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Even Politico Questions Tone Of Obama’s Speech

From the Politico (of all places):

In tragedy’s wake, President Obama finds tone a challenge

By JONATHAN ALLEN and JENNIFER EPSTEIN | September 16, 2013

Once again, President Barack Obama spoke in the wake of a horrific mass shooting — this time, killings that were carried out near his home, of victims who worked in his government, with a crisis that was still ongoing when he stepped to the podium.

But the president’s handling of the massacre at the Navy Yard Monday contrasted sharply with his response to past tragedies.

What, he didn’t hold a pep rally and pass out ‘Together We Thrive’ T-shirts? (Like after the Tucson shootings.)

After the Boston Marathon bombing and the Newtown school shooting, the president kept his messaging focused on the crises at hand, speaking out against the attacks but otherwise keeping a low profile. But on Monday, instead of calling for national unity — as he has in the wake of similar events — Obama spent most of his only public event slamming Republicans on budget matters.

Is the Politico questioning Obama’s ‘style points’? After all, the 2014 midterms are almost here. And his aides didn’t have enough time to re-write his speech to demonize the House Republicans for the Navy Yard shooting.

The White House, removed in proximity and mood from the rest of the Washington, didn’t react the way other institutions did. By early afternoon, soon after Obama spoke, the Senate canceled business and closed entry to and exit from its buildings; schools and daycare centers on Capitol Hill had locked down; and the Washington Nationals, whose stadium sits just a few blocks from the Navy Yard, canceled their Monday night game against the archrival Atlanta Braves.

White House officials did delay the start time of Monday’s event so that Obama’s broadside wouldn’t be drowned out by a news conference held by city officials…

Not out of respect. For ratings.

But aides say they never considered canceling his remarks on the fifth anniversary of the 2008 financial crash, which were designed as a preview of the president’s line of attack in a fall battle over spending, the nation’s debt ceiling, and Obamacare.

If anniversaries are so important to Obama, why didn’t he celebrate back in June, when we had the fourth anniversary of the official end of the recession?

Instead, they drafted a quick “thoughts and prayers” nod to the victims of the Navy Yard, followed by a brief update on Syria, at the top of a prepared offensive against Republican intransigence in Congress. He asked whether the GOP was willing “to hurt people just to score political points,” even as victims were still being treated for actual wounds sustained in Monday’s attack

Still, that’s pretty reserved. He didn’t even call them hostage takers.

Obama even knocked Washington — the city under siege as he spoke — for failing to find “common purpose.” …

Obama has nothing to do with Washington. He lives in a parallel universe of his own making.

Republicans were clearly rankled by the political attack on the heels of the outbreak of violence.

“It’s a shame that the president could not manage to rise above partisanship today,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement. “Instead, he should be working in a bipartisan way to address America’s spending problem — the way presidents of both parties have done before.”

But the GOP was generally muted. Boehner himself didn’t release the statement until hours after the president spoke Monday.

Well, they are getting tired of being called racists.

It’s not even clear what benefit the White House hoped to reap in launching a major fall offensive in the middle of a national and local tragedy that consumed media attention all day. Cable networks cut away from Obama’s remarks as soon as he finished talking about the Navy Yard.

Again, it’s not clear if the Politico is questioning Obama’s good taste, or whether they are mad he launched his attack on the Republicans when he wouldn’t be getting enough national attention.

A short time after Obama’s remarks, reporters in the White House briefing room prodded press secretary Jay Carney to defend the decision to give a highly partisan speech, or any speech at all, while local and federal officials were still trying to get their hands around what Carney acknowledged was “an unfolding event.”

“Tonally, did it not seem a little bit off in the middle of this manhunt, people being informed about lives lost, to move forward with an attack on the other side?” Fox’s Ed Henry asked.

Carney defended the approach. Yes, there was an “unfolding situation here in Washington with regards to a violent action and shootings, and it’s entirely appropriate for the president to address that at the top of his remarks” — but “time is short,” he said, to force action on a budget and a debt-ceiling increase.

When Peter Alexander of MSNBC followed up a few minutes later to ask whether Obama had even considered canceling his speech, Carney answered with just one word: “No.” …

Still, Obama appeared to shift gears as the day wore on. First Lady Michelle Obama had predicted earlier in the day that her husband would “shake his groove thing” at a Latin music event in the East Room that night. But late Monday — not long before the event itself was slated to begin — Obama officials announced that it had been postponed, “in light of today’s tragic events at the Washington Navy Yard and out of respect for the victims and their families.”

Minutes later, the flag atop the White House was lowered to half staff.

They must have gotten the results back from their focus groups and internal polling.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, September 17th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Even Politico Questions Tone Of Obama’s Speech”

  1. Tone? What tone?

    Oh, you mean drone ..

  2. “to hurt people just to score political points,” democrats ALWAYS tell you who they are, if you listen closely.
    Remember those White House tours that were SHUT DOWN over the sequester? Punishing school kids, while he took multi-million dollar vacations? And punishing air line passengers over the sequester until congress re-directed funds to keep Obama from “hurting people.”

    Nancy Pelosi threatening to make milk prices skyrocket for “political points.”

    Isn’t every union rally designed to score political points? Every teacher strike, or organized “sick in” is designed to punish and hurt parents who scramble for day care options? Isn’t that designed to terrorize and hurt people for political points?

    Wasn’t Syria really just a huge opportunity to launch missiles, hurt people, accomplish nothing other than score political points?

    Yeah, they always have their lie in the back of their mind, and they can’t help but get it out there, project it upon other people to clear whatever conscience they have, and fool the fools who believe it.

    Obama campaign, “I don’t want people to think we have plants in here. (planted questioners).” Of course, that’s what every questioner was.


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