Mike Klein Online

President Obama Unplugged

Atlanta Mike Pix_Press_Club_189_-_Version_2OFHC – Obama Fixes Health Care – endured another bruising week of legislative stumbles and missteps while evidence continues to mount that this president spends too much time before cameras and too often speaks his mind without thinking about ramifications.

With health care and seemingly every other administration emergency strategy mired in chaos, President Barack Obama exhibited extremely poor judgment and lack of self-restraint Wednesday evening when he answered the final question at his nationally broadcast news conference.

The president was asked to comment on the Cambridge, Massachusetts incident in which a white police officer arrested Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the black presidential friend and respected scholar at Harvard University.  The question was asked by a reporter from the Chicago Sun-Times, his hometown newspaper.

Obama did what Obama does worst.  He began talking without a filter.  After claiming he did not know the facts, the president stated that police “acted stupidly.”  This became the most famous line of the evening.  It pushed aside health care and other real issues affecting Americans.

The president’s failure to control himself dominated media into the weekend.  The white police officer who made the arrest, Sgt. James Crowley,  said he stood by his actions.  Cambridge police officers – white and black — held a news conference to support their colleague.  Then on Friday, the president invited Gates and the police officer to the White House for a beer.  But he did not apologize.

Here is what the President should have said:  “I appreciate your question and the reason that you ask, but as President of the United States it would be inappropriate for me to comment on the arrest of Mr. Gates or the investigation of that incident.”   Then he should have stopped.

Instead, the president injected the race card and took a direct swing at the white police officer.  The very same remarks from George W. Bush would have resulted in media outrage, questions about presidential competence and demands for a Bush apology.  In Obama’s world, the white police officer is maligned without evidence while his black friend gets a pass.

The unfiltered president is a major problem.  Obama seems to think getting onto television or holding a rally can fix any problem.  Obama is most dangerous to himself.  Is there any wonder about why Senator Obama’s aides began to restrict his media access last fall?  Obama sightings were rare on his campaign plane where he seldom hung out with the traveling press.

Barack Obama, six months into his administration, has few legislative triumphs.  OFHC – Obama Fixes Health Care – is staggering under its own considerable weight.  Something will emerge under the OFHC banner, but the outcome is months away.  Lots of people just don’t like it, and they don’t trust it.

The economy is recovering slowly or not at all.  Unemployment rates continue skyward.  Obama officials fight with each other about who should control financial regulation.  American soldiers are dying in Afghanistan but journalists who filleted Bush over American deaths last year in Iraq have been much less critical about American deaths this year in Afghanistan.

Regardless, the last thing we need now is an unplugged president who creates unnecessary controversies by injecting himself into situations where he does not belong.  Obama’s failure to realize that he should not have answered the Gates question says much about this president in training.

It is summertime at Camp Obama and the tents are on fire.

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July 25, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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