The Hill: That WH tour-canceling gambit sure is flopping, huh?

posted at 11:21 am on March 14, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

It’s not too difficult to come to that conclusion.  The Obama administration has gone from blaming Congress for the cancellation of tours, to blaming the Secret Service, to exonerating the Secret Service and griping about Congress again, without ever once reconciling the issue with, say, parties at the White HouseThe Hill is just reporting what’s obvious — that Barack Obama overreached yet again in grandstanding on the sequester:

The White House is playing defense over the decision to cancel tours at President Obama’s residence, the latest stumble for Obama in the messaging war with Republicans over the sequester.

White House press secretary Jay Carney fielded a series of pointed questions Wednesday about why the tours had to be canceled. Emboldened House Republicans also challenged Obama on the issue at a private meeting on Capitol Hill. …

Since the decision was announced last week, Obama and administration officials have said the decision was made by the Secret Service — which spends roughly $74,000 a week to allow for the tours — in order to avoid furloughs and other cutbacks necessitated by the sequester’s automatic spending cuts.

But that explanation backfired, observers say.

“Using the tours to send a message seemed like a surefire winner,” said Tobe Berkovitz, a professor of communications at Boston University who specializes in political communication and advertising. “I think the White House was expecting everyone to go ‘Oh, this is so horrible!’ but this time it didn’t play, perhaps because it was too overt.”

Reporters also wondered how may tours Obama could fund with an upcoming trip to Illinois:

Reporters at the White House briefing returned to the topic when they questioned Carney about how much it would cost Obama to travel to Illinois later in the week.

The White House spokesman responded by saying that Obama travels around the country “appropriately” and that he “has to travel around the world.”

“It’s his job,” Carney said.

Since it costs around $180,000 per hour to operate Air Force One, and it’s six hours in the air back and forth from DC to Illinois, just the air costs alone are $1.08 million.  Even at the ridiculous cost quoted by the White House of $74,000 a week for the tours — are any of those agents furloughed at the moment, by the way? — that’s good for 15 weeks of tours right there.  So what exactly is in Illinois that’s Obama’s “job” this week, other than trying to keep pushing the Nightmare on Sequester Street scare stories?

Because that’s apparently going to continue to be the strategy:

Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons said while the cancellation of the tours is a “headache” for the White House, it could still win the blame game over the sequester as more cuts are felt.

Lots of people in Las Vegas keep doubling down, too, expecting that eventually they’ll win.  Good luck on that plan.

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alternate headline: “Make-up Sex Fail”.

hillsoftx on March 14, 2013 at 11:24 AM

bho is the worse president the US have ever had, period! bho does not give a flit about anything but bho!
L

letget on March 14, 2013 at 11:25 AM

No biggie. If this didn’t get the desired result, it will be swept away, never again mentioned, unreported by the LSM as if it never occurred.


“Oh well, tomorrow’s another day”

hawkeye54 on March 14, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Calligraphers are in high demand, the WH is lucky to have the staff that they do.

Bishop on March 14, 2013 at 11:26 AM

If no one was laid off there is no savings and all of this nonsense is a big lie.

meci on March 14, 2013 at 11:29 AM

A week ago, I predicted press blowback on any future Obama travel at NRO’s “Corner”:

The shut down of White House tours is a double-edged sword, and Obama didn’t anticipate it turning back on him.

Now, anytime he leaves the White House for a campaign-style event (to bash Republicans), golf outing, family vacation, etc, there will be blowback along the lines of, “The President is spending millions on XYZ while shutting down the White House tours for piddling savings”.

In some ways, he’s now trapped himself and his family in the White House for the immediate future, at least until he declares the tours are reopened.

Reno_Dave on March 14, 2013 at 11:31 AM

F&F showed a bit of the exchange between Carney and a MSM reporter, first asking about the cost of Obama’s trip to Chicago and then the cost of an Obama golf outing.

I realize that the media love Obama, but juxtaposing a YouTube video of some Lutheran kids from Iowa and Obama burning cash by the truckload on travel to bash the GOP is low-hanging fruit. And it’s the kind of thing that readers love to read and hate the federal government about.

I hope Obama keeps burning cash as he stealing money from the props he’ll use at every stop. I’d love it if these human props (kids, first responders, et al.) eventually turn on while he’s speaking.

BuckeyeSam on March 14, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Wasn’t it 1995-ish, with the Newt v Clinton government shutdown, that finally turned in Clinton’s favor when national parks and such were being closed? Public opinion (more like public opinion manufactured by the MSM, but that’s another story) went in favor of Clinton, and Newt caved. Obama tried to run something out of the Clinton playbook. Nice try. Try some other ploy now, so you can win. Because that’s all that’s important to you. Looking good, winning, blaming others. “President” Obama.

Paul-Cincy on March 14, 2013 at 11:33 AM

And there’s FLOTUS on the new Vogue courtesy Anna Wintour looking like Marie Antoinette in all her glory with the blaring headline “How the Obamas Inspire Us!”

Marcus on March 14, 2013 at 11:36 AM

I predict that the entrenched left lost this big “end of the world” lie battle and badly need to change the subject. The big shift will happen soon–global warming–they’ve invested too much capital eco-propagandizing world-wide in the last few decades. AGW was chosen for one reason only; climate transgresses all sovereign borders, hence the UN centered policial fraud, complete with the complicity of those grant receiving scientists, was a natural.

Now as soon as the first hot spell arrives…..

Don L on March 14, 2013 at 11:36 AM

Calligraphers are in high demand, the WH is lucky to have the staff that they do.

Bishop on March 14, 2013 at 11:26 AM

That woman who makes 96K/year for her penmanship and her assistant calligraphers are lucky they have the jobs they do. Seriously $225K per year for fancy writing?

Happy Nomad on March 14, 2013 at 11:36 AM

People around the country should start to send this message to Obama: “What would Calvin Coolidge do?”

Indeed, get those Lutheran kids in Iowa to do another video: “Calvin Coolidge wouldn’t have cut funding for the White House tours. He’d have cut his travel and golf outings.”

BuckeyeSam on March 14, 2013 at 11:37 AM

This strategy is used, and mostly works in deep blue thug cities like Chicago. The Obamunists need to be reminded they’re not in Kansas Illinois anymore.

RadClown on March 14, 2013 at 11:40 AM

That woman who makes 96K/year for her penmanship and her assistant calligraphers are lucky they have the jobs they do. Seriously $225K per year for fancy writing?

Happy Nomad on March 14, 2013 at 11:36 AM

A comment from another site:

“Bark needs calligraphers for his dinner invitations yet he uses an auto-pen to sign condolence letters to the families of fallen soldiers.”

An enterprising GOP’er could really use that to smash Dog Eater into the ground.

Bishop on March 14, 2013 at 11:42 AM

Barack Obama is a little boy that shouldn’t even be in charge of a Taco Bell Express.

Chuck Schick on March 14, 2013 at 11:42 AM

Calligraphers are in high demand, the WH is lucky to have the staff that they do.

That can be solved with a $200 copy of Word Perfect…

Wyznowski on March 14, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Well, at least the National Endowment for the Arts still has their money to create “art” of crucifixes in jars of urine. (*sigh*)

Kingfisher on March 14, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Palin Snow Bunny will do what she always does: Screw up the opportunity and say something stupid. No wonder she got mopped-up by Bachmann.

Bishop on March 14, 2013 at 11:44 AM

None of this really matters to me unless people are willing to open their eyes and see Obama for who he is.

earlgrey133 on March 14, 2013 at 11:45 AM

BHO’s second term is approximately two months in and he’s had nothing but problems. Looks like his self-proclaimed messiah card has expired.

Too f**ckin’ bad.

Kingfisher on March 14, 2013 at 11:46 AM

The Hill: That WH tour-canceling gambit sure is flopping, huh?

…EVERYTHING JugEars does is flopping!…the politburo press just doesn’t publish ANYTHING that is pertaining to truth anymore.

KOOLAID2 on March 14, 2013 at 11:47 AM

Emboldened House Republicans also challenged Obama on the issue at a private meeting

My heroes! Be still my beating heart.

A private meeting, huh? Real bold indeed.

CJ on March 14, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Palin Biden Snow Bunny will do what she always does: Screw up the opportunity and say something stupid. No wonder she got mopped-up by Bachmann.

Bishop on March 14, 2013 at 11:44 AM

There, fixed it for ya’. You can thank me later.

Kingfisher on March 14, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Speaking of screw-ups. :-D

Kingfisher on March 14, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Please, would somebody fact check the Secret Service agents that were furloughed because of lack of funding for White House tours? I can almost bet you not one agent has been furloughed or let go because of this!

fbcmusicman on March 14, 2013 at 11:48 AM

It’s not working because people know the truth. The reporting is not about closing down WH tours, but rather Obama is closing down WH tours so he can blame Republicans and the sequester, but people already know that the sequester was Obama’s idea in the first place. It’s laughable, what a waste of time and money, not to mention grown men and women entrusted to run the United States of America acting like children.

lea on March 14, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Obama has always wanted the acclaim of being a man of the people. Usually the media pushes the narrative. Meanwhile, the new Pope, who as a cardinal took the bus instead of a limo, seems a shining example of the real thing. Making O look a bit more entitled for a so-called man of the people than he did yesterday.

So finally, shutting down the People’s House tours and flitting off in his jet while maintaining not one but several calligraphers is such poor form that even his acolytes are murmuring and pointing.

LetsBfrank on March 14, 2013 at 11:51 AM

it could still win the blame game

Anyone else find that disturbing?

BKeyser on March 14, 2013 at 11:52 AM

comes off extremely un American to not allow Americans the ability to see their government up close.

astonerii on March 14, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Barack Obama is a little boy that shouldn’t even be in charge of a Taco Bell Express.

I’m giving one of your two Buffalo Chicken Grillers to the union guy behind you.

LetsBfrank on March 14, 2013 at 11:56 AM

What does it matter. He will be president for almost 4 more years. Websites are mentioning his popularity ratings taking a dive but they never mention why. It doesn’t matter. He will be king for 45 more months. What was Bush’s approval rating before he was sent packing?

alanstern on March 14, 2013 at 11:57 AM

comes off extremely un American to not allow Americans the ability to see their government up close.

Why would you want to see what is going on in Washington up close?

alanstern on March 14, 2013 at 11:58 AM

Meanwhile, Congress is still open to tours. Why? Because they actually planned ahead to make sure it DID stay open. No thanks to Harry Reid who thinks tourists smell funny.

Lily on March 14, 2013 at 12:01 PM

“It’s not about 2014,” Obama told Organizing for Action this evening, per the pool report. “I actually wanna govern, at least for a couple of years.”

Good Lord, he’s gonna try governing !!

J_Crater on March 14, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Lots of people in Las Vegas keep doubling down, too, expecting that eventually they’ll win. Good luck on that plan.

Obama rolls….and its…. snake eyes.

thatsafactjack on March 14, 2013 at 12:02 PM

People around the country should start to send this message to Obama: “What would Calvin Coolidge do?”

Indeed, get those Lutheran kids in Iowa to do another video: “Calvin Coolidge wouldn’t have cut funding for the White House tours. He’d have cut his travel and golf outings.”

BuckeyeSam on March 14, 2013 at 11:37 AM

“Who?”

- Most of America

**she wipes away tear**

Silent Cal is my favourite President, but he may have been to silent for his and the country’s own good.

Resist We Much on March 14, 2013 at 12:03 PM

The real reason Obama shutdown the tours is because the royal couple don’t like the riffraff pawing through their things. The stink of common people offends Michelle’s delicate nose, aren’t the public appearances enough of a trial? She does so much. The sequester was just a convenient excuse.

Fenris on March 14, 2013 at 12:04 PM

A comment from another site:

“Bark needs calligraphers for his dinner invitations yet he uses an auto-pen to sign condolence letters to the families of fallen soldiers.”

An enterprising GOP’er could really use that to smash Dog Eater into the ground.

Bishop on March 14, 2013 at 11:42 AM

That’s good.

WisRich on March 14, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Obama travels around the country “appropriately”

Will someone please strike the libspeak word “appropriate” from the language.

petefrt on March 14, 2013 at 12:06 PM

“What I’m asking them is are there ways, for example, for us to accommodate school groups … who may have traveled here with some bake sales,” Obama told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in an interview on “Good Morning America.” “Can we make sure that kids, potentially, can still come to tour?”

Bakes sales?? Seriously?? Are school even allowed to have them anymore? Obama is so out of touch with his wife’s school lunch program.

We need these kids picketing outside the WH with “It’s the People’s House” signs.

monalisa on March 14, 2013 at 12:08 PM

The White House tour kerfuffle is going to be, or should be, nuttin’ compared to cancelling of Tuition assistance promised to our soldiers. Not a 5% cut, an immediate 100% elimination of reimbursing ANY future tuition claims.

On the White House petition website, 100,000 signatures were entered in less than a week, so the President will have to respond.

robertb on March 14, 2013 at 12:08 PM

“It’s not about 2014,” Obama told Organizing for Action this evening, per the pool report. “I actually wanna govern, at least for a couple of years.”

Good Lord, he’s gonna try governing !!

J_Crater on March 14, 2013 at 12:01 PM

=8|

Images of Eddie the Eagle ski jumping in the 1988 Olympics come to mind.

Paul-Cincy on March 14, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Palin Snow Bunny will do what she always does: Screw up the opportunity and say something stupid. No wonder she got mopped-up by Bachmann.

Bishop on March 14, 2013 at 11:44 AM

I see what you did there…..

How’s the fishing?

BacaDog on March 14, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Wasn’t it 1995-ish, with the Newt v Clinton government shutdown, that finally turned in Clinton’s favor when national parks and such were being closed? Public opinion (more like public opinion manufactured by the MSM, but that’s another story) went in favor of Clinton

It was Dole who crapped in the bed. Clinton was about to cave w/in 24 hours, Newt was holding firm, and Dole threw in the towel. Dole rescued Clinton and his presidency.

And, frankly, the GOP has never recovered from that defeat, as the specter of another government shutdown has shadowed and terrified GOP leaders for years. The GOP has arguably never recovered from the 1995 shutdown.

matthew8787 on March 14, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Silent Cal is my favourite President, but he may have been to silent for his and the country’s own good.

Resist We Much on March 14, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Isn’t he the kid with the stuffed tiger? ;0

Happy Nomad on March 14, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Who the heck cares about White House tours, anyway? This whole stunt just showed the pettiness and vindictiveness of the Indonesian, Dog-eating Sukarno knock-off.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on March 14, 2013 at 12:22 PM

I think all the stories beginning to emanate from the “awakening” press are just the beginning salvo’s from the Clinton’s in the beginning stages of Hill’s campaign for 2016, who have been given permission to start the Fool-in-Cheif’s dissection for all to see.

It was predicted several, several years ago that she would “step in” to save the Democrat party after O’s was allowed free reign from all the sycophants (liberal Dems, MSM, etc.) to destroy this nation.

Her poison will be seem better than his.

avagreen on March 14, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Isn’t he the kid with the stuffed tiger? ;0

Happy Nomad on March 14, 2013 at 12:19 PM

:-)

And, that should have been “TOO”!

Resist We Much on March 14, 2013 at 12:28 PM

He’ll be remembered for this.

John the Libertarian on March 14, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Palin Snow Bunny will do what she always does: Screw up the opportunity and say something stupid. No wonder she got mopped-up by Bachmann.
Bishop on March 14, 2013 at 11:44 AM

I am not understanding why this random comment appeared in this thread topic.

karenhasfreedom on March 14, 2013 at 12:32 PM

We all know the real reason for the tour cancellations. Moochelle Antoinette didn’t like having her home overrun with peasants every day or so. It was inconvenient. Problem solved.

farsighted on March 14, 2013 at 12:41 PM

I am not understanding why this random comment appeared in this thread topic.

karenhasfreedom on March 14, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Just respond to him by calling him a troll. Laughter will follow.

VegasRick on March 14, 2013 at 12:42 PM

If Barry is good at anything, it’s the old blame game. Nothing is every his fault.

GarandFan on March 14, 2013 at 1:03 PM

If Barry is good at anything, it’s the old blame game. Nothing is every his fault.

GarandFan on March 14, 2013 at 1:03 PM

I remembered this yesterday (I wrote it right after the election):

I hate him for refusing to take responsibility for I hate him for refusing to take responsibility for ANYTHING and his eternal reflexiveness to blame Bush; the Bush tax cuts; the Japanese tsunami; the euro crisis; ATMs; airport kiosks; oil prices; corporate jet owners; rich fatcats; Afghanistan; Iran; Israel; Israeli settlements; Iraq; the deficit; the debt; Republican obstructionism; Blue Dog Democrats; BP; the financial crisis; Scott Brown’s election; Greece; “teabaggers;” political gridlock; the euro; eurosceptics; too little government; too few taxes; the debt debate; Standard & Poor’s; wealthy people who want to keep what they earned; oil companies; Ireland; some car that won’t get out of the ditch, cliffs; Slurpees; Portugal; Midwest heatwaves; ice storms in Tennessee and Kentucky; hurricanes; health care costs; too little government investment in subsidised green energy; math errors; millionaires and billionaires; Wall Street; hedge fund managers; the unfairness of the debt limit law; “man-caused disasters;” “overseas contingency operations;” various seasons in the Arab world (“It’s Spring! No, maybe, it’s only Autumn! Well, OK, maybe, we were irrationally exuberant and it’s an Arab Winter!”); Congress’ unwillingness to spend more on Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious stimulus programmes; people who holiday in Las Vegas; the American form of government; people who won’t “eat their peas”; Rush Limbaugh; Sean Hannity; Glenn Beck; “enemies;” Fox News; bitterclingers; “shadowy overseas groups;” people that want “dirty air and dirty water;” Americans For Prosperity; the Heritage Foundation; the CATO Institute; our “messy system of government;” other people’s “ideologies;” people in positions of power in Washington (but not him or Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid or House Democrats or Senate Democrats); SuperPACs (except his and those of Democrats, of course); people who want to reform entitlements, i.e., Republicans, libertarians, independents, moderates, and Blue Dog Democrats (even though he has said they must be reformed because they are unsustainable); people who do not want to reform entitlements, i.e., Progressives (even though he has said they must be reformed because they are unsustainable); people who produce budgets in accordance with the law; the “Professional Left;” budget hawks because deficit spending is only “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic” when Republicans do it; Islamophobes that question the Muslim Brotherhood; the Praetorian Guard/MSM, which only very, very rarely questions the Palace’s line; people that need “revenge” taken out upon them; citizens and representatives,who don’t want to “ride in the back of the bus;” Mitt Romney, who “kills women with cancer, has stock in a company that closed a factory in Illinois and opened a new one in China (like I do), doesn’t pay taxes (like my Treasury Secretary), and has money in Cayman Island bank accounts (like my director of OMB), dontcha know?”; people, who think that our military still uses “horses and bayonets” (“Wait! WHAT? The military DOES still use bayonets and horses?!?! I’m the Commander-in-Chief! Why was I not told???”); and YouTube videos for his own failures.

Can you imagine how long the list will be by the end of 8 years???

I Hate President Barack H Obama. There, I Said It: The Case For Obama Hatred

M2RB: The Romantics

Resist We Much on March 14, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Just respond to him by calling him a troll. Laughter will follow.

VegasRick on March 14, 2013 at 12:42 PM

I know Bishop’s not a standard troll (e.g. a lib that’s just here to rile people up and not engage in meaningful conversation); however, given that the definition of troll (at least according to the gods of wikipedia) is:

7. intransitive verb online fool Internet user into responding: to lure other Internet users into sending responses to carefully designed incorrect statements

it seems like the troll label might be accurate.

He may do it to be funny rather than inflammatory; however, he’s still trolling.

JadeNYU on March 14, 2013 at 1:22 PM

“are any of those agents furloughed at the moment, by the way?”

By law, furloughs cannot start until 30 days after a notice to the employees to be furloughed go out and those have just started to go out, so they won’t start until at the earliest, April.

NoDonkey on March 14, 2013 at 2:07 PM

He really should try and run a country like, say, Russia or Cuba. He would do so much better. This whole America thing isn’t really for him. He would think so by his election but when stupid people elected you well I wouldn’t say that counts.

RDE2010 on March 14, 2013 at 2:23 PM

The White House is playing defense over the decision to cancel tours at President Obama’s residence

since when is the White House Obama’s residence? It’s the PEOPLES residence, he is just the squatter-in-chief.

Ah the reliable old media, always ready to “nuance” any story that involves their messiah.

neyney on March 14, 2013 at 2:57 PM

He really should try and run a country like, say, Russia or Cuba. He would do so much better.

No, he just would suck in a different way.

NoDonkey on March 14, 2013 at 4:36 PM

Paul-Cincy on March 14, 2013 at 11:33 AM

No, I believe Clinton was ready to cave, but Dole went to the WH and caved, betraying Newt.

INC on March 14, 2013 at 5:16 PM

As for Obama: Alinsky strategery hardest hit. I don’t think Alinsky factored in that there would be those who saw through him. Lefties are arrogant from beginning to end.

INC on March 14, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Nobody talks about the SS much but they have field offices in every major city. They are there to investigate counterfeiting and be able to provide local field information and protection for presidential visits, even for former presidents and first ladies. Surely, some of these could be cut back to meet their budget slashings.

Kissmygrits on March 15, 2013 at 8:48 AM