Patterico's Pontifications

9/20/2009

Sources Say … (Updated)

Filed under: Government,Obama — DRJ @ 5:37 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Obama Administration and New York Governor Paterson are at odds:

“President Obama has sent a request to Gov. David A. Paterson that he withdraw from the New York governor’s race, fearing that Mr. Paterson cannot recover from his dismal political standing, according to two senior administration officials and a New York Democratic operative with direct knowledge of the situation.

The decision to ask Mr. Paterson to step aside was proposed by political advisers to Mr. Obama, but approved by the president himself, one of the administration officials said.

“Is there concern about the situation in New York? Absolutely,” the second administration official said Saturday evening. “Has that concern been conveyed to the governor? Yes.”

The administration officials and the Democratic operative spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions with the governor were intended to be confidential.”

Notes Ed Morrissey, “the White House idea of ‘confidential’ must be “leaking to everyone who has a pen and a piece of paper.”

Apparently these tactics aren’t working so well because Paterson says he’s still running. I guess he’s a tough sell. Maybe Obama will have better luck negotiating with Ahmadinejad and Putin.

– DRJ

UPDATE: GOP Chairman Michael Steele wonders why only the black governor has been asked to step down?

“It raises a curious point for me. I think Gov. Paterson’s numbers are about the same as Gov. Corzine’s. The president is with Gov. Corzine,” Steele said. The RNC chairman was referring to Gov. Jon Corzine, the Democratic New Jersey governor who is facing a tough reelection bid this year.

Steele also said he would be interested in black leaders’ response to the White House request.”

Hannah Giles’ Dad on the ACORN Videos

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 4:16 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Hannah Giles’ father Doug on the ACORN videos:

  • O’Keefe and Giles started filming July 24 and ended in August.
  • Doug Giles won’t say how many ACORN locations were visited but they were successful everywhere they went.
  • It cost about $1,300 and Fox didn’t bankroll any of it. Neither did Doug Giles. Fox did pay for their hotel and airfare to appear on the Hannity and Beck shows.
  • Doug Giles, who describes himself as a Christian conservative, did not put his daughter up to this.
  • The tapes were not doctored.
  • This is another Truther/Rathergate/Swift Boat issue. You either believe Giles or you don’t.

    – DRJ

    Sunday Morning Obama @ Univision: Obama’s Plan for Honduras

    Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 3:16 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    President Obama’s 5th Sunday interview was with Univision’s Jorge Ramos. They talked about health care, immigrants, Cuba and this section about Honduras:

    [NOTE: Even though I think you can get the gist of the conversation, I don’t guarantee the accuracy of this translation. Suggested corrections are welcome in the comments.]

    RAMOS: Y finalmente sobre Honduras. ¿Va usted a reconocer al ganador de las elecciones presidenciales en Honduras este noviembre?

    And finally on Honduras. Will you recognize the winner of the presidential elections in Honduras this November?

    OBAMA: Bueno, yo lo que quisiera ver es a las partes respaldar la propuesta de Arias. Yo creo que esto haría que las elecciones próximas serían mucho más legítimas.

    Well, what I want to see is for the parties to support the proposal of [Costa Rican President] Arias. I believe that this would make the next elections much more legitimate.”

    The Arias’ proposal requires Honduras to return former President Zelaya to power. The Honduran government ousted Zelaya because he tried to change the constitution to extend his Presidential term. Ironic, isn’t it? Because now Costa Rican President Arias also wants to change his country’s constitution:

    President Oscar Arias of Costa Rica has joined the trend in Latin America of calling for a new constitution that would expand executive powers and get rid of “unnecessary checks” on the president’s authority. Although Arias has less than 9 months left in office and can’t run for reelection, his brother and current minister of the presidency — a primer minister of sorts — has openly said he’s interested in running for president in 2014. A new constitution with expanded executive powers would fit him just fine.

    Arias’ call has been received with broad skepticism. La Nación, Costa Rica’s leading newspaper, said that trying to make the government more efficient through a constitutional convention was like “killing a mouse with cannon fire.” The newspaper also said that the idea of dismantling the checks and balances on executive power sounds like an effort to create an “imperial presidency.
    ***
    Most people outside Costa Rica see Arias as an accomplished democrat who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to bring peace to Central America during the 1980s. Most recently he attempted to mediate the conflict in Honduras after Manuel Zelaya was (legally) removed from office. However, many people in Costa Rica fret about what they perceive as an increasingly controlling style of governing by Arias and his brother, intimidating the media, bullying the opposition, crowding key government posts with allies and cronies, and now hoping for a dynastical succession in 2014.”

    America The Obama Administration continues to be on the wrong side of the Honduran issue.

    – DRJ

    Sunday Morning Obama @ NBC: Obama Talks About the Media

    Filed under: Media Bias,Obama — DRJ @ 2:08 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    In a special edition of NBC’s Meet the Press with David Gregory taped last Friday, Obama talked about several topics including the media. First Obama noted how the media loves to have a conversation about race:

    DAVID GREGORY: Just to be clear though. It wasn’t just President Carter. There are others in the Congressional Black Caucus. Other thinkers who have said that they agree. That there is racism out there in that opposition to you. I just want to be clear, are you— are you saying to the former president and others, to speak this way is counterproductive?

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, look— David, here’s what I’m saying. I— I— I think that— the media loves to have a conversation about race. I mean, the— this is— is catnip to— to— the media because it is a running thread in American history that’s very powerful. And it invokes some very strong emotions.

    I’m not saying that race — never matters in— in any of these— public debates that we have. What I’m saying is this debate that’s taking place is not about race, it’s about people being worried about— how our government should operate.”

    Then Obama talked about how the media decides who to cover:

    DAVID GREGORY: In that vein, House Speaker Pelosi worried about the opposition, the tone of it, perhaps, leading to violence as it did in the 70s. There’s more recent examples of antigovernment violence— occurring even in the mid 90s. Do you worry about that?

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, look— I think that we have an obligation in Washington, as leaders, to make sure that we are sending a strong message. That we can disagree without being disagreeable. Without— you know, questioning each other’s motives. When we start caricaturing the other side— I think that’s a problem.

    And— unfortunately, we’ve got, as I’ve said before, a 24-hour news cycle where what gets you on the news is controversy. What gets you on the news is the extreme statement. The easiest way to get 15 minutes on the news, or your 15 minutes of fame, is to be rude.

    And that’s— that’s— something that I think has to change. And it starts with me. And I’ve tried to make sure that I’ve sent a clear signal. And I’ve tried to maintain an approach that says, look, we can have some serious disagreements but, at the end of the day, I’m assuming that you want the best for America just like I do.

    DAVID GREGORY: You get a lot of airtime too though, and your views are not rude, (LAUGHTER) I don’t think you’d say –

    (OVERTALK)

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, you know, the— I— I— I do occupy— a pretty special seat at the moment. But— but I do think that— look I mean, let’s face it, the— if you look at the news cycle over the last— over the last week— you know, it— it— it hasn’t been the— the sensible people who, you know, very deliberately talk about the important issues that we face as a country. That’s not the folks who’ve gotten a lot of coverage.”

    President Obama needs the media and I suspect he and his advisers realize he must be careful about criticizing or blaming the media when things get tough. But I hope he keeps this up. America needs a mainstream media that can set aside its affections and dislikes when it comes to politicians. Comments like this may help the media realize that.

    On the other hand, there may also be some media who use this as an excuse not to cover dissenting — e.g., “rude” — voices, a decision that would marginalize the mainstream media even more than it already is.

    – DRJ

    Sunday Morning Obama @ CNN: Race Could be An Issue

    Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 1:37 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    Appearing on CNN with John King, President Obama refused to rule out racism as a reason why some Americans oppose his policies:

    “In the health care debate, heated rhetoric has been flung in the president’s direction. Obama rejected suggestions by some — including former President Jimmy Carter — that much of it is fueled by racism.

    In the interview with CNN, Obama acknowledged that racism plays a role in some of the criticism against him but added that race is “not the overriding issue.”

    “I think there are people who are anti-government,” the president said. “I think there’s been a long-standing debate in this country that is usually that much more fierce during times of transition, or when presidents are trying to bring about big changes.

    “I mean, things that were said about FDR [Franklin Delano Roosevelt] were pretty similar to things that were said about me. ‘He’s a communist, he’s a socialist.’ Things that were said about Ronald Reagan when he was trying to reverse some of the New Deal programs, you know, were pretty vicious as well.”

    We’ve seen this before. When things aren’t going well, Obama portrays himself as above the fray but also as the victim of smears that unfairly make people afraid of him and his policies.

    – DRJ

    Sunday Morning Obama @ CBS: Obama Stands Firm on CIA Investigation

    Filed under: Obama,Terrorism — DRJ @ 1:13 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    On CBS’ Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer, President Obama signaled his intent to stand firm on Eric Holder’s CIA investigation:

    Schieffer: Mr. President, seven former directors of the CIA have sent you a letter today asking you to reverse the decision of the Attorney General to reopen the criminal investigation of CIA interrogations that took place after the attacks on September 11th. Would you consider that?

    Obama: Well first of all, I have utmost respect for the CIA. I have said consistently that I want to look forward and not backward when it comes to some of the problems that occurred under the previous administration, or when it came to interrogations. I don’t want witch hunts taking place. I’ve also said though that the Attorney General has a job to uphold the law…

    Schieffer: So you intend to let him go forward?

    Obama: He’s got to make judgment in terms of what has occurred. My understanding is it’s not a criminal investigation at this point. They are simply investigating what took place. And I appreciate the former CIA directors wanting to look after an institution that they helped to build. But I continue to believe that nobody’s above the law. And I want to make sure that as President of the United States that I’m not asserting in some way that my decisions over rule the decisions of prosecutors who are there to uphold the law.”

    I doubt the 7 former CIA directors appreciate being painted as people only interested in protecting their former turf and employees. They are a bipartisan group of officials who supervised the CIA for much of the past 40 years. As stated in their letter, they are concerned this investigation will do serious damage to the CIA’s mission and its ability to work with foreign intelligence agencies.

    – DRJ

    Sunday Morning Obama @ ABC: ACORN is Not Worth Talking About (Updated)

    Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 12:53 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    Obama told George Stephanopoulos that ACORN is not worth talking about and he didn’t know it was getting a lot of federal money:

    STEPHANOPOULOS: How about the funding for ACORN?

    OBAMA: You know, if — frankly, it’s not really something I’ve followed closely. I didn’t even know that ACORN was getting a whole lot of federal money.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Both the Senate and the House have voted to cut it off.

    OBAMA: You know, what I know is, is that what I saw on that video was certainly inappropriate and deserves to be investigated.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: So you’re not committing to — to cut off the federal funding?

    OBAMA: George, this is not the biggest issue facing the country. It’s not something I’m paying a lot of attention to.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Afghanistan is a big issue facing the country.

    OBAMA: Afghanistan is a big issue. That’s worth talking about.”

    Presidents have priorities and this helps us understand Obama’s. Promoting good government by exercising personal oversight over how ACORN spends millions of government dollars is not on Obama’s radar. Meanwhile, bringing the Olympics to Chicago by recording a personal video and possibly traveling to Copenhagen is an important priority for the administration.

    – DRJ

    UPDATE: Obama’s ACORN tree.


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