Over at Real Clear Politics, Salena Zito of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is calling President Obama an America-hater:
Obama's Stunning Snub
... In nine days, [Gettysburg] will commemorate the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's speech with a ceremony at the ... Soldiers' National Cemetery featuring the U.S. Marine Band, Governor Tom Corbett, and a reading of the Gettysburg Address.
One person who will not be among those honoring Lincoln is President Barack Obama.
The White House gave no reason why the president would not attend.
According to the National Park Service, Obama has never visited the battlefield as president....
It would be an occasion for him to honor a crucial time in our past, to create a historical bridge to today.
His dismissal of the request shows a man so detached from the duty of history, from the men who served in the White House before him, that it is unspeakable in its audacity.
Ask almost any person in this historic town; even his most ardent supporters here are stunned....
Stunned? Really? I've searched for Gettysburg at the archived White House website of President George W. Bush, and it turns out that Bush never spoke there as president either. (Lynne Cheney did make a speech there on the anniversary of the Address in 2002.) Were locals "stunned" by that snub?
(Bush did tour the battleground site in 2008, but that was the only time he ever went there as president.)
Yes, I know -- November 19, 2013, is going to be the 150th anniversary of the speech. None of the anniversaries during the Bush years included a significant-sounding number like that. So what about the president who was in office on the 125th anniversary? What did he do?
Well, on Saturday, November 19, 1988, President Ronald Reagan gave a Thanksgiving radio address with no mention of Gettysburg, signed a bill on procurement fraud into law, and appeared on videotape at a roast for Chicago sportscaster Harry Caray. He also issued three proclamations: one "to implement changes to the harmonized tariff schedule of the United States," one commemorating National Family Week, and another commemorating National Home Care Week.
No, he did not go to Gettsyburg. (The most prominent speaker at the 125th anniversary commemoration was Chief Justice William Rehnquist.)
In fact, Reagan never went to Gettysburg as president -- although he did go to the battlefield in the summer of 1976. (He was running for president that year and spent the previous day meeting with uncommitted Pennsylvania delegates.) And he'd gone to Gettysburg a decade earlier, in 1966, to pick up the endorsement of Dwight Eisenhower, a Gettysburg resident, during his campaign for governor of California.
So that's two Reagan appearances, neither when he was president, and both when he was running for something.
In fact, the Adams County Historical Society maintains a list of presidential appearances at Gettysburg, and only three presidents in the last half-century make the list: Nixon, Carter, and George W. Bush.
I told you last year that there was nothing unusual about President Obama's decision not to commemorate D-Day -- George W. Bush did it only twice in his eight years as president. This is an idiotic faux-scandal just like that one.
UPDATE, 11/19: I see that National Journal's Ron Fournier and a significant portion of the NJ staff are all over this non-story. Look, I'm just a schmuck blogger, and I found out what other presidents did on this anniversary. You're the real journalists. What's your problem?