Here’s one for the ages. President Obama has launched a bizarre new attack on conservative media. He is blaming them for a big hole in his social life. But the attack only attests to his belief in the power of the right-wing press.
Making sense yet?
During his January 14th news conference, the president handled a question from New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes citing criticism that Obama and his staff are too insular and he “doesn’t socialize enough.”
Here’s his remarkable answer:
“I think there are a lot of Republicans at this point that feel that given how much energy has been devoted in some of the media that’s preferred by Republican constituencies to demonize me, that it doesn’t look real good socializing with me. Charlie Crist down in Florida I think testifies to that."
This from the man responsible for the vicious personal attacks for months on his presidential opponent, Mitt Romney, including murdering an employee and cheating on taxes.
He continues, “And I think a lot of folks say, ‘Well, you know, if we look like we’re being too cooperative or too chummy with the president, that might cause us problems; that might be an excuse for us to get a challenge from somebody in a primary.’
“We invite folks from Congress over here all the time. Sometimes they don’t choose to come, and that has to do with the fact that I think they don’t consider the optics useful for them politically.”
Can this not be tongue-in-cheek?
Washington Post blogger Erik Wemple observed: “Sounds like a whine. What opus from conservative medialand could possibly have prompted this charge?”
Everyone knows the mainstream media is in lockstep with the president. What more could he possibly want?
But Wemple offers several suggestions, including a lengthy piece by the Washington Examiner in September, “The Obama You Don’t Know,” that presented a portrait of “a man quite unlike his image, not a visionary reformer but rather a classic Chicago machine pol who thrives on rewarding himself and his friends with the spoils of public office, and who uses his position to punish his enemies.”
He concludes: “Whether or not such stories irk the president, his remark boosts the stature of conservative media. He’s saying that the prospect of censure from right-leaning media outlets weighs heavily enough on Republican lawmakers that they won’t be seen hanging with the president. That’s called power.”
Ever heard of the old adage, “What comes around goes around?” It’s a term that presidents in their lame duck second term should adhere to with strict concentration.
Obama has gotten too comfortable with his media love affair and wants more. That’s when the other party begins to feel used and ignored.
We have four years to find out.
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