But the timing of the president’s veto is designed to erode congressional support for the bill and put off a politically damaging override vote until after the November elections.
Obama waited until the very end of the 10-day period he had to issue a veto, hoping to buy time to lobby members of Congress against the measure.
Talk about terrible timing… well, just for Hillary. The veto itself was perfectly timed by Obama. Done on the last possible day, on a Friday afternoon, Obama sided with his Saudi benefactors and vetoed the bill, as expected. While the veto period set up perfectly with the “Friday news dump” done to minimize media scrutiny, the timing itself is extremely poor for Hillary, in front of the debate.
While Obama will likely be able to put off his veto override until after the election, and avoid public commentary, he is also not campaigning for reelection. He needs to answer to no one, least of all the voters, regarding this veto. If you read my prior article, I already mentioned that Obama’s veto puts Hillary in a tricky position. From that post, you can see my take on her choices below:
Either she A) supports the bill, and risks losing support from her Saudi benefactors, or she B) supports the Saudis, and opens herself up to further attacks from Trump about being a “bought-and-paid-for” interest.
Ahead of tonight’s debate, the timing for Hillary couldn’t have been worse. Trump can key in on the Friday news dump, and has had several days with which to prepare for his line of questioning, if he chooses to go this route. While Trump’s own dealings with the Saudis are largely unknown, and he is presumed to have some business interests there, he hasn’t taken millions upon millions of dollars in donations while holding public office.
Trump is already heavily critical of Hillary’s financial ties to the Saudi regime, and it will hardly be unsurprising if Trump asks Hillary to clarify her position on Obama’s veto. If he does, I would expect her to either A) squirm and duck the question, or B) say she doesn’t support the veto, and take more in “private” donations later on to support them later on.
Either way, given her heavy financial bankrolling from the Saudis, as I stated earlier, she is in between a rock and a hard place. With tonight’s debate just hours away, the timing couldn’t be worse.
UPDATE (9/26/2016, 8:12PM Eastern): It looks like not only will Obama not only have his veto overridden before the election, Hillary has come out and said she would sign the bill. Though her stance was very predictable, it will be interesting to see if Trump keys in on Saudi financial influence during the debate.
Hillary Clinton broke with Obama over the legislation, saying Friday through a spokesman she would sign the bill if she were president. A spokesman, Jesse Lehrich, said the Democratic presidential nominee supports efforts to “hold accountable those responsible” for the attacks.
Donald Trump criticized Obama for the veto and also promised to sign the bill if elected president.
Still a rock and a hard place for Hillary. Keep an ear out for the Saudi connection during the debate.