Controversies are coming at President Barack Obama from all angles and, instead of staying in Washington, to handle them, he jetted off to the Jersey Shore to observe the recovery efforts after Hurricane Sandy. Obama spent Sunday in Moore, OK to inspect the damage from the F5 tornado and gave a speech at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday for Memorial Day.
The Hill points out, the trip gives him a day to avoid the many problems at home. A few of the scandals include the IRS targeting of conservative political groups, the Department of Justice snagging phone records of reporters from the AP, the subpoena of Fox News’s James Rosen’s emails, and the Benghazi-gate. To make matters worse for Obama, the House Judiciary Committee will investigate whether Attorney General Eric Holder lied under oath during his May 15th testimony, and the House Oversight Committee subpoenaed all documents about the Benghazi talking points from 10 current and former State Department officials.
His employees tried to push aside politics, but could not help politicizing the Oklahoma tornado. From The Hill:
Briefing the media aboard Air Force One on the way to Oklahoma, White House principal deputy press secretary Josh Earnest responded to a reporter’s question about what the disaster said about the role of government by first saying: “It’s not a day for politics.”
He then continued: “That said, I think it is evident to any impartial observer here what an important role the federal government can play in providing assistance to our people at their time of urgent need. And you talk about an agency like FEMA that, when this president took office, did not have a very good reputation.”
After a showing of unification with Governors Mary Fallin and Chris Christie–both Republicans–it would reflect well on the President if he could resist further politicizing the aftermath of these tragedies. Tobe Berkovitz, a Boston University professor, told The Hill: “[Obama] can walk along what’s left of the boardwalk with Chris Christie, but if he then goes out the next day and starts jabbing Republicans in the House and the Senate, it doesn’t do anything to show he’s bipartisan or nonpartisan.”