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NYT Says Obama’s Vacations Could Make Him Look Bad

From the New York Times:

Sticking to His Travel Plans, at Risk of Looking Bad

Obama Maintains Schedule Despite World Crises

By MICHAEL D. SHEAR | July 19, 2014

WASHINGTON — As smoke billowed from the downed Malaysian jetliner in the fields of eastern Ukraine on Thursday, President Obama pressed ahead with his schedule: a cheeseburger with fries at the Charcoal Pit in Delaware, a speech about infrastructure and two splashy fund-raisers in New York City.

The potential for jarring split-screen imagery was clear. Reports of charred bodies and a ground-to-air missile attack from Eastern Europe dominated television screens while photographers snapped pictures of a grinning Mr. Obama holding a toddler at the restaurant. The presidential motorcade was later filmed pulling up to Trump Place Apartments, the Riverside Avenue venue for his first fund-raiser.

And yet, White House aides said no consideration was given to abandoning the president’s long-planned schedule, even during the hourlong flight from Delaware to New York, when word suddenly arrived that Israel had begun a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, providing the day’s second international challenge…

“It is rarely a good idea to return to the White House just for show, when the situation can be handled responsibly from the road,” said Jennifer Palmieri, the White House communications director. “Abrupt changes to his schedule can have the unintended consequence of unduly alarming the American people or creating a false sense of crisis.”

Unless, of course, it’s a Republican like George Bush, who had the nerve to go to his ranch after Katrina. Which was probably the biggest crime of the 21st Century so far.

For an administration in its sixth year, juggling presidential optics is nothing new. And with some rare exceptions, the public relations team around the president has remained consistently stubborn about refusing to let the never-ending stream of political, economic or international crises affect Mr. Obama’s daily schedule…

Meaning they won’t let doing the job of President interfere with Obama’s endless golf games or fundraisers.

On Friday afternoon, Mr. Obama flew to Camp David for the weekend. This week, he plans a three-day fund-raising swing in Seattle and California. White House officials said there were no plans to cancel the trip. But the determination to stay the course is not without potential costs. Republicans seized on what some saw as the political dissonance on Thursday, accusing the president of failing to show Americans that he was in charge of the situation.

“Instead of responding to multiple international crises, the president apparently thought it was a better use of his time to attend a set of fund-raisers in New York,” Representative Kevin McCarthy, Republican of California and the incoming majority leader, said in a statement. “While the president is out on the loose and having a good time, he should remember that his responsibilities as commander in chief don’t stop when he’s out of the office.”

Gosh, the Republicans are venal. They never miss a chance to vent their racism.

Administration officials shrug off that kind of organized Republican criticism. But social media users noticed, too. Twitter was filled with snarky mentions of the president’s activities on Thursday. One noted that Mr. Obama “interrupts busy fund-raising night to check in with team on two crises. Then back to business.” Another wrote: “Nice he could take a moment to check on those meddling world events.”

Veterans of previous administrations recalled that the political damage could be serious if the American people concluded that the president was politically tone deaf or insensitive, especially to the suffering of others during an emergency.

Scott McClellan, who served as George W. Bush’s press secretary during Hurricane Katrina, recalled that Mr. Bush, on a trip through Western states, was photographed strumming a guitar with a country music artist even as the storm began to bear down on New Orleans, flooding streets and stranding residents…

In his book “What Happened,” Mr. McClellan recalls with horror seeing the “image of a seemingly carefree President Bush pursuing his original schedule and disregarding the plight of Katrina’s victims — the dead, the homeless, the lost.”

Later, Mr. McClellan writes: “With 20/20 hindsight, it’s clear that President Bush should have canceled his two-day western trip and headed back to Washington on Saturday or Sunday, before Katrina unleashed its fury.”

In 1983, Ronald Reagan was vacationing at his ranch in Santa Barbara, Calif., when the Soviet Union shot down a Korean Air Lines flight. Mr. Reagan initially declined to cut short his planned 25-day vacation to return to Washington. After three days of issuing written statements about the downing, and being caught on camera riding a horse, Mr. Reagan abruptly returned to the nation’s capital and later spoke to the nation…

You see? Bush and Reagan vacationed, too. And under even worse circumstances. Did you really think the New York Times was going to be racist and actually criticize Obama?

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, July 21st, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “NYT Says Obama’s Vacations Could Make Him Look Bad”

  1. Astravogel says:

    Obviously a major disconnect, and at this point in time, what difference does it make.

  2. yadayada says:

    yes, Reagan was “caught” riding a horse ! the outrage!!
    meanwhile, o’hole (who is not on vacation) is perfectly ok to be seen merely stuffing money in his pockets a couple of days after the soviets shot down another passenger plane.

    as Astavogel points out – it actually doesn’t matter what the big O does. he’s not up for election.

  3. GetBackJack says:

    He was never an attractive man to begin with .. except maybe in a Chicago bathhouse sort of way

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