The long-awaited Chicago visit comes at the end of a week of "horrible karma," one adviser noted, with the oil spill, the collapsing European economy, an escalating crisis on the Korean Peninsula and, on Wednesday, a stock market that closed below 10,000 for the first time in months. ("At least Elena Kagan is doing fine," joked the adviser, referring to the president's Supreme Court nominee.) Perhaps his Chicago friends are in on it: the last time Obama set out to spend vacation time with his inner hometown circle, over Christmas in Hawaii, a young Nigerian man tried to bring down an airplane with a bomb in his underwear.Yeah, those darn terrorists, always messing up the tee times. Oh well, at least he only gets blamed for bad karma, with Bush it was shirking responsibility by clearing brush. But notice Kornblut didn't include Sestak in the bad karma hit parade.
And Joe will almost certainly come up in today's presser amidst all the talk about the apparently successful mud pie top plug thing capping the oil leak (and giving new meaning to "plug the damn hole"). We'll have to see if he lets this success reopen his opened eyes about offshore drilling in general or whether he sets sail for the Bush Islands by discussing his termination of the MMS Director in ways that bring back the good ole days of industry-friendly regulation.
As to Sestak, Obama can't very well take the position of "well, it happens all the time" after coming into office as a crusader for changing DC so it'll be interesting to watch the spin. Meanwhile Specter is dropping hints about flashing Obama the moon at the end of the gang plank re Kagen and other things. And he's just the bucko to do it. But why would he be mad when Obama was trying to clear the field for him? Could it be Specter thinks he was the victim of an inside job? Maybe some intrepid reporter can ask how Kane, the Philly reporter, got the scoop so he could get this ball rolling. That might be must-see TV.
Of course, all this talk of Sestak and vacations and such would disappear in a New York minute should any of an assorted number of real world events ever get in the way.
Looking around there seems to be no big buzz on the mainstream media sites about Obama's first big press conference since he acted stupidly last year. As of this writing even the White House web site didn't have the video (at least front and center) so You Tube to the rescue, although after watching the first two clips it could well be the lost cure for insomnia.
As to the oil spill questions, his was an exercise in bafflegab--far too much information for the questions asked but not necessarily all BS. He's just not concise like Bush and previous presidents, which is helpful not only for Joe and Jane Sixpack but also the press--some in the audience had some pretty heavy eyelids at times. That's probably part strategy and the rest Obama, coming right out of the faculty lounge.
For the record, I think the Feds are doing about as well as can be expected; yes, Obama was slow to the draw and was preoccupied with scoring points about the lost miners on 'day one' but he's a politician, and does what a politician must do (channeling Rev Wright, sorry). These kinds of huge events (like Katrina) will always prove the infallibility of a super competent government the liberals love to believe in. Eventually the industry-government team will come through and plug the damn hole but politicians as learned as Obama simply cannot take the full blame without blaming someone else, even when taking full blame. Today the learned one blamed both Bush and BP.
The action moment, such that it was, came from the Times reporter trying to catch Obama for saying they knew about the abuses in the MMS from day one and Salazar was trying to 'clean house' yet they issued new oil certs and started a new program of drilling anyway. Obama just filibustered until everyone was glassy eyed.
The real interest came last--what did he know about Sestak and when did he know it. Fox News was left to ask he question, of course. He said a report will be coming out soon about what they know; vintage O--surprising he hasn't set up a commission. Sestak was asked about it and claimed he has not been consulted but they spoke to his lawyer brother about the release. Anyway, Memorial Day weekend is always a great time for a document dump or a late night firing.
KANE SPEAKS 5/27/10
We get this:
For months, Kane had been hearing from sources that the White House had been "dangling" a job in front of Congressman Joe Sestak, so long as he would abandon his bid to unseat Senator Specter.Then after the interview, this:
As soon as the interview ended, he called the White House and played for a press office representative the tape of the interview. He was promised that someone would "get back to you as soon as we can, probably within a couple of hours."That would seem to suggest it wasn't the White House leaking to Kane if he called them afterward to inform and they strongly denied it. That would be the most bizarre inside job ever if they actually were leaking to Kane and didn't expect him to mention it, or did under the hopes it would torpedo Specter, whom Obama was backing. Surely the WH would have better control over a plan. So who else? Camp Billary? Would they dare knife Obama in the back like that? Then again, James Carville was pretty hostile the other day.
"The phone did not ring from the White House until 6:45 am the following morning, which is about 15 hours later," Kane told me on Wednesday. In that call, a White House spokesperson flat out denied that Sestak had been offered a job. Later that day, according to Kane, the White House issued a second, stronger denial.
Whatever the case, the vice admiral was trailing by 15 points before he answered honestly then he won. Honesty is still the best policy! Specter had to sit on his tongue due to the insidious nature of the charge (collusion between him and Obama), proving that perceived crime that everybody does doesn't pay. But now what?
As the article points out, the White House has already strongly denied a deal so unless they want to claim incompetence themselves it would seem Sestak will have to go under the bus for misunderstanding them. Then again, maybe they shouldn't mess around the Joe.