Monday, September 21, 2009

Obama is everywhere (almost)

If President Obama employed a Rose Garden strategy and restricted his movements to the short walk between the Oval Office and the family living quarters in the White House, he'd be criticized from all sides for being too cloistered - and rightly so.

Instead, Obama is all over the place, and some are getting on him for that.

At this writing, shortly past 12:30 p.m. Monday, he's just departed Hudson Valley Community College in Troy following a speech on education, technology and, yes, health care, among other matters. (Local Congressmen Hinchey and Murphy, as well as Assemblyman Cahill, were in the VIP section.) Now he's off to New York City and his first appearance before the United Nations General Assembly and a late night visit to David Letterman's CBS program.

It's the TV blitz that really has attracted attention, particularly his sweep of all the network Sunday morning political chat fests. All except Fox News, which he conspicuously bypassed.

Who could blame him? Obama already is famously on record as telling an interviewer, "I've got one television station that is entirely devoted to attacking my administration."

But I have a different take.

Sure, Fox News is slanted right to a fault. But it does have a large audience and Obama is the president of the United States. Moreover, he's an extremely articulate and brainy president (unlike his predecessor) who is move than capable of handling a Fox News interview, even if it proves hostile.

It says here, Obama had nothing to lose by going into the lion's den. And he may have even won a few converts in the Fox News audience choir.

Now, in addition to the real and imagined gripes Fox News airs about the president, it can say he wasn't man enough to face its interrogation. (Fox News' Chris Wallace already is calling Obama's people "crybabies.") Obama doesn't need and could have avoided that.
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