From all indications, President Obama’s conciliatory dinner with “the enemy” on Wednesday was the PR triumph administration planners intended. Naturally, he would have had an easier time choking down his food if a video of Iowa schoolchildren chanting in unison “the White House is our House, please let us visit!” hadn’t surfaced earlier in the day.
But at least the president and his minions have learned their lesson about using scare tactics to manipulate public opinion. Or have they? Despite Obama’s walking back his own dire predictions about the effects of sequestration, his press secretary poisoned the waters again on Thursday during his daily press briefing. Asked whether the annual Easter Egg Roll on the White House lawn would go on as scheduled, Jay Carney gave an officious answer:
I would refer [that question] to the East Wing and the Secret Service, but it's my understanding that as of now, the decision has been made that the Easter Egg Roll will go forward.
When asked about the plaintive video made by children who attend St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and School in Waverly, Iowa, Carney dug his hole deeper:
This is about trade-offs. Because when you have the kind of severe cuts that the sequester represents, you have to reduce your budget accordingly. And then you have to make choices about what you do and what you don't.
But as Jammie Wearing Fools notes, “There are no cuts of any kind, let alone ‘severe’ cuts. The Obama Sequester represents a slight reduction in annual growth. Not a single penny is cut from this year’s budget, but that fact doesn’t stop these tools from constantly lying.”
Not even the New York Times, usually in lockstep with the president, is willing to bail him out on the tough questions his doom-and-gloom pronouncements on sequestration have raised
So the president’s White House advisers are going to have to confront the question of how, or whether, to adjust his family’s activities. Should they go to Martha’s Vineyard? Will Michelle Obama and the couple’s daughters avoid trips like the ski vacation they took to Aspen last month? And what about the golf that Mr. Obama frequently plays at the nearby Joint Base Andrews?
The president spoke throughout much of his firm term about “shared sacrifice.” According to Carney, everyone — even elementary school children — are going need to bite the bullet during these rough economic times. So will the First Family? Can they?
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- Obama and the meaning of shared sacrifice (Photos)
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- SNL skewers Obama over sequester, handling of economy
- Reporter claims to have received profanity-laced email from White House
- Gov’t claims sequestration will hurt federal agency despite fact it closed (Photos)
- To prove security threat, WH releases illegal immigrants from detention
- WH releases state-by-state impact of sequestration (Photos)
- HUD: Sequester cuts Obama signed could expose kids to lead poisoning
- Disgrace: Pro-Obama election literature in NC used racial fear-mongering (Photos)
- Obama campaign is OK with Biden’s saying they’ll ‘put y’all back in chains'
- Fear strikes out: Obama threatens “deep economic crisis”
- Liberal pundit: Obama’s 2008 “hope” message becomes 2012 “fear” message (Video)
- Fear factor: Are Republicans afraid of Obama’s 'coolness'?