Jonathan Bernstein has some interesting thoughts on the challenges Mitt Romney faces between today and November. Among those, a reminder of the danger associated with politicizing foreign policy crises.
Why don't out-party politicians simply always attack the president on everything? Ah, that's a good question, and one that Team Romney might have asked itself before it jumped. The main reason is paradoxical, in a fun way. Out-party politicians often hesitate to attack during a foreign policy crisis because they're afraid that they'll be branded partisan during a time of national unity, for one thing. Those potential attacks might be unfair -- as Democrats during the Bush years correctly said, it's patriotic to dissent if you believe that the nation's policy is wrong -- but nevertheless, politicians must reckon with a national political culture that sometimes (and not entirely predictably) can turn against partisanship. The paradox part is that out-party politicians may refrain from attacking out of fear that the president's handling of the event will prove wildly popular, when it's the restraint from normal partisan attacks which actually signals to voters that the president did the correct thing and therefore makes the president's actions wildly popular.
That's one reason. The other reason is that out-party politicians are operating, usually, at a severe information deficit. Indeed: during events such as those in Libya and Egypt, the president himself often doesn't know what's happening; a campaign relying on CNN or, I don't know, its twitter feed maybe, is even more apt to get things wrong. And while no politician wants to be exposed as not knowing what he or she is talking about, presumably that's an even greater caution flag for a presidential candidate. Especially one without conventional foreign policy and national security credentials.