LIMA, Ohio - As the candidates arrive in the Buckeye State for several days of critical campaigning, President Obama is enjoying more than just a lead in most polls. He's also enjoying Republican insiders slamming Mitt Romney for various faults, real and perceived, while potentially huge problems for the president -- the investigation into what happened at the Libyan consulate attack, a devastating blow suffered by U.S. forces in Afghanistan, and Obama's lack of a plan to deal with the coming entitlement crisis, to name just three -- go largely undiscussed in much of the press.
As far as Libya is concerned, the White House story that the attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens was entirely the result of anger over an anti-Muslim video has completely fallen apart. While the administration now concedes the attack was an act of terrorism, the public still does not know exactly what happened in Benghazi that night, nor does it know what security precautions, if any, the State Department took to protect U.S. interests there.
For the moment at least, the administration is stonewalling any further inquiries. State Department officials say they won't discuss the matter because it is under FBI investigation. But on Monday morning, CBS reported that the FBI "isn't even in Benghazi yet. They haven't secured that site, which is how journalists can wander through."
It was journalists wandering through who discovered a brief journal kept by Stevens in which the ambassador made clear he faced multiple security threats, including from al Qaeda. That clearly doesn't jibe with the president's video story. And then there's the question of what Stevens told the State Department about the security threats around him. They're all matters the department won't discuss because of the slow-starting FBI investigation.
One might think the situation, which could well break into a full-scale scandal, might be consuming the political press. It's not. For example, one could watch all of NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday and never hear a word about Libya, with the exception of a brief critique of Romney's reaction to the attack.