Poor Barack Obama can’t catch a break. If the world would just stop and pay attention to him for a while, things would be so much better for and so much easier on Dear Leader.
That’s the takeaway from a pathetic piece (“President Obama’s toughest Syria hurdle: The calendar”) by Reid Epstein at Politico. It’s as if no other president has had to compete with Monday night football, primetime TV lineups and the like. Please. “The calendar” isn’t nearly as big a hurdle as, say, proving that it was the Syrian government and not Syrian rebels who actually used chemical weapons, the fact that Great Britain has pointedly refused any military involvement, and the administration’s fabricated accounts and subsequent bungling related to last year’s Benghazi terrorist attack. Excerpts from Epstein’s execrable effort follow the jump.
Epstein backs up and empties the cop-out container (bolds are mine):
On the short list of seemingly intractable obstacles to President Barack Obama’s Syria plans: a war-weary nation, the feckless United Nations — and the Gregorian calendar.
From the beginning, Obama’s recent Syria push has been hobbled by the calendar — and the scheduling snarls only get worse from here. Obama will sit Monday for interviews for six TV news programs, which will air within an hour of what had promised to be the week’s most highly anticipated Washington event: the NFL Redskins’ season opener against Philadelphia.
But while Obama traveled to Europe for the G-20 and a trip to Sweden last week, opinions on striking Syria have hardened. Scores of members of Congress have publicly come out against the use-of-force authorization, even as the administration has briefed, or offered briefings, for every member of Congress. Polls show Americans oppose intervention by large and growing margins.
If Monday Night Football pushed Obama’s address to the nation on Syria to Tuesday, odds are low for the president to have the nation’s attention to himself the rest of the week either.
The Sept. 11 anniversary comes Wednesday, the same day the Senate could vote for cloture. Yom Kippur begins Friday night.
Obama won’t even have Tuesday to himself. Hillary Clinton is due to deliver a speech that afternoon in Philadelphia. Voters in New York City will head to the polls for that city’s primary elections. And the new iPhone event scheduled for that day has become an annual media spectacle.
Then there are the seasonal realities to grapple with: Many Americans are spending time getting their children to start new school years — and the launch of a new fall TV season is underway, in an era when the nation already pays less attention to presidential addresses than during the days before 1,000-channel cable TV lineups.
“How do you hold the attention of the American people when it is increasingly hard to do so with the distractions of the NFL season and religious holidays and back-to-school nights?” said Mike McCurry, a press secretary for Bill Clinton. “This is the challenge of the presidency, the ability to gather the nation around a common campfire is just not there anymore. You have to go for the sporadic bursts of attention and deal with the perpetual A.D.D. that people have.”
You know what else Tuesday, September 10 is? Why, it’s “Swap Ideas Day.” How can a guy get anyone’s attention when that’s going on?
I guess it was a lot easier when there were only three networks and maybe five available channels on everyone’s TV. But that was 40 years ago, Reid. Stop whining.
Wednesday will also be another “September 11″ anniversary, namely that of the Benghazi terrorist attack a year ago which killed ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. No one has been apprehended in connection with those attacks, which were, in a deliberately contrived falsehood, originally represented to have been caused by an anti-Muslim video. Of course, Epstein didn’t mention that upcoming bitter reminder of the kind of leadership and lack of credibility we’ve seen from the White House.
I believe one would search in vain for an excuse-making exercise such as this during a Republican or conservative presidential administration.
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.