DID OBAMA POLITICIZE THE UNVEILING OF PRESIDENTIAL PORTRAITS?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jun. 3, 2012) — On Thursday, May 31, 2012, former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura visited the White House for the official unveiling of their presidential portraits. The ceremony was held in the East Room of the White House, which Michelle Obama has used as a workout room for a television show on which she would be appearing.
Accompanying the former president were his parents, former President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara, and several of their employees while the younger Bush resided at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC.
During his remarks, Obama recalled President Bush standing on a pile of rubble with a bullhorn following the travesty of 9-11 and the meetings he had with Bush during the transition period following the 2008 election. He described the United States government as a “democracy” several times.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Obama gave a “rare public tribute” to George W. Bush during the unveiling ceremony. Another article written by The Washington Examiner states that Obama “jabbed Bush” during the ceremony, and Obama is shown pointing to Bush in which Obama’s right eyelid appears to be drooping.
The Huffington Post reported that Obama is “still bad-mouthing Bush’s time in office, blaming him for the economic crisis, the soaring federal debt and the unfinished wars the Democrat inherited from his Republican predecessor. And in the midst of an election season, Obama is trying to lump the economic policies of his current Republican rival, Mitt Romney, in with Bush’s.”
Similar to other reports, Reuters conceded that “Portrait unveiling ceremonies are traditionally devoid of partisan rhetoric, but in an election year, politics was in the air.” However, ABC News had predicted that the event would be “free of politics.” The Washington Post reported that Obama managed to “tone down his attacks for a couple of hours” and “bury the hatchet for a moment” while the Bushes and their entourage visited for the portraiture unveiling.
So how “warmly” was Bush received? Were the Obamas really “gracious and civil” to the Bushes? And why was the Obamas’ demeanor even mentioned? Would they not have behaved as would have behooved a putative president and First Lady?
During his remarks, Obama said that he and his wife had “created” an “odd atmosphere” in the White House but did not explain further.
The New York Times stated that “It was not clear whether Mr. Obama was lauding or tweaking Mr. Bush when he recalled the chaotic months after the 2008 election” when Obama said of the state of the economy when he assumed office, ““We wouldn’t know until later just how breathtaking the financial crisis had been.” In a report dated June 2, 2012, the Associated Press cited “ugly economic numbers” and Obama’s habit of blaming Bush for the poor employment situation.
In 2008, Obama had called Bush’s increase in federal spending “unpatriotic,” but Obama’s spending increased the national deficit to $1 trillion shortly after he took office. The national debt has risen a reported 50% in the same time frame. Obama’s reported campaign strategy is to continue to blame his predecessor for the poor economy, jobs outlook, and rising national debt.
Now that he is campaigning again for election, Obama has labeled Romney selfish and uncaring about “future generations” because Romney has expressed a desire to cut taxes. On Memorial Day, Obama managed to talk about himself at the Vietnam Memorial, having arrived late with his wife and the Bidens. A U.S. Cavalry captain has called Obama “insensitive” and “cruel” toward veterans and their family members by giving his Memorial Day speech at the Vietnam Memorial, thereby closing it to members of the public who traditionally pay their respects to the fallen there.
Obama normally golfs on Memorial Day. He blamed Bush for the economic situation at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner earlier this year but was “expected” to “offer the same courtesy to President Bush in speaking of his presidency” at the unveiling as Bush had shown to his predecessor on the same occasion.
Since taking office, the Obamas have spent a reported $10,000,000 on vacations, and Michelle Obama has more than 20 staff members, some of whom make a six-figure income. Obama also loaned the now-defunct Solyndra, some of whose executives were his supporters, $535,000,000 of taxpayer money which may never be recoverable. The Cato Institute called Obama’s 2009 stimulus bill ” a very expensive failure of Keynesian fiscal policy.”
The Obama campaign has called those protesting his policies and economic results “circus-like.” Similarly, he has labeled those who were clamoring for him to release his long-form birth certificate prior to April 27, 2011 to prove his claimed birth in Hawaii “carnival barkers” and participants in “sideshows” and “silliness.” He decried “nastiness” in the upcoming presidential campaign.
Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his Cold Case Posse declared the birth certificate a “computer-generated forgery” and are promising shocking revelations about Obama’s background at their next press conference scheduled for the middle of this month. While Obama might not be concerned about his “birth certificate,” members of the Cold Case Posse recently traveled to Hawaii and evidently are.
Obama has been rude in numerous other circumstances which has caused some commentators to take notice.