If I were to advise those Republicans formulating the opposition to the President’s policies, I would tell them to study his campaign from the end of the Democratic convention until the beginining of the financial meltdown. Then, the otherwise much (and rightfully so) vaunted Obama organization was an inept operation. Hugh Hewitt quipped that “We are watching a crack-up under pressure.” Obama’s team, while great on offense, had no clue how to mount an effective defense.
When John McCain stumbled badly as the financial crisis came to dominate the headlines, Obama no longer needed a good defense; he could return to his original battle plan.
Watching Obama’s presidency unfold, it seems hs agility on offense is related to the same skill which makes him such an effective speaker with a teleprompter. He’s great when he follows a predetermined plan.
Which brings me to ice cream.
There is no doubt in my mind that his excursion with his daughters this Father’s Day weekend to an Alexandria ice cream parlor was a piece of political theater. All that said, for all Barack Obama’s flawas as chief executive, all evidence indicates him to be a good father. That he would bring his mother-in-law to live in the White House suggests a concern for the welfare of his children, that they have an adult there to guide and supervise them when affairs of state keep him and his wife busy.
Even though he could rustle up any kind of ice cream for his family via the White House kitchen and enjoy more quiet time alone with them that way than he would in a public place where he’d be surrounded by a gaggle of reporters, security and curious onlookers, he went to just such a place so the reporters would cover the excursion and show him to be just a regular Dad on the weekend when we’re all thinking of our own Dads. Clever political theater that.
He likely planned this excursion long before the citizens in Iran rose up against a fraudulent election and a repressive regime. No Burkean he, he didn’t realize the need to adjust his plan because of world circumstances. What looked like great political theater in the planning stages was perceived by many as indifference in the execution. He just didn’t anticipate how some would react.
Or maybe he thought he wouldn’t matter, assuming all the media, save FoxNews and the conservative blogs would cover for him — while they would have howled in outrage had his predecessor done that very thing.