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Obama says he was too busy to visit Wisconsin

I am totally behind him, but every once in a while he sure has a way of underwhelming you:

Asked why he didn't visit Wisconsin before last week's recall election there, President Obama had a simple answer Monday: He's busy.

"The truth of the matter is that as president of the United States, I've got a lot of responsibilities," he told WBAY, the ABC affiliate in Green Bay in one of eight local interviews he conducted Monday to launch a White House initiative that will direct $2 billion to rural communities from the Small Business Administration.

Isn't there a better answer?

I don't think he would have changed the result, but there is no shame in taking a stand for what is right and losing.

I would hope that such a wonderful, intelligent man would have a better answer to that question.  The issues in Wisconsin were so trivial that he couldn't spend an afternoon there?  But now that it is over, he has time for 8 local interviews.

I hope he has time to campaign this fall.  

I hope that when he asks for volunteers, they don't turn him down because they have "a lot of responsibilities."

This is a man of unique rhetorical capabilities.  One reason he got this job is his ability to reach out to moderates and independents.  The hope was that he would use those skills for more than his own re-election.


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Comment Preferences

  •  He's had an habit of speaking inartfully (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and that needs to stop. Oh, and he needs to get on the ground with the Democratic faithful every now and then. Just get in a room with Democratic activists and ask them their opinions instead of making a video for them.

  •  He's Even More Populist Than Romney. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Which is to say we need to let the Obama Question go.

    Obama's not our messiah, but then neither is Occupy nor Rachel Maddow nor any other single figure of our immediate moment that we can name.

    The last thing on earth progressives need is for Obama to come out swinging with a fist that's not part of his body, against an enemy he doesn't fundamentally oppose, to deliver a punch he's never practiced.

    There's no simple switch to flip to fix the global superpower.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 09:53:26 PM PDT

  •  Here's the transcript of his words (6+ / 0-)
    Well the truth of the matter is, that as President of the United States, I've got a lot of responsibilities.

    I was supportive of Tom and have been supportive of Tom. Obviously, I would have loved to see a different result, but the broader principle is that we want an economy that is not focused on a few at the top, but is a broad-based economy that invests in our future, that makes sure we’ve got a strong education system that is thinking about workers and their ability to pay their bills, I think that's something in everything I do shows those are values I care about deeply.

    And we’re gonna be fighting very hard in Wisconsin, just like we have in the past, to make sure that’s the kind of government people get.

    “The only thing that happens in an instant is destruction... but everything else requires time." - First Lady Michelle Obama

    by FiredUpInCA on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 09:53:39 PM PDT

    •  The meaning of the first sentence... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rosarugosa, rcnewton

      ...was that he had more important things to do.  I'm glad he supported the candidate (who supported him and worked for him early in 2008).  I'm sorry he couldn't offer that support in person, publicly, and before the election.

      You can argue the headline is an oversimplification, and blunt.  But the headline captures the meaning of his words.

      •  But! He did have time to offer a tweet the day (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        before the election.  That should carry the day shouldn't it? ( snark intended!)

      •  He did have something more important to do. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        And quite frankly, I think his going to WI would have been more divisive. Do you really think that the President - really any President - has that much influence over a local election? I don't  and so many RW people hate this President that I think his appearance might have fired up the opposition more.

        And as much as I would have liked to see Walker defeated, as someone who does not live in WI, I am much more concerned that Obama works on national issues and that he is re-elected. It is WI voters who are responsible for Walker's election, both in 2010 and this year, not the President. I live in a state which elects people just as bad or worse than WI voters do, so I am not trying to diss WI voters, just say that who you elect is your responsibility, just like it is TN voters who are responsible for the crappy people we elect.

        You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

        by sewaneepat on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 05:41:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Would you rather he said that (0+ / 0-)

    if I got involved it would be a presidential campaign issue?

    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 11:26:43 PM PDT

  •  He's correct. He had 13 fundraisers to get done (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    agnostic, kurt, rcnewton

    during the 2 weeks before the election. But he flew over Wisconsin twice in the process, so that's something.

    •  He observed the WI situation much like W (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      observed Katrina. From the safety of air farce one.

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 03:18:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So he obviously had the time if he had chosen to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rosarugosa, JVolvo

      devote even one afternoon in Wisconsin.

      He CHOSE not to.  That is the bottom line. My own feeling is that he may not want to be associated with anything that could result in a check mark in the "loss" column which could diminish his own brand.

      He and/or his advisers then come across as too calculating with the- "what's in it for me?" political calculus seeming to have an inordinate bearing of where and how he spends his time.

      I think he could have made one ad which could have said something like

      "Wisconsin has an important moment coming up when they will decide if they are for workers or against workers, and yes, Wisconsin, it is that simple. The question that is really on the ballot is "should Wisconsin public workers have the right to collectively bargain?" You don't have to be FOR what they choose as their goals, you just have to decide whether they have the right to present their case at all. If you believe they should have that right, then vote FOR the recall of those in power who stripped them of having a voice. I'm President Barack Obama and I approve of this message."
      Simple. Pro-Labor and defines the issue as a leader would - a clear-cut choice between right and wrong and cuts away the minutia of stuff like "should they contribute more for benefits?" which is NOT what the recall or the protests were about.

      Obama would have burnished his credentials, could have possibly actually helped Walker get recalled and would not have been seen as overtly electioneering for Barrett since his name wouldn't have been even mentioned.

      And, sorry to say it - since it seems like it would have been so easy to make even just one single "Issue" ad that was Pro-Labor, it makes me wonder how pro-labor he is. I'm sure many of his corporate donors could not be described as "pro-labor" since higher wages and benefits eat into profits and bonuses that the 1% like to pocket. It's taking the caviar right out of little Thurston Howell the V's mouth, for Chrissake!

      “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

      by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 09:36:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Me Too (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rosarugosa, Faceplant, rcnewton, ptanow

    I'm too tired to work for him in November.  And, I'm too broke to send him any more money.  And, I'm too busy to go to the polls and vote for him.  And...  Sounds like a kid telling why he didn't get his homework done.  I always thought that Obama was smart but I don't have the energy to think any more.

    Even Napoleon had his Watergate - Yogi Berra

    by Danosh on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 11:47:42 PM PDT

  •  IMO, Obama's people made the judgment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that Barrett was likely going to lose, and they were just fine with that.

    Walker makes a nice, high profile boogeyman that Obama can point to for the next five months as an object lesson of what happens under radical Republican rule.

    Kind of sucks for Wisconsin, but hey...

  •  The Truth Is..... (4+ / 0-)

    he actually does have a lot of responsibilities.  49 other states beside Wisconsin, terrorists, the economy, 2 wars, education, healthcare, immigration, an election & obstruction in the House & the Senate.

    He's looking @ the big picture.  Someone has too.  

  •  I just read that Obama has had a bad week. This (0+ / 0-)

    thing really doesn't matter. Obama needs our help, guys. We'll get our state back.

    •  He caused it. He can change it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Besides, he often caves in at the first sign of a unified "no." perhaps we should try that as a tactic. That way he may do more than fly overhead on air farce one and look down at us.

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 03:20:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  After seeing numerous references to it, I was (0+ / 0-)

    wondering where this too busy "quote" came from. Now I know: Politico creates a meme and DKos runs with it. Nice job, guys.

    You can call it "class warfare" -- we call it "common sense"

    by kenlac on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 06:51:55 AM PDT

    •  Here was the first line of Obama's answer (0+ / 0-)
      The truth of the matter is that as POTUS, I've got a lot of responsibilities.
      Other than, "I was too busy" what else could you possibly read into that?  

      Even if he didn't say it, what?   When his base needed him he was running around and thousands of dollars a plate fundraisers for weeks.  You don't think he could have made an appearance?  

  •  I guess I will be too busy to help in October, (0+ / 0-)

    November.  I have some trees to prune and some perrenials to split.  Also, some rooms will need to be
    painted.  This grassroots guy will sit this one out...

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