White House Stupidity Leads to Panic in New York

This clip is from the local Fox affiliate in New York today. New Yorkers seem to be very angry about having been chosen for what seemed to many a re-enactment of 9/11. Buildings were evacuated and people fled in fear of their lives. Some were injured trying to escape what they imagined to be a new terrorist attack. And all because the White House wanted to update its file photos of Air Force One, and failed to consider the obvious: that jumbo jets flying at Manhattan without warning are bound to terrify people.

During last year’s presidential campaign, Republicans charged that Obama and his team lacked the experience and judgment to tackle the challenges the nation faces. But did anyone expect that one of those ‘tough’ calls would be whether to send a jumbojet screaming toward Manhattan at low altitude, chased by F-16s? Before today, I would have told you that was one of the easy questions – especially when it was nothing more than a photo-op.

The White House was quick today to throw its own appointee under the bus. Louis Caldera – whom Obama named to this job almost 5 months ago – quickly took the blame for the decision to send the president’s plane to New York for some publicity shots. It appears that Caldera also takes the blame for forbidding information about the flyover to be disclosed to the public. Reports say that the Presidential Airlift Group made the decision to keep this a secret. And according to the White House webpage, the Group falls under Caldera’s jurisdiction.

I see no indication of how many people work under Caldera, or how many oversee his decisions. However, it boggles the mind to think that there were no grownups in the White House who recognized what a terrible idea this was. But then again, lapses in judgment seem to be par for the course with this administration.