When I first skimmed Bruce’s post on the President’s trip to New York to keep a campaign promise to his wife (as the Washington Post put it), I thought my co-blogger was grasping at straws in his eagerness to “get” the Democrat. But, the more I thought about the situation, the more I realized he had a point.
First, just a quick aside to address the Post‘s spin, since he’s keeping a promise to his “most important supporter” couldn’t he keep one to the rest of the people who elected him by acting on that “net spending cut” he talked about “throughout” his campaign?
Our critics may be onto something when they fault then-President Bush for appearing aloof after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, but if they’re going to fault him for his apparent indifference then, shouldn’t they also fault his successor for this taxpayer-financed jaunt during the same week he told Americans that “We’re out of money.” Yeah, that’s what most people do when they’re out of money, fly to New York for dinner and a show.
To repeat a notion Bruce addressed, can you imagine how differently the media would have treated this had Bush taken a jaunt town to North Carolina to keep a promise to Laura to attend a NASCAR race? (I mean, when Democrats go to the theater, don’t Republicans go to such races?)
Look, I don’t begrudge the President his pleasures (or his privacy). But, while the MSM tries to spin this as a campaign promise kept or a romantic evening enjoyed, we see yet another example of the favoritism they show this Democratic President. Just look at how our critics chime in to remind us of Republican recreation during times of crisis. What they found as problematic then doesn’t bother them now.
That they would even bring it up shows their double standard. They’re not bringing it up to fault Obama as they once faulted Bush. They’re bringing it up to excuse him. See, they tell us, this Democrat’s no different than W. This is what Presidents do. Okay, if it is, I’ll expect them all to acknowledge their own errors in aggressively attacking Bush for doing what Presidents do when he was in the White House.
As the New York Times focuses on the romance of the evening and ignores the cost, they attempt to create an image of the President as a decent guy devoted to his wife. That might work with the Old Gray Lady’s ever-diminishing audience. But, the average American, struggling to make ends meet, will wonder at why he jetted to New York — on the taxpayer dime–while the government is running out of money. The image he and his handlers have carefully constructed (with considerable support from the Times) will gradually begin to crumble.