Great news: Americans have advanced beyond needing President to address them, or something

posted at 5:31 pm on August 28, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

In previous administrations, Presidents who ordered the military into action would go on television from the Oval Office in prime time to explain the reasons why it was necessary to put our service members in harm’s way, lay out the goals of the operation and the path to victory, and perhaps suggest a timeline for its arrival.  George W. Bush actually gave two addresses on the Iraq invasion from the Oval Office — one as it launched in March 2003, and another in December 2005 to update Americans.  In contrast, Barack Obama gave some brief remarks in the middle of the day from the East Room before starting an intervention in Libya in 2011, and now the White House has rejected an Oval Office speech before attacking Syria … as “passé”:

With military action against Syria set to begin within hours, according to reports, President Barack Obama and his administration are determining what legal route to take in order to justify the attack. According to NBC News White House reporter Chuck Todd, the administration is leery of seeking Congressional support for a mission in Syria because Congress many decline to bless such an operation. Now, according to reports from POLITICO’s Glenn Thrush, Obama may seek to avoid the American people as well.

Thrush reported on Wednesday that, based on his conversations with aides to the president, Obama will not address the American people about the mission in Syria before hostilities commence. Thrush reports that Obama’s advisors believe addressing Americans from the gravity of the Oval Office or the East Room is “passé.” Furthermore, most Americans who care about the mission in Syria will learn the logic behind it from cable news.

It’s too old-fashioned, the Obama administration says:

In one sense, they maybe right, but I’d question that logic.  They’re right only in reference to those voters who immerse themselves in politics.  The White House is looking at this from too far inside the Beltway, and overestimating the reach of cable news.  Ratings for the cable-news networks have steadily declined after last year’s election, which means much less reach. The failure to use the bully pulpit to get around the cable networks and their opinion shapers is even more inexplicable considering the success Obama had last year in engaging low-information voters by going around hard-news media and talking directly to voters through the entertainment media, who offered few if any tough questions to the celebrity incumbent.

Presidents have no better tool than an Oval Office address to get voters to rally around them, and it’s curious that Obama has eschewed it in this case. Does the White House think Americans won’t notice that Obama has started a fresh new war front if they pretend it didn’t happen?  Perhaps so, but that’s an even bigger miscalculation, and a huge missed opportunity.  I’d expect this decision to change quickly.


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A speech before sending our troops into harms way maybe passe for this community organizer and communist agitator, but that doesn’t keep that POS from deluging us with “Big Brother” addresses ad nauseaum.

Old Country Boy on August 28, 2013 at 7:53 PM

Say, what’s the record for the number of countries a single Nobel peace prize winner has ever bombed?

John Deaux on August 28, 2013 at 7:56 PM

I haven’t mentioned ‘loathe’ yet today, so there’s that.

mickytx on August 28, 2013 at 7:51 PM

Yeah, I’ve been beyond loathe for some months now. For the thin-skinned rat, for the Dems in Congress who are so hypocritical, for the media that won’t let this bastard fail simply because of the color of his skin and not the harm he is doing the nation.

Hard to be cheerful these days.

Happy Nomad on August 28, 2013 at 7:57 PM

One word … Cowardice

J_Crater on August 28, 2013 at 7:59 PM

Say, what’s the record for the number of countries a single Nobel peace prize winner has ever bombed?

John Deaux on August 28, 2013 at 7:56 PM

You may have just stumbled on a new “unprecedented and historic” event of this administration. I used to call Bill Clinton a bad steward but these criminals don’t even bother trying.

Happy Nomad on August 28, 2013 at 7:59 PM

Say, what’s the record for the number of countries a single Nobel peace prize winner has ever bombed?

John Deaux on August 28, 2013 at 7:56 PM

You may have just stumbled on a new “unprecedented and historic” event of this administration. I used to call Bill Clinton a bad steward but these criminals don’t even bother trying.

Happy Nomad on August 28, 2013 at 7:59 PM

Making the Nobel committee look like complete morons for the Nth time is just an added bonus.

slickwillie2001 on August 28, 2013 at 8:03 PM

Americans have advanced beyond needing President to address them, or something

This coming from the same guy that insisted on interrupting primetime American Idol at its historical ratings peak only to wander to the podium 10 minutes late, give a few “shout-outs” and field questions about baseball. The man’s a joke. I wouldn’t waste my time anyway. Are Bozo the Clown reruns anywhere to be found on cable?

Glenn Jericho on August 28, 2013 at 8:12 PM

I have to say that I am thrilled when he doesn’t put his face on the TV. I’m just sick of him.

Cindy Munford on August 28, 2013 at 8:24 PM

Of course, this was just another ‘isolated incident’ that in no way indicates any kind of a problem, let alone any kind of a pattern, and probably shouldn’t even be reported on by any lackey of Obama and the MSM … I mean any morally upright person.

VorDaj on August 28, 2013 at 6:41 PM

Christian Adams of PJM: “Whether these are isolated incidents or a single incident doesn’t matter. They violate federal law and the Attorney General refuses to do anything about it because of the skin color of the victims. It is no different morally than when black Americans could be treated like second class citizens and find no recourse in the law. Holder is not treating Americans with individual dignity but rather reducing their humanity to racial groups. Whether it is isolated, single or widespread matters not. It is evil. The excuses Holder makes for not enforcing the law are also evil. There is no other word for it. Good and evil must be called by name from time to time. Ask what “isolated” is? 1, 2, 3, 4? Because there are far more instances than that.”

Hinmahtooyahlatkek on August 28, 2013 at 8:34 PM

This is an easy way for Obama to bypass any sort of culpability, responsibility. It’s nothing to do with Obie. He lets his minions speak. He’s just the powerless golfer in the White House.

If Obie never publicly explains his plan and things go badly, he will just, as usual, blame the Republicans…and get away with it.

NOTHING is Obama’s fault. He is the ultimate bystander in chief. All perks, no pain, no blame.

marybel on August 28, 2013 at 8:35 PM

This sob continues to wipe his rear with the constitution but don’t worry, come 2016 I am sure he will allow us to vote him out and all will be right with the world.

JAGonzo on August 28, 2013 at 8:50 PM

The failure to use the bully pulpit to get around the cable networks and their opinion shapers is even more inexplicable

The bully pulpit is good except when it’s not. Having to explain an unconstitutional, unnecessary act to the American people is ……. Awkward. But that’s never stopped the bs artist at the WH.

conservative pilgrim on August 28, 2013 at 9:01 PM

This eliminates the possibility of a video record of Obama starting his third war.

BobMbx on August 28, 2013 at 9:01 PM

Narcissists generally do not feel obligated to explain themselves to others. Neither do megalomaniacs. Both feel that their motivations, like their superiority, should be so obvious to everyone else that no explanation is necessary.

As for sociopaths, they do not explain because (a) they believe no one else is smart enough to understand their profound wisdom and (b) it’s none of their damn business anyway.

Any or all of the above fit the behaviors exhibited by this President. Just like they fit Nixon.

clear ether

eon

eon on August 28, 2013 at 9:12 PM

From bully pulpit to chickens*** hiding in the coop!

jangle12 on August 28, 2013 at 9:13 PM

The Obama administration is treating the mainstream media as its propaganda arm.

If you want the news according to Obama, the mass media already provides that.

It makes sense for Obama to “credential” his allies by giving the public no alternative to the news according to “independent” meaning totally partisan sources.

David Blue on August 28, 2013 at 9:40 PM

Passé, schmassay. You owe the American people an explanation, you twit.

smellthecoffee on August 28, 2013 at 9:49 PM

Prezzy Valerie told her puppet to stop playing on tv and eat his peas. Thats the real reason he wont address the American People. That and he’s busy working on his golf swing.

neyney on August 28, 2013 at 10:37 PM

Watching the speech in the final scene of “Seven Days in May” last night really made me long for the days of The Great Communicator. I’m convinced if anyone could convey that message in that manner today, people would be running through fire to vote for him. That’s right, HIM. This country is NOT ready for a real leader who happens to be female.

teacherman on August 28, 2013 at 10:44 PM

Good. The less I see/hear 0bama the better.

The Nerve on August 28, 2013 at 11:05 PM

Great news: Americans have advanced beyond needing President to address them, or something

Yeah, well, this prezuhdunce, anyway.

stukinIL4now on August 28, 2013 at 11:50 PM

They are still poll-testing the language they will plug into the teleproptr for him to read.

Murphy9 on August 29, 2013 at 5:59 AM

I’m not sure we’ve ever elected anyone to the presidency who had less of an understanding of the office than Barack Obama. Even those who may not have perfectly understood the office, at least surrounded themselves with people who did.

bflat879 on August 29, 2013 at 7:39 AM

Pretty sure Oval Office speeches are carried by cable news channels.

He is such an awful person.

Missy on August 29, 2013 at 7:46 AM

Does the White House think Americans won’t notice that Obama has started a fresh new war front if they pretend it didn’t happen?

Yes, they absolutely expect that. And the actions of the media over the last 4 1/2 years show why.

Perhaps so, but that’s an even bigger miscalculation, and a huge missed opportunity.

Seems like the right calculus to me. If the White House doesn’t talk about it, it’s not news. They don’t want this to be news. Unless it turns into a land war, where we’re getting serious casualties, they’ll talk about everything else.

Missed opportunity for what? To look like a warmonger among his peacenik friends? No, he wants to keep them in the dark.

I’d expect this decision to change quickly.

I’d be stunned if it changed. Ever.

Chris of Rights on August 29, 2013 at 8:55 AM

If the Syria thing ends up going well some video will come out showing Obama forcefully pushing for it.

If it (most likely) can’t be spun in a good way at all, well Obama didn’t have anything to do with it. Some how the Tea Party will be to blame because of John McCain or something.

GardenGnome on August 29, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Caused me to review the definition of “passé”. Nope, it hasn’t changed.

Tsar of Earth on August 29, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Just put an empty in front if the camera for 20 minutes

jaywemm on August 29, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Just out an empty chair in front of the camera for 20 minutes-

jaywemm on August 29, 2013 at 2:10 PM

If ABC-CBS-NBC-CNN et al, are “old media” and “everyone” gets their info elsewhere, then who do they have to blame?

People who watch “Duck Dynasty” are better informed that those who watch MSNBC – if for no other reason by virtue of being smart enough *not* to watch MSNBC…

DrDeano on August 29, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Government is passe.

-King Barry BAMSTAHHHHHHH!!!!! YOU DA MANNNN BAMMY BABYY!!!!!! LOVE YA BARRY OL BUDDY OL PALLL!!!!!! YAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

odrizzle on 2013 at 47 PM

cableguy615 on August 29, 2013 at 9:20 PM

Comment pages: 1 2