President Obama has controlled the White House press corps and most
of mainstream media from the beginning. He does not like to be asked
tough questions, and tends to get testy with reporters who ask them.
Which isn’t often, since the media have been largely complicit in
spreading Obama’s message according to talking points.
But after the fiasco of Air Force One buzzing New York for a photo
op, the only point the president has made is that it’s not his fault.
He found out about it when the rest of us did, he said, which is
disconcerting at best. Okay, it was a mistake. But somebody else’s.
President Barack Obama ordered a review of a
publicity-photo shoot with one of the planes that serves as Air Force
One that cost taxpayers $328,835 and caused a furor in New York City.
Obama said he wasn’t informed in advance of yesterday’s low-altitude
flight over New York Harbor, which rattled windows in New York’s
financial district and prompted some office workers to flee buildings
in fear it was a terrorist attack.
“It was a mistake,” Obama said today before a meeting at FBI headquarters in Washington. “It will not happen again.”
If he thinks that’s a sufficient answer, his inexperience in office is showing. This is a bigger deal than he’d care to admit.
The incident continued to reverberate in New York and
Washington today with two senators demanding an accounting of how the
flight was approved, its cost and procedures aimed at avoiding a repeat.
“The supposed mission represents a fundamentally unsound exercise in
military judgment and may have constituted an inappropriate use of
Department of Defense resources,” Senator John McCain of Arizona wrote
in a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
…to put it mildly. Members of Obama’s own party were furious.
Democratic Senator Charles Schumer of New York said in a
statement that he asked Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, whose
department oversee the Federal Aviation Administration, to create an
“ironclad procedure” to inform the public about such flights at least
48 hours in advance.
“Somewhere along the line, someone at the FAA should have had the
foresight to realize that New Yorkers would see this stunt and think
back to 9-11,” Schumer said.
Louis Caldera, Director of the White House Military Office, took the blame and apologized.
Obama today ignored questions from reporters about whether Caldera should keep his job.
Speaking of which….wouldn’t it have been a lot cheaper and easier to use the photos of Air Force One on file now?