The quotations come back redacted, stripped of colorful metaphors, colloquial language and anything even mildly provocative.
They are sent by e-mail from the Obama headquarters in Chicago to reporters who have interviewed campaign officials under one major condition: the press office has veto power over what statements can be quoted and attributed by name. Most reporters, desperate to pick the brains of the president’s top strategists, grudgingly agree.
After the interviews, they review their notes, check their tape recorders and send in the juiciest sound bites for review. The verdict from the campaign — an operation that prides itself on staying consistently on script — is often no, Barack Obama does not approve this message.Or maybe it's just a big yawn (other than the story/admission by the Paper of Record). Sure seems more like a big deal and maybe worthy of greater coverage. Then again, the media would have to cover itself.
This article about Obama's visit to Colorado to console the survivors and families might not have been Obama-approved from Chicago, but there's no doubt Obama would approve:
But in moments of sorrow, presidents can risk looking detached and out of touch. Bush's handling of Hurricane Katrina is an often-cited example.Touching.