The Washington Examiner.
"It’s a good tactical response by Ms. Pelosi because the war in Iraq was never popular, Afghanistan grew unpopular over time even though it originally was the good war … [that] everybody supported," Drucker told "The Steve Malzberg Show" in Newsmax TV.
"If you're a Democrat and you're trying to explain the president's issues here on the VA and the sort of growing scandal there, what you want to do is try and tie it to George W. Bush and his unpopular military policy."
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On Thursday, the Democratic California congresswoman said of the scandal in which 40 veterans are alleged to have died after being placed on secret waiting lists at a Phoenix VA facility:
"[President Barack Obama] sees the ramifications of some seeds that were sown a long time ago, when you have two wars over a long period of time and many, many more, millions more veterans. And so, I know that he is upset about it."
Drucker believes Pelosi's criticism may be effective.
"It’s possible and we’ve seen over the past six years that there are a lot of things that might normally have really fallen at the feet of any president that this president has been able to deflect in one manner or another," he said.
"His poll numbers have really never dropped below the low 40s … into like an unfixable danger zone.... So it's possible that people will look at this and blame him, but decide that it's not necessarily his fault.
"It's not that much different than how they've looked at the sluggish economic recovery: they're not that happy with the president's policy per se or maybe his leadership in terms of recovery but … the economic crash wasn't his fault and he's done the best he could under difficult circumstances to fix it."
Drucker believes Democratic lawmakers decided to participate in the GOP-dominated House select committee looking into the Benghazi attack as way to keep tabs on their rivals.
"The Republicans are going to pursue this whether the Democrats are a part of it or not and if the Democrats are not on the committee they're not going to be able to see the information that is being reviewed and uncovered,'' he said.
"If the Democrats had not joined, politically it could be a big problem for them and don't forget, Obama will be out of office in about two years, two and a half years.
"One way or the other, Democrats in Congress hope to stick around for a lot longer so they can't afford to completely ignore this and not be a part of it in case it turns out to be some sort of big discovery that they make."
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