I’m not sure which dog has the bigger bite-Democrat strategist James Carville or Louisiana Republican Governor Bobby Jindal. In a Black Voices article titled “Could Oil Spill Be Barack Obama’s Hurricane Katrina?” the writer Boyce Watkins acknowledges problems for Obama, but shoots with his eyes closed.
Either way, dogs on both sides of the aisle have been nipping at Obama’s heels for his remote ivory tower response to an environmental catastrophe of unprecedented proportions. Indeed, it does appear that Obama has lost all track of time and hasn’t given an open press conference for over a year.
The noise of that omission has been loud enough that the Prez finally got the message. President Obama has a news conference scheduled for today and, from past experiences, one can expect long answers that resemble a football game where one team is trying to run out the clock. Nonetheless, certain questions are unavoidable, and the inevitable oil spill questions are not the only ones.
Carrying the dog analogy a bit further than necessary, the major media has finally caught the unpleasant scent of Joe Sestak’s assertion that someone in the Obama White House offered him a job if only he’d quit the race against defeated Senator Arlen Specter. By now, everyone knows that possibility is a potential felony, and no one knows it more than California’s Congressman Darrell Issa, who is pressing for the appointment of a special investigator.
The problem for the Obama White House is that Sestak’s assertions were made long ago, early in his campaign for the Pennsylvania Democrat primary. Sestak has since several times confirmed he’d had a conversation about a job offer with someone from the White House but refuses to say more.
Through its press secretary Robert Gibbs, the White House has acknowledged that some kind of conversation with Sestak occurred with someone but the “conversations were not inappropriate.” Robert Gibbs’ actual statement to Bob Schieffer on a CBS “Face the Nation” was reported in the New York Times:
“I’m not going to get into it,” Mr. Gibbs said, “but people who have looked into it assure me the conversations were not inappropriate in any way.”
Among the “people who looked into it” was White House attorney Bob Bauer, says conservative commentator Michelle Malkin. So is there some reason the White House is getting lawyered up instead of just releasing the information the public and the media finally demands to know? Is the White House hoping that the matter will roll out with Louisiana’s oil slicked tide? If the Sestak allegation didn’t bubble up into media consciousness during the long months of Sestak’s primary campaign, why is it bubbling up now?
I sense another Obama charm offensive coming after today’s hopefully serious press conference. The President’s recent joking and self-deprecating remarks about his waning popularity and “Hitler moustache” do elicit sympathy, especially to those who confuse personality cult with national leadership. But presidential hipness and studiously contrived noble poses wear thin as the sea birds and undersea life wear their new coats of oil slick, and people begin to wonder if their inexperienced president can “get real” about pesky things like massive deficit spending and the drift toward opaque backroom deals and political corruption.