Back in September I posted “Now watch this drive” to explain voters’ increasing alarm at Obama’s detachment from the economic problems of ordinary Americans. Commenting on a video featuring a famous George W. Bush gaffe, I said:
As I see it, the man in video number one shows extreme callousness when switching abruptly from a serious discourse about war to a game of golf, generally considered the sport of the wealthy. If one wants a defining moment for the failure of George W. Bush’s presidency, there it is.
Fast forward to August 2009 and we see an eerily similar circumstance. The economy is still in tatters and Americans are at verbal war over health care. Yet, the President of the United States is off playing golf. Why anyone in the White House thinks this is a good idea is beyond me. It certainly appears to be more of the same – and that is in striking contrast to the pre-inauguration image Obama enjoyed.
I was struck by the fact that Obama was golfing during his vacation two weeks ago as his legislative agenda was falling apart.
So, I was chagrined to see events repeating themselves yet again when the President was discussing the recent terrorist incident aboard an Amsterdam-Detroit flight. The Atlantic Wire says “Obama Hits Wrong Notes in Lackluster Terror Speech,” beginning the piece:
People often praise President Obama’s eerie calm in crisis, but his casual-seeming Monday press conference on the attempted terror attack–three days after Flight 253 landed–rubbed many the wrong way. His lack of a tie, and his decision to play golf immediately after the conference drew predictable partisan fire. But the bigger takeaway is that while Obama wanted to signal confidence and relaxation, what some observers seem to want from the president is a greater sense of urgency, gravity, and stress.
As critical as I am of the President, I do want him to succeed just as I want America to succeed. This is a case where I think the media are piling on. Read the other reactions referenced in the piece. It demonstrates the increasingly critical eye the media now has on Obama ‘the Personality.’
But, in retrospect, from a purely political perspective, this level of detachment is not going to get the job done. Democrats are always targets for being weak on national defense. Is this piling on or is the President really making a gaffe?
Look at the video below and see what you think.
See also Obama Ends Silence With Stern Warning from the Wall Street Journal.