President Obama, never one to duck an issue, is appearing to take on a more adult posture at problem solving. From not being the first to the microphone anymore to that of letting others deal with it. White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer calls it staying above the fray. The media calls it keeping a low profile. I call it ducking when it is politically expedient to duck.
Ever ready to jump in front of the news, as in the Cambridge, Mass incident between black Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and white Cambridge, Mass. police Sgt. James Crowley, who “acted stupidly,” and inject himself into the business of the state of Wisconsin by saying it is “an assault on unions,” President Obama missed his golden opportunity at Friday’s news conference to make a statement about the goings on in the Wisconsin state house. After all, it consumed the news media all week/month long, culminating in the passage of the budget repair bill that state Democrats fled the state for. The protests were orchestrated in part by Obama’s Organizing for America and other union bullies. Bullying is OK when it works for BIG LABOR you know.
One take on why Obama failed to talk about it was that the polls suggest that the public does not support it or that he should not be involved in a state issue. Or both. To be sure, if he thought he could make hay out of it, he would have brought it up. If he thought it would hurt his chances of re-election, he might stay ‘above the fray.’ But what is the excuse of the press corps to not ask one question about it? To think that there was no collusion between the press corps and the administration requires a suspension of dis-belief. If not just good old-fashioned Chicago style threats to intimidate the press corps from asking about it. Fact is, no one did.
The Left can’t be too happy with Obama’s new low profile either. They expect him to be in Madison with the demonstrators. Like he said he would do when he was in campaign mode. Try this question that was not asked. Mr. President, critics in your own party are frustrated that another campaign promise seems to have gone by the wayside. What do you say to those who want you to go to Madison and show your solidarity with the labor union? (like you said you would do during your campaign?) The latter part is pure fantasy that he would ever be put on that spot. You know if he was an R, that’s the way the question would have been delivered. But I digress.
Here’s Rush Limbaugh’s take on it . . .
All right. It’s official. There were no questions on Wisconsin asked of the regime at the press conference today. Now, come on, folks, please. It’s only been the rallying cry of the Democrat Party. We’ve only had Obama joining the debate saying we shouldn’t vilify or denigrate public sector union people, they’re our neighbors and so forth. He got involved. It’s his website, Organizing for America, that organized all of the spittle-flecked protesters that were out there. Not one question. Not one statement made by Obama. Again, let me tell you what this means. I’ll explain it by doing it the opposite way. Had there been questions and had there been answers, had Obama made a statement, it would have meant that the polling data was clearly on his side, that the Republicans were really taking it in the shorts in the polls, and that it was a golden opportunity to hammer this whole business of destroying collective bargaining rights for unions.
If they had polling data that suggests that the Democrats won big in this thing that would have been 90% of the content of this presser. And it didn’t even come up.
The president and his handlers certainly have their hands full, both here and abroad. Makes me wonder who has the tougher job? Obama acting as President of the United States or his handlers trying to make an empty suit look as though there is something in it?
Link: On high-profile issues, Obama keeps a low profile