“I think it’s clear that the article in which he and his team appeared showed a poor – showed poor judgment,” the president said, surrounded by members of his Cabinet at the close of their meeting. “But I also want to make sure that I talk to him directly before I make any final decisions.”
As the media were being ushered out of the room quickly, Obama stopped them to make more comments and try to put the focus on the troops.
“I want everybody to keep in mind what our central focus is – and that is success in making sure that al-Qaida and its affiliates cannot attack the United States and its allies,” Obama said.
“And we’ve got young men and women there who are making enormous sacrifices, families back home who are making enormous sacrifices,” he said. “And so whatever decision that I make with respect to Gen. McChrystal – or any other aspect of Afghan policy – is determined entirely on how I can make sure that we have a strategy that justifies the enormous courage and sacrifice that those men and women are making over there and that ultimately makes this country safer.”
So there’s a little hurry-up-and-wait for us, but like Gibbs this morning in his briefing, the White House isn’t giving anything away. Here’s one place where Obama’s tendency towards careful consideration works in his favor.