The marking of Kaine

On his and Pences's debate night, it was disgusting to hear Tim Kaine bleat about Hillary's "leadership" by grabbing the tail of Obama's 2012 election boast that he killed Osama bin Laden.  Hillary, Kaine insists, was part of the "security team" (whatever that is) and so helped kill bin Laden, too.

Let's get this straight – it was a lie then that Obama, unassisted or not by some "security team," killed Osama bin Laden, and it's a lie now.  SEAL Team Six killed Osama bin Laden.  Neither Obama nor Clinton or any Democrat politician rode a helicopter into Pakistan that night.  Nor can any even imagine either someone like Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton riding a helicopter into Pakistan that night.

If you see this as mincing words, remember June 6, 1944.  Did FDR get on the radio and claim that he had invaded France that morning?  No, he got on the radio and led the nation in the Lord's Prayer in honor of those brave men doing the job.  Did Winston Churchill claim he shot down all those Nazi planes and saved England during that first awful summer of the war?  No, he humbly – very eloquently, but humbly – praised those brave few gathered from all the lands of the Empire who did.  Maybe the most poignant example is Robert E. Lee, always outnumbered and outgunned, winning victory after victory yet never once taking credit, instead always lavishing it on others, especially his incredibly ragged but incomparable foot soldiers.  Then, when things fell apart for him at Gettysburg, the "grandest captain in Christendom," as the London Times called him, spread his arms wide, stood up in his stirrups, and cried, "It is all my fault."

Write those examples down on your forehead backwards, Kaine, so you can read them every morning in the mirror.  If you can stand the sight of yourself.   Because that's leadership.

Richard F. Miniter is the author of The Things I Want Most, Random House, BDD.  See it here.  He lives and writes in the colonial-era hamlet of Stone Ridge, New York; blogs here; and can also be reached at