Heart-ache: Even MSNBC finds Obama presser “embarrassing”

posted at 2:01 pm on September 6, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

This doesn’t come from just any talking-head guest on Barack Obama’s friendliest cable-news channel, either, but from its management.  MSNBC.com executive editor Richard Wolffe — who wrote not one but two Obama-friendly books over the last four years — called the President’s performance in the St. Petersburg press conference “actually embarrassing,” and blasted the White House for pushing a dishonest rationale for war (via Mediate and The Corner):

Wolffe began by agreeing with the panel on MSNBC’s Now with Alex Wagner that the “service professionals” quoted in reports strongly questioning whether the administration had a clear and achievable goal in Syria were out of their depth. “I’m afraid we have civilian control of the military for a good reason,” he said.

However, Wolffe clarified that civilians, too, are unconvinced by the case for intervention the president has been making.

“I do think that the president’s press conference today was actually embarrassing,” Wolffe said. “It was as muddled and unconvincing.”

“If you want to take a country to a difficult place which is this authorization for war, you have to be much more clear and convincing about what the rationale is,” he continued. “At the heart of this was the absolute moral outrage of those civilians being gassed in their sleep. That’s it. And this administration cannot seem to stick to that line which is how they got into this position in the first place.”

Both Wagner and Eugene Robinson express considerable skepticism over the strategy of the White House as well.  Robinson calls this “dilemma creep,” which he says is even worse than mission creep, and says Obama should stop talking about fixing Syria — which is what John McCain wants — and just deal with deterrence on chemical weapons.  Wagner points out, though, that Obama hasn’t even made a case yet for that, not without explaining why the red line was set, explicitly invoking the “responsibility to protect” (which is what created the debacle in Libya), even to the point where military leaders can get on board.

If Obama is this far from making the sale on what has been his most friendly media ground, how much more difficult will it be four days from now, on the anniversaries of 9/11 and Benghazi, when he tries to sell the American public on military intervention that will benefit the terrorists behind both attacks?


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Oh, my! MSNBC has turned into a racist dung heap.

myiq2xu on September 6, 2013 at 2:04 PM

Long legged mac daddy gonna slap dat ho down hard!

Akzed on September 6, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Foward.

WisRich on September 6, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Ed Schultz weeps.

The persser…big jelly fish, in Armany, alone and forlorn, saying nothing at all…to a jelled world…who figured it out that they cheered for a big narcissistic socipathic muzzie brother-loving fool.

Schadenfreude on September 6, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Correction, Lean Foward.

WisRich on September 6, 2013 at 2:06 PM

Putin, the other thug of the globe, is soooo lucky.

He has obama.

Maybe Putin believe in God.

Schadenfreude on September 6, 2013 at 2:06 PM

Armany = Armani

Schadenfreude on September 6, 2013 at 2:06 PM

Cleanup on aisle 9

*popcorn moment*

workingclass artist on September 6, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Isn’t Wolffe actually the Great Gazoo from The Flintstones?

BuckeyeSam on September 6, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Racist!

pat on September 6, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Maybe Putin believe(s) in God.

Schadenfreude on September 6, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Wait till Ed Schultz runs into Richard Wolff in the hallway.

portlandon on September 6, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Just a little blip at MSNBC. They will fix it.

mobydutch on September 6, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Putin, the other thug of the globe, is soooo lucky.

He has obama.

Maybe Putin believe in God.

Schadenfreude on September 6, 2013 at 2:06 PM

Putin’s had Obama’s number for a long time…It ain’t luck to wait for others to come to grips with reality.

Preezy McBombypants is an imbecile.

workingclass artist on September 6, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Love the snarky quips about MSNBC being “racist”…

I submit that they all are a bunch of true racists, though…can’t handle the thought of smart minorities being conservatives, for instance.

22044 on September 6, 2013 at 2:10 PM

Long legged mac daddy gonna slap dat ho down hard!

Akzed on September 6, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Knock at the door

“It’s the IRS…we’ve noticed some irregularities in your finances”

workingclass artist on September 6, 2013 at 2:10 PM

I’m just thankful the tape cut out when Alex Wagner started to speak. Nothing like having a high school junior host a television program.

reddevil on September 6, 2013 at 2:10 PM

I wonder whether that Fox cable show The Americans will have an episode in which they show how the Ruskies planted some black guy in America at Occidental in the late 1970s just in case they lost the Cold War and wanted to fight their way back in a few decades.

BuckeyeSam on September 6, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Hey, where are the HA trolls? :)

Schadenfreude on September 6, 2013 at 2:12 PM

I’m listening to Geraldo. He’s not too happy, either.

Blake on September 6, 2013 at 2:12 PM

This is prep work for the speech on Tuesday…

“I was against this war, but now after this speech, the President totally made everything clear. He laid out his vision perfectly, and I’m on board now”

Chris of Rights on September 6, 2013 at 2:12 PM

I have to say I think we’d all feel a lot better about going to war if Obama hadn’t been so busy depressing us for the past six years.

Herald of Woe on September 6, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Knock at the door

“It’s the IRS…we’ve noticed some irregularities in your finances”

workingclass artist on September 6, 2013 at 2:10 PM

But this time 90% of all the people are against him, plus this is more alive than ever, and just getting oiled.

Schadenfreude on September 6, 2013 at 2:13 PM

If Obama is this far from making the sale on what has been his most friendly media ground, how much more difficult will it be four days from now, on the anniversaries of 9/11 and Benghazi, when he tries to sell the American public on military intervention that will benefit the terrorists behind both attacks?

Yeah, Mika should have shown up for work this morning in a flack jacket and kevlar helmet. Instead even MSDNC doesn’t seem to be carrying the water for Obama on this issue.

Happy Nomad on September 6, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Lean Forward!

As the ground rises up to meet you!

ajacksonian on September 6, 2013 at 2:17 PM

OT…but let’s hope this is a precursor to a return to sanity…

“Thunder From Down Under! Australia Poised To Dump Their Labour Libs In Carbon Tax Revolt”

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/

workingclass artist on September 6, 2013 at 2:17 PM

I hope the speech isn’t to the backdrop of bombs dropping ~_~

kerncon on September 6, 2013 at 2:17 PM

Putin: Kerry is a hamster and Hagel smells of elderberries.

Obama: Um..is there someone, anyone else here at the G-20 I can talk to about this military action thing?

Putin: No. Now go away before a taunt you a second time.

WisRich on September 6, 2013 at 2:17 PM

The bombastic fool assumes that obama cares about those bodies, dead or alive…to obama they are just statistics, like they were for Stalin.

Schadenfreude on September 6, 2013 at 2:18 PM

I do think that the president’s press conference today time in office was actually embarrassing,” Wolffe said. “It was as muddled and unconvincing.

Fixed.

EA_MAN on September 6, 2013 at 2:19 PM

Hey, where are the HA trolls? :)

Schadenfreude on September 6, 2013 at 2:12 PM

listening to the Indian Love Call perhaps…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MhgnMX73Pw

workingclass artist on September 6, 2013 at 2:19 PM

FORWARD

(h/t Jim Geraghty)

rockmom on September 6, 2013 at 2:20 PM

I wonder whether that Fox cable show The Americans will have an episode in which they show how the Ruskies planted some black guy in America at Occidental in the late 1970s just in case they lost the Cold War and wanted to fight their way back in a few decades.

BuckeyeSam on September 6, 2013 at 2:11

..don’t know about Fox, but the NSA on the other hand :)…maybe they can shed some light on this :)….

jimver on September 6, 2013 at 2:22 PM

Just saw on MSDNC: “Richard Wolffe has decided to leave the network to pursue other interests, he will be missed.”

The strange thing is that in the background I swear I saw a guy with slightly gray hear and wearing a suit fall screaming past the 50th floor windows.

Eh, probably just my imagination.

Bishop on September 6, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Anyone else find it strange that they care about civilians being gassed and massacred in Syria but didnt care about civilians being gassed and massacred in Iraq?

Jack_Burton on September 6, 2013 at 2:27 PM

I am ready for this administration to explain why he wants to ally with al Qaeda, al Nusrah, and Hezbollah.

RushBaby on September 6, 2013 at 2:28 PM

..don’t know about Fox, but the NSA on the other hand :)…maybe they can shed some light on this :)….

jimver on September 6, 2013 at 2:22 PM

We do not have a domestic spying program.

Happy Nomad on September 6, 2013 at 2:29 PM

I am ready for this administration to explain why he wants to ally with al Qaeda, al Nusrah, and Hezbollah.

RushBaby on September 6, 2013 at 2:28 PM

Three words. Barak Hussein Obama.

Hometown boy makes good and helps the folks back home.

Happy Nomad on September 6, 2013 at 2:30 PM

Anyone else find it strange that they care about civilians being gassed and massacred in Syria but didnt care about civilians being gassed and massacred in Iraq?

Jack_Burton on September 6, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Nothing strange about it. Red Lyin’s legacy is at stake this time.

RushBaby on September 6, 2013 at 2:30 PM

Anyone else find it strange that they care about civilians being gassed and massacred in Syria but didnt care about civilians being gassed and massacred in Iraq?

Jack_Burton on September 6, 2013 at 2:27 PM

For that matter, why isn’t the United States intervening in Chicago? Detroit? New Orleans? Seems to me that there is as much urgency in protecting lives these places and it is in the national interest.

Happy Nomad on September 6, 2013 at 2:32 PM

HT Twitchy.

http://twitchy.com/2013/09/06/potus-is-on-fi-yah-a-hilarious-quick-video-summary-of-obamas-week/

MontanaMmmm on September 6, 2013 at 2:28 PM

Good Lord in Heaven!!!!

ROFLMAO!!! Windex. Tissues.

Key West Reader on September 6, 2013 at 2:34 PM

For that matter, why isn’t the United States intervening in Chicago? Detroit? New Orleans? Seems to me that there is as much urgency in protecting lives these places and it is in the national interest.

Happy Nomad on September 6, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Because even the U.S. Army would have difficulty subduing the armed forces in those blue cities; Chicago makes Fallujah look like Club Med in comparison.

Bishop on September 6, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Anyone else find it strange that they care about civilians being gassed and massacred in Syria but didnt care about civilians being gassed and massacred in Iraq?

Jack_Burton on September 6, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Stooge. Get off the stage.

Key West Reader on September 6, 2013 at 2:36 PM

Tuesday will be his Waterloo…

PatriotRider on September 6, 2013 at 2:40 PM

“Sen. Bob Corker: “What is it you’re seeking?”

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: “I can’t answer that, what we’re seeking.”

— Senate hearing on the use of force in Syria, Sept. 3

The YOLO Doctrine in full effect.” – Ace

http://ace.mu.nu/

workingclass artist on September 6, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Because even the U.S. Army would have difficulty subduing the armed forces in those blue cities; Chicago makes Fallujah look like Club Med in comparison.

Bishop on September 6, 2013 at 2:35 PM

But the oppositionists are the good guys, right? :-0

Happy Nomad on September 6, 2013 at 2:48 PM

I find it incredibly galling that this rat wants to sell us on bombing a whole bunch of people we not sure about but we couldn’t even spend a dime to check on 4 people in Libya who were our own – who were all murdered – and for what? This man is a traitor. He is a clear and present danger to us and our Republic – and so are all of his followers. The time to put an end to this is coming – soon.

HomeoftheBrave on September 6, 2013 at 2:50 PM

[we're not sure about]… sheesh. I was pissed.

HomeoftheBrave on September 6, 2013 at 2:51 PM

“If Obama is this far from making the sale on what has been his most friendly media ground, how much more difficult will it be four days from now, on the anniversaries of 9/11 and Benghazi, when he tries to sell the American public on military intervention that will benefit the terrorists behind both attacks?”

..what a day-brightener, Ed! You have a penchant for dropping these 20-megaton air bursts that cause a tingle to run up my leg!

The War Planner on September 6, 2013 at 2:55 PM

Three words. Barak Hussein Obama.

Hometown boy makes good and helps the folks back home.

Happy Nomad on September 6, 2013 at 2:30 PM

For Allah and (muzzie)countries.

antipc on September 6, 2013 at 2:57 PM

Correction, Lean Foward.

WisRich on September 6, 2013 at 2:06 PM

Isn’t that just another way of saying “bend over”..?

affenhauer on September 6, 2013 at 3:04 PM

And jeebus, Wolffe, do some shoulder shrugs or presses or something, you have the topline of a woman.

Bishop on September 6, 2013 at 3:14 PM

How can Chris Matthews stand to work there under racist management? He has told us repeatedly that if you disagree with Obama, you are a racist… the science is settled, so to speak.

drunyan8315 on September 6, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Looks like Mr. Teleprompter is broken at MSNBC, too.

HiJack on September 6, 2013 at 3:24 PM

Fascinating that a “brilliant” Harvard-trained lawyer such as Obama — president of the Law Review, no less! — could be so completely incapable of making a persuasive, or even coherent, argument in support of his own position.

Apparently, when the American public was assured that Barry was “brilliant,” that was a reference to Barry’s gleaming smile, and not to his intelligence or talent.

AZCoyote on September 6, 2013 at 3:32 PM

“At the heart of this was the absolute moral outrage of those civilians being gassed in their sleep. That’s it.”

In their sleep. That’s even worse. Bombs and guns, no problem, just don’t gas people in their sleep.

If we are really going to start wars over moral outrage, we suddenly have a lot of countries on the bomb list.

Meremortal on September 6, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Democrats: Victims of Their Own Success

Look, it is undeniable that the spectre of Afghanistan and Iraq is hanging over this debate and partly to blame, but have you ever considered:

1) Democrats are victims of their own success; and

2) Bush wasn’t as stupid and Obama isn’t as smart as you’ve claimed; and

3) The Left’s past projection was wrong: ‘Hey, the Islamists don’t hate us. Some, like Assad, are actually ‘reformers.’ The Middle East just hates George W Bush and world will change completely when we take over; and

4) The claim that Republicans loved bombing brown people and were racists, bigots, and Islamophobes might have been wrong and a complete misunderstanding of the members of a misogynistic, racist, homophobic, bigoted, child-abusing, xenophobic, tribalistic, antisemitic, Christophobic, maniacal, thin-skinned, homicidal, suicidal, totalitarian, 7th century death cult that hate us; and

5) Unilateralism is only bad when Republican Presidents DON’T DO IT, but is great when Democratic Presidents act in such a manner; and

6) The UN is the must ‘go-to’ body when Republicans are in office, but when Democrats are, it’s not so much; and

7) See #6 relative to the UK; and

8) See #6 relative to coalition building; and

9) See #6 relative to NATO; and

10) See #6 relative to the Arab League; and

11) See #6 relative to the Pope; and

12) See #6 relative to Congress; and

13) See #6 relative to the American people (Bush had over 70% APPROVAL for Iraq – higher for Afghanistan – while Obama has no more than about 29% support in ANY poll for his Syrian misadventure); and

14) Perchance, ‘Bush lied, people died!’ wasn’t such a great long-term strategy since he was relying on the same intelligence agencies you now demand that we trust; and

15) Playing politics with foreign policy and war (see John Kerry’s campaign manager, the 0-7 Bob Shrum, who admitted that a political/campaign decision was made by the Kerry campaign to turn Iraq into ‘Bush’s bad war’) wasn’t as smart and forward-thinking as it appeared back in late 2003 and 2004; and

16) Setting out to purposefully humiliate a President when he is a Republican might have been a mistake because elephants have long memories; and

17) Declaring ‘This war is lost!’ when American troops are on the battlefield and actually winning might give people the idea that ALL military interventions will be lost so they might as well just avoid them altogether; and

18) Claiming that a Republican POTUS went to ‘war for oil’ doesn’t play too well now that a natural gas pipeline in Syria for Qatar and the Saudis is in play; and

19) Playing on the emotions of Americans has a way of biting back because this:

‘He betrayed this country! He played on our fears. He took America on an ill-conceived foreign adventure dangerous to our troops!’

- Former Vice-President Al Gore, 2004

is becoming this:

‘He’s playing this country! He’s playing on our guilt! He wants to take American into another ill-conceived foreign adventure dangerous to our troops!’

and

20. Arguing that Bush was a ‘dumb cowboy’ and Obama was ‘smart, pragmatic and disciplined’ when the latter has denied that he even drew his own red line (He did…and even his SecState, John Lurch Kerry, and would-have-been partner, Muffin Cameron, agree) makes it hard for Americans to believe anything that he says and even more difficult to see him as ‘smart, pragmatic, disciplined man that you can trust to always do the right thing’ that he was sold as.

You see, while Iraq and Afghanistan are absolutely affecting public sentiment, so are all of the allegations and words that were made and screamed by Democrats during Bush’s Presidency. And, perhaps, the antiwar Left convinced the public to say ‘No way!’ to ‘preemptive, unilateral, imperialistic military interventions in the Middle East.’

Just maybe, you are the victim of your own success.

Now, if you liked this, just wait until you get a load of the entire piece that I’m writing in your honour!

Resist We Much on September 6, 2013 at 4:02 PM

“At the heart of this was the absolute moral outrage of those civilians being gassed in their sleep. That’s it.”

There’s a reason that you won’t hear that as the reason to go to war…because it’s not a valid reason to go to war. Same reason why you won’t hear the President say “He dissed me in front of my boys, so I gotsta earn my cred back” as the reason for war.

nextgen_repub on September 6, 2013 at 4:09 PM

There’s a reason that you won’t hear that as the reason to go to war…because it’s not a valid reason to go to war. Same reason why you won’t hear the President say “He dissed me in front of my boys, so I gotsta earn my cred back” as the reason for war.

nextgen_repub on September 6, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Yep, America’s inner-city street culture applied to international relations.

slickwillie2001 on September 6, 2013 at 4:14 PM

He can’t state a reason because he doesn’t have a good one.

He can’t even convince his own party, other than those who wear the knee pads and love everything he does.

Everything is about elections for the Dems. He can’t afford to have this turn out badly. He knows he will look like a bigger fool to the world.

In the end he wants the Republicans to bail him out by turning him down.

Obama has no leadership skills. His only skills were the ability to read a teleprompter with feeling. Other than that, he can’t develop a solution to anything. His whole world has been about creating problems and exploiting them for political gain. Creating solutions was never something on his resume. No wonder he is, and will remain, a failure.

goflyers on September 6, 2013 at 4:38 PM

that Obama hasn’t even made a case yet for that, not without explaining why the red line was set, explicitly invoking the “responsibility to protect”

that IS the probelm. thats the whole problem. he’s dragging the country into a war for a reason that is UNconstitutional, R2P. which is at its heart an UNamerican philosphy. and rejected by americans for centuries. he CANT SAY that. he has to pretend its about something esle. as he always has to. he bascially has to lie all the time. he CANT explain the REAL reason he does anything. which is WHY he has to use prompter so much. the truth may slip out accidentally if he doesnt. he deosnt say “i am taking over the health insurance industry to collapse the employer-provided insur markets and the private health insur business to lead to a socialsit single-payer system so the goverment has control of you from birth, if you make past abortion that is, til death, which may come sooner than you think with the death panels”. no, he cant SAY that. its all a lie. always. we’re done.

t8stlikchkn on September 6, 2013 at 5:04 PM

…bend forward!

KOOLAID2 on September 6, 2013 at 7:21 PM

Two points:
1) Let’s look at Obama’s record. He went into Libya, unilaterally, and promised us that we would not be leading this effort and that it would take, “not months or weeks, but days”. It lasted for months. Today, Libya is the best kept secret about the chaos that is taking place there. Why should we believe him and why does he think the situation will be different from Libya today?
2) Obama made his first comments in 2011. What Obama did was nothing more than a bully. He used this as bravado during an election year, but never planned being called on the carpet. We need a leader that will actually be ready to strike when the time calls. He had two years to find the storage facilities and get Congressional approval to strike them immediately, if circumstances warrant. Instead, we have a President who loves to travel to adoring fans, pick up a few donations on the way, do a daytime/late night appearance, blame and scare.

djaymick on September 6, 2013 at 8:04 PM

Because even the U.S. Army would have difficulty subduing the armed forces in those blue cities; Chicago makes Fallujah look like Club Med in comparison.

Bishop on September 6, 2013 at 2:35 PM

I sure hope that was a /s remark. A bunch of bangers with 9mm’s may be hard on children in baby carriages, but don’t ever think they could or even would stand up to trained modern infantry.

yesiamapirate on September 7, 2013 at 10:00 AM