Democrats and Republicans alike have been known to use their military endeavors to promote themselves at election time, especially Presidential candidate. To wit: 1. Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt (both Democrats) ran for re-election on the platform of having successfully kept us out of a European war. In subsequent terms, they both got us involved in said wars anyway. 2. The Bay of Pigs invasion, though ultimately won of John F. Kennedy's failures, was originally engineered for partisan advantage. It was to have taken place in October of 1960, during the Eisenhower administration, and its quick success was meant to give Richard Nixon a last minute pre-election bump that Kennedy would be unable to match. 3. Speaking of Richard Nixon, there is evidence that eight years later, he interfered with Lyndon Johnson's Paris Peace Talks in order to prolong the Vietnam War and use it as a campaign issue against Hubert Humphrey. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Peace_Accords#Claimed_sabotage_of_negotiations_by_Nixon_campaign 4. Johnson himself won his re-election campaign, in part, because of his infamous "Daisy" ad, in which he suggested that Barry Goldwater would lead us into a nuclear war if elected. 5. Though dismissed as a conspiracy theory at the time, and again ten years later, many key players are now coming forward to provide evidence that Ronald Reagan interfered with Jimmy Carter's negotiations to get the Iranian hostages released, promising Iran weapons in exchange for keep their hostages in custody until after election day. They were ultimately released on the day Reagan was inaugurated, and his supporters have claimed that it was Reagan's saber-rattling that accomplished what Carter could not. A laughable claim, as nobody can legally engage in foreign diplomacy unless sworn in as President, or acting directly on a sitting President's behalf, and a situation this delicate requires more than twelve hours to resolve. http://consortiumnews.com/2011/07/14/october-surprise-evidence-surfaces/ http://wwwthesixthestate.blogspot.com/2007/11/1980-october-surprise-anything-goes.html 6. Though George H.W. Bush ultimately lost his re-election campaign in 1992, he did attempt to promote himself on the success of Desert Storm/Desert Shield. 7. George W. Bush used 9/11 as a pretext for invading Iraq, which had not attacked us on 9/11 and possessed no WMDs. (At least, none that we hadn't already identified as useless a decade before.) In 2004, the success of Operation Iraqi Freedom (notwithstanding the insurgency), not to mention the executing of Saddam Hussein, were used to promote Bush's re-election campaign. He also used the attacks in the 2002 election, placing the vote on authorization to use military force shortly before the mid-term elections to pressure Democrats into voting for it, and then, accusing them of standing in his way anyway to help Republicans win seats that were up for grabs. Helicopters were regularly deployed to fly through New York just to remind everyone that there was a threat."Bush kept us safe since 9/11" was a constant campaign message, and certain ads, most notably attack ads on Max McClellan, all but accused him of being in league with Osama Bin Laden. 9/11 was also used to legitimize Bush's first term, suggesting that Al Gore would not possibly have been able to handle the situation as well as Bush did. 8. John Kerry's military experience; and Bush's relative lack thereof; became issues as well. This led to the infamous "Swiftboating" campaign. For once, the roles of the parties were reversed, with the Democrat having more wartime military experience than the Republican, so many Vietnam War veterans were called in to attack Kerry's wartime experience, calling him to task for testifying about the war before Congress, and accusing him of fabricating the experiences that earned him his medals. This last part was done on the one hand by people who never served with Kerry; and therefore could not testify about actions they couldn't have witnessed; or people who did serve with Kerry and whose present testimony was in direct contradiction to their own official reports from decades earlier, which are now part of the Navy's official record. And now, most recently, it was Obama who gave the order that authorized the attack in which Osama Bin Laden was killed. Laying aside the conspiracy theories this has led to (Osama was unarmed; he's been dead for years; that wasn't really his body in the ocean; cover-up to prevent autopsy; hesitant President overruled by SecDef; etc.), Republicans (and some military veterans, who traditionally support Republicans) have now taken great umbrage at Obama using the event to promote his re-election. It turns out this is not the first time Obama and Romney have traded words over this issue. Back in 2008, Obama predicted his own subsequent actions, saying that "If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will." This drew sharp criticism from Romney, who replied "I mean, in one week, he went from saying he's going to sit down, you know, for tea, with our enemies, but then he's going to bomb our allies," Romney said during a GOP debate. "I mean, he's gone from Jane Fonda to Dr. Strangelove in one week....We don't say those things. We keep our options quiet. We do not go out and say to a nation which is working with us, where we have collaborated and they are our friend and we're trying to support Musharraf and strengthen him and his nation, that instead that we intend to go in there and potentially bring out a unilateral attack." This has been translated in campaign ads into the accusation that Romney would not have made the same decision Obama did to storm the compound. Obama is now being accused by Romney and Republicans in general of taking credit where it isn't due (for authorizing the attack, which Seals say they would have done anyway, even though they clearly didn't over a decade earlier when Bill Clinton was accused of letting Bin Laden slips through his fingers), of exploting the military for political gain, and of an unjustified accusation and personal slander against Romney--a rather ironic counterpart to point 7 from above. Is this a legitimate complaint on the Republican's part, or do they just not like that the shoe is now on the other foot?