There’s been a good deal of discussion over whether the President should have gotten involved with the conflict over whether to build a mosque in Ground Zero*. Certainly the President himself has had second thoughts about that: his strong statement on Friday was followed up by a predictable backtrack on Saturday, and the anonymous sniping from his own administration officials over that was likewise inevitable. But what probably should not be a point of contention is that the issue is getting in the President’s way on other things.
For example, remember the Gulf? – Because the President wishes that you had. Unfortunately for him, President Obama’s comments last weekend completely fouled his later attempts to tout the Gulf for tourism**.
It was meant to be a quick family trip to the Gulf Coast to show that local beaches are safe for swimming and that the Obamas can vacation as humbly as the next family.
But President Obama’s visit was overshadowed by his foray into the dispute over the mosque planned near the former World Trade Center site, once again drowning out what was supposed to be a sharp, focused message.
Like it or not, but the country wants to talk about the mosque thing. And they’re not happy about it – to the point where the President can’t count on majority support for this from his own party. You know, that sounds familiar: I wonder if Barack Obama remembers the Dubai Ports matter? I further wonder if he realizes that he’s currently in the middle of the equivalent to that unhappy time in American domestic politics.
*And, for the record: I think that a site where the previous building was damaged by wreckage from the crashes qualifies as being ‘in Ground Zero.’ Not at the epicenter, but definitely within the the geographical boundaries.
**Just as well, really: they didn’t actually go to the Gulf. I cannot wait to run somebody against this guy in an atmosphere where the President’s missteps are not largely automatically covered up by the media.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.