After taking his beating last night, news agencies expected Barack Obama to at least make a short speech congratulating Hillary Clinton and emphasizing the need for unity. Apparently, he could not be bothered, leaving the evening to Hillary while Obama pretended that West Virginia didn’t exist as West Virginians returned the favor. Karl Rove found this surprising, and told Greta van Susteren that it made him look like a “sore loser”:
Rove makes a good point about Obama’s missed opportunity. What better time exists to attempt to bridge the gap between his campaign and West Virginia than in the aftermath of their vote? A national leader would have taken the stage and spoken, not just to West Virginians but to the entire country, about unity and vision instead of pouting in silence.
In fact, this really was a strange decision. Obama had an easy opportunity for “earned media”, which means essentially free national airtime. While it might be understandable that he wanted to downplay the importance of West Virginia, why not take the free airtime to talk about other upcoming states? Taken along with his decision to end the debates with Hillary, it almost seems as though Obama has grown tired of national attention — a rather strange quality for someone who wants to run for President.
Note, too, that Fox News went out of its way to find an Obama speech to fill the time, even while he himself didn’t think to provide a counter to his opponent. Fair and balanced? You decide.