Monday, November 11, 2013


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?


Victor said...

I see another future faux scandal, a-comin'!

Will President Obama be going to Dallas a few days later?

And if not, why not?

Isn't the 50th anniversary of President JFK's assassination important for the current President to mark with his presence?

Mark my words.

Never Ben Better said...

I believe this reflects the right's massive frustration at Obama's refusal to give them any substantive scandal to attack on. So they make do with whatever phony-baloney crap they can come up with, secure in the knowledge that the rabid base will gobble it up.

Filth said...

You know who ELSE never went to Gettysburg, right?

aimai said...

Yes, of all our Presidents President Obama has the least personal and political connection to President Lincoln and to Gettysburg. Not going *must* be a deliberate snub.

FFS the guy has alluded to Lincolm a million times, was a Senator from Illinois and is, somewhat famously , a black man (whose white mother, btw, was descended from one of the first Virginian African Slaves and who is married to the descendant of Slaves). I think we could take it as read that Lincoln and the Civil War are not being "snubbed" by Obama.

Joseph Nobles said...

That's it. I'm not voting for Obama next election.

Ten Bears said...

Fuck the South. In-bred dog fuckers. Another couple of inches of sea level rise and the shit will all wash out to sea.

Hitler was so enamoured of the solution to our "Indian Problem" that today the Jews are employing it on_ Palistine.

Dave Pickering said...

Consider the source. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is owned by Richard Mellon Scaife--one of the right wing's biggest sugar daddies. Scaife was the money behind the "Arkansas Project" and the Tribune-Review is so slanted is makes Faux News actually seem "fair and balanced" by comparison.