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Right Turn
Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 04/27/2011

Obama distracts from his other distractions

Even worse than releasing his birth certificate, the president called a news conference to lecture primarily the media that there has been way too much focus on the birthers. No, seriously. In what seemed like a Saturday Night Live skit, he held forth:

THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody. Now, let me just comment, first of all, on the fact that I can’t get the networks to break in on all kinds of other discussions — (laughter.) . . .

As many of you have been briefed, we provided additional information today about the site of my birth. Now, this issue has been going on for two, two-and-a-half years now. I think it started during the campaign. And I have to say that over the last two-and-a-half years I have watched with bemusement, I’ve been puzzled at the degree to which this thing just kept on going. We’ve had every official in Hawaii, Democrat and Republican, every news outlet that has investigated this, confirm that, yes, in fact, I was born in Hawaii, August 4, 1961, in Kapiolani Hospital.

We’ve posted the certification that is given by the state of Hawaii on the Internet for everybody to see. People have provided affidavits that they, in fact, have seen this birth certificate. And yet this thing just keeps on going.

Notice the peevish start (you don’t pay enough attention to me!). But it gets worse:

Now, normally I would not comment on something like this, because obviously there’s a lot of stuff swirling in the press on at any given day and I’ve got other things to do. But two weeks ago, when the Republican House had put forward a budget that will have huge consequences potentially to the country, and when I gave a speech about my budget and how I felt that we needed to invest in education and infrastructure and making sure that we had a strong safety net for our seniors even as we were closing the deficit, during that entire week the dominant news story wasn’t about these huge, monumental choices that we’re going to have to make as a nation. It was about my birth certificate. And that was true on most of the news outlets that were represented here.

First of all, that is wrong; the birther coverage was a tiny fraction of the coverage. But it sure does sound like an excuse for his falling poll numbers and the lack of support for his faux budget. (Mr. President, they love it. Honest. It’s just the darn media!) But he was on a roll with zingers like this: “We’re not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers.”And then he flew off to do the Oprah show in Chicago.Yeah.

This was all a stunt of its own. Yesterday he was playing games on gas taxes and today it’s the birth certificate. What’s next — juggling knives? Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is slaughtering his people, Obama has offered no specific plan in response to that of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), commodity prices including gasoline are skyrocketing, we’re in a stalemate in Libya, and this is what the president focuses on. Donald Trump has an excuse (he’s a self-promoter by trade), but what is Obama’s excuse for plunging into the tabloid cesspool? A complete inability to respond to the issues of the day in an effective manner, it seems. A GOP observer put it this way: “This press conference this morning was something from an alternate universe. And if he thinks the coverage two weeks ago focused on his birth certificate rather than the [continuing resolution] or budget, he needs to turn off MSNBC.”

Not surprisingly, the office of Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R- Va.) sent out this:

Our national debt is more than $14 trillion, we’re averaging trillion deficits each year and we continue to borrow 40 cents of every dollar we spend. Gas prices have skyrocketed to over $4 dollars a gallon nationwide, placing increased strain on family budgets and threatening to throw our economy in reverse. And far too many Americans remain unemployed. Yet despite these big challenges, the President is talking about his birth certificate. Yesterday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney called this issue a sideshow. We fully agree. The White House shouldn’t engage political sideshows, particularly at a time when the challenges facing our country are so immense. Despite the excitement caused by the media circus this morning, House Republicans remain squarely focused on the things that truly matter to families and business owners throughout our country: getting our fiscal house in order, growing the economy, getting people back to work and promoting common sense energy policies to reduce the pain at the pump.

Obama is apparently impervious to sound advice. For what other explanation could there be for his decision to join the carnival? I mean, there had to have been people in the White House who thought this was a daft idea, right?

By  |  11:30 AM ET, 04/27/2011

Categories:  Obama White House

 
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