Monday, August 16, 2010

Obama’s Ground Zero Mosque gaffe is the gift that will keep on giving

 

Holy Toledo, Batman.  When CNN is lamenting the fact that Teh One has stuck his foot in his mouth, and the Democrat Senate Majority Leader is putting distance between himself and the President who just campaigned for him, you know this is truly, truly a golden gift.

I honestly can’t think of anything Obama could have done at this particular time that could have done more damage to the Democrats’ ability to control the message.  Don’t get me wrong—I don’t think people are going to change their votes in November because of what they heard about Obama supporting a mosque at Ground Zero.  I do think they might change their votes because of what they did not hear their Democrat candidate say about jobs and the economy.  It’s hard to talk about issues like these when the bandwidth is full of stuff the Democrats would rather not talk about.


Washington (CNN) -- By wading into the ground zero mosque issue, President Barack Obama provided Republicans with an emotion-ridden attack vehicle while diverting attention from campaign themes of fellow Democrats.

Despite the concerns of Democrats, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada on Monday came out against building the Islamic center and mosque two blocks from where the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks killed more than 2,700 people

.…

Nearly 70 percent of Americans oppose the plan, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll released Wednesday.


The Harvard-educated law professor, author of two books and post-partisan President doesn’t seem to have a very good grasp of American politics.  Friday evenings are traditionally the slowest news period of the week.  It’s “doc dump” time—reserved by the powers that be for pulling nominations, announcing the deaths of legislative policy pushes, the firing/retiring/resigning of someone in trouble, etc. There’s no political news on Friday night, unless you make political news on Friday night. 

Obama made it.  He waded into an intense, emotional debate at a time when no one had anything else to do except cover it.  The intensity and the emotional level of the debate are important to understanding the gravity of this.  The 70% opposition to the project means America’s mind is made up—that mosque needs to go someplace else.  Harry Reid gets it.  Obama doesn’t, and in his comments at a private, catered affair trimmed with the trappings of power, he sides with the 20% or so who support it going right there at Ground Zero.

But worse, barely 12 hours later, he told CNN’s Ed McHenry that his off-the-cuff remarks weren’t about the wisdom of building the project, but of the right of the developers to pursue it.  Huh?

At first he looks aloof, detached and uncaring about the sensitivities of his countrymen.  And before lunch the next day, he says that what he really cares about is the right of the developers to be as uncaring about the sensitivities of his countrymen as they want.  

For his soon-to-be former friends and allies on Capitol Hill, this is the worst damage he could have done, and he’s done it at the worst possible time.  Democrats on the campaign trail need to be talking about jobs, the economy, environment, saving Social Security from evil GOP plans for privatization, etc.  Instead, Obama knocked them off of their message and now all of their precious bandwidth is being devoured by a controversy Obama need not have even gotten involved in. 

What a gift!

Gimme some feedback in the comments.

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