Even Obama's Defenders Can't Explain Obama's Golfing Decision
A story in the New York Times this morning reveals that even the White House isn’t sure how to explain President Obama’s decision to golf immediately after his press conference denouncing Islamic State terrorists for beheading American journalist James Foley.
In response to criticism of Obama’s decisions, White House aides only cited Obama’s earlier call with Foley’s family.
“Aides said the golf game did not reflect the depth of his grief over Mr. Foley, noting that the president had just spoken with his parents that morning,” the Times reported.
Jennifer Palmieri, the White House communications director, tried to point to Obama’s speech itself to dissuade critics.
“His concern for the Foleys and Jim was evident to all who saw and heard his statement,” she said, ignoring the golf question.
But as the Times reports, “Privately, many Democrats shook their heads at what they considered a judgment error.”
James Manley, a former aide to both Sen. Ted Kennedy and Sen. Harry Reid told the Times that “a lot of Democrats flinched” at Obama’s decision.
“[T]he idea that he was going to immediately run to the golf course was just a little too much for folks; it was tone-deaf,” he added.
Even former Obama aides, such as David Axelrod, David Plouffe, Jon Favreau, Tommy Vietor and Bill Burton who frequently use their freedom to defend Obama on Twitter, did not weigh in on the situation.
On MSNBC, only Joe Scarborough appeared defensive of Obama’s position, even though he admitted that he wasn’t sure he was necessarily defending the decision.
“I’m merely pointing out these are horrible, horrible optics domestically, but internationally… for terrorists, it's basically like 'screw you. Screw you, we’re not going to live by your rules,'” he said on his Morning Joe program.
Other MSNBC anchors were willing to criticize Obama’s decision, such as Willie Geist.
“You'd think out of respect just for the family even, forget what the press thinks about it, for the family maybe just take a step back and quietly go about your job,” he said.