You are currently browsing the daily archive for January 23, 2009.

To keep with the theme

Not so much because I like it, but for those who don’t

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It’s how Politico enjoys his delaying of the overturning of the gag rule

Yet Thursday came and went without Obama changing the rule, the way two presidents before him did on that day. Obama even issued a statement marking the 36th anniversary of Roe – but no rule change.

It has been planned for today

Why get in that old political tradition?

It started under President Ronald Reagan, a Republican. President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, lifted the ban by executive order on January 22, 1993. President George W. Bush, a Republican, reinstated it as his first executive order on January 22, 2001.

Apparently it’s just a matter of PR

Obama aides said the president also didn’t want to change the rule Thursday because it could have overshadowed other news, including the executive orders to close Guantanamo Bay, and his visit to the State Department with Hillary Clinton.

And, as usual, it’s OK to put women last since their organizations don’t seem to mind

Groups that support abortion rights are being patient.

The president of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, said she doesn’t think the slow response means Obama won’t reverse the rule. “I fully expect for this to happen sometime soon,” she said.

And Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women, said she’s “not making hay” of the delay.

They don’t seem to notice the Roe eroding tinge in Obama statements either

“While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue, no matter what our views, we are united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, reduce the need for abortion, and support women and families in the choices they make,” Obama said.

So, while Kim Gandy and Planned parenhood are not bothered, the other guys are thrilled

But supporters of the Mexico City policy, who say it reduces the number of abortions, are finding some hope in the president’s delay. The rule was on their minds on Thursday during their annual March for Life rally in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.

“We’re thrilled,” said Ashley Horne, federal policy analyst at the conservative religious group Focus on the Family. “All signs point to that he will probably do away with the policy at some point but we’re happy that for the time being that the Mexico City Policy is in place.”

Delight in keeping supporters off balance? Glad I am not one of them.

Today I made a new entry on my Schadenfreude list: Ted Kennedy. That of course, includes Caroline and her friend MoDo, but just to keep it simple.

The latest episode has Ted upset with Caroline

Sources close to Senator Edward M. Kennedy tell TIME that his circle is furious that his brain cancer has been cited by some in her camp as the reason for her decision to withdraw her name from consideration for the Senate seat being vacated by Hillary Clinton in New York.

“It looks horrible,” says a former aide to Ted Kennedy. “It makes him look like he is at death’s door.”

I agree it looks terrible. Mostly because when we were hit with the headline

TED WANTS CAROLINE

there was serious banking on sympathy for Ted’s ailment, already public this summer.

So far, Ted’s gambit for control of the party hit the skids.

It was flying high when he pushed Kerry in 2004. It became shameless when he endorsed Obama in 2008, over the woman who campaigned for him (Bill Clinton put all his presidential weight behind him in an election he was about to lose). Not the endorsement so much as the vicious attacks with accusations of racism.

And then, as if this was not enough, Ted made it impossible for Hillary to remain in the senate in what I think was a long term plan of reclaiming NY for the family.

So, now he managed to embarrass said family by exposing one of its weak link and it’s all blowing back on him.

As an aside, I had a feeling this would be the outcome when Bloomberg invited the Clintons at the New Year’s apple falling ceremony on New Year’s Eve.

Bloomberg cynically hitched his political wagon to Obama way before anyone else by threatening to form a third party if Obama is not nominated a year ago. So, his courting the Clintons was significant – considering that  he was Caroline’s biggest champion up to that point.

The fact that he now goes on talk shows gushing about Hillary settles the question of power turf in NY – and in a way that makes me happy.

Apparently after they elected him, they are not shown the proper gratitude, according to Politico

Media frustration spills into briefing

But, but they loved him so! And now:

A growing media frustration with Barack Obama’s team spilled into the open at Thursday’s briefing, with reporters accusing the White House of stifling access to his oath re-do and giving Obama’s first interview as president to a multi-million dollar inauguration sponsor.

oh, comeon, media! You got the 160 million swear in, and only excluded from the chippie. And speaking of money, CBS Robert Plante

He also asked new press secretary Robert Gibbs why ABC, which paid millions to host the DC Neighborhood Ball, was granted the only inauguration day interview with President Obama – a move he equated to “pay to play.”

Oh, noes! Where would Obama even learn the notion?

But not however to the Gray Lady which worked so hard to throw the primeries to him:

In recent weeks, New York Times editors complained that its White House team hadn’t gotten a sit-down with Obama during the transition, breaking an unofficial tradition whereby recent president-elects have free-wheeling exchanges with the Gray Lady before the inauguration.

Or, aren’t we feeling sorry for CNN?

“It is ironic, the same day that the president is talking about transparency, we were not let in,” CNN’s Ed Henry said on the air Wednesday night after news of the second swearing-in broke.

Apparently the media are now fed White House approved images and some are sitting on them

The only images came from White House photographer Pete Souza.

Three wire services — The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse – refused to move those images, in protest of the White House’s handling of the event.

The wire services’ photographers were also denied access to photograph Obama sitting in the Oval Office on the first day, and similarly refused to move the White House approved photos.

Ya mean, the ones on the cover of every newspaper yesterday? yeah, that’ll show him!

Besides, it’s not like the one didn’t try to make nice to his base:

And Obama himself seemed mindful of making a good impression, paying a surprise visit to the White House pressroom a few hours after the briefing.

Too bad he “flashed irritation” on that occasion

Asked how he could reconcile a strict ban on lobbyists in his administration with a Deputy Defense Secretary nominee who lobbied for Raytheon, Obama interrupted with a knowing smile on his face.

“Ahh, see,” he said, “I came down here to visit. See this is what happens. I can’t end up visiting with you guys and shaking hands if I’m going to get grilled every time I come down here.”

Pesky reporter missed the threat and went on with the question so he got an

“Alright, come on” he said, with obvious irritation in his voice. “We will be having a press conference at which time you can feel free to [ask] questions. Right now, I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself to you guys – that’s all I was trying to do.”

And then he threw treats and they all jumped and caught them in their teeth. OK, ok here’s the precious bone for you:

He revealed that he had already gotten in two work outs since being sworn in Tuesday.
“Turns out I have a little gym up there,” he said with a smile.

Here’s an old cartoon, from W’s time:

2007.03.11

Not Your Sweetie