Friday, June 7, 2013
Verizon-Gate Swamps President's ObamaCare Event
It only took four scandals hitting at once, but for the first time in his presidency, President Obama is looking and acting like a president swamped by scandal. Friday was supposed to be a banner day for the roll-out of ObamaCare. The president was going to talk about the benefits, achievements, and potential achievements of his signature plan. Instead, the entire healthcare event unfolded with yesterday's revelations about the NSA seizing millions of cell-phone users phone records and the Internet-snooping PRISM, hanging over everything.
After his remarks, the president said he wanted to avoid a "bleating press conference," but would be happy to take one question. The question, naturally, was about yesterday's revelations, and the president spent a full five-minutes attempting to justify the difference between Candidate Obama and President Obama.
The news coverage afterwards was certainly not what the president and his administration had hoped for.
There was almost no coverage of ObamaCare as the media went crazy disseminating the president's halting justification for his full embrace of the Bush policies he once claimed to loathe.
What was especially pathetic was Obama attempting to straddle both sides of the issue. He acted like a man appalled by his own administration's behavior, as though he is helpless against it. He also focused almost entirely on the seizing of meta-data from Verizon and acted as though PRISM didn’t exist.
Obama looked defensive and very much like a president without a good answer for what he has just been caught doing. Friday, a USA Today editorial declared Obama's second-term agenda "scorched" by scandal.
He certainly looked scalded with his meandering answer to a question he had to know was coming, and his ObamaCare message was obliterated in the process.
Today marked the day President Obama officially became a president swamped by scandal.