Obama: Minutes after President Obama finished his birth certificate press conference, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer tweeted out: “Hope everyone saw POTUS talk about how sideshows are distracting us from the real issues we need to confront as a nation.” To which ABC News’ Jake Tapper responded: “I did, and now instead of doing a story about Panetta/Petreaus, I’ll be covering the birther nonsense! wait, what?”
The White House could have chosen any day to release Obama’s birth certificate. It would have been perfect for one of their patented Friday news dumps. Instead, they chose the exact same day news broke about the largest national security shakeup of the Obama administration. Gen. David Petraeus to head up the CIA and Leon Panetta will be named Secretary of Defense. Absent the birther dump, the White House would have been fielding question’s about what these moves mean for the wars in Afghanistan and Libya, as well as for defense spending. Instead, Obama got to wag his finger and escape Washington without any questions so he could go hang out with Oprah.
The Fed: Foreign policy is not the only issue Obama managed to kick off the front page today. In the Federal Reserve Chairman’s first ever press conference, Ben Bernanke said the Obama recovery was continuing to “moderate” and that “unemployment will remain elevated” for some time.
The American people already knew this though. Gallup reports that more than half of Americans (55%) describe the U.S. economy as being in a recession or depression. And McClatchy reports that 57% of registered voters disapprove of Obama’s economic management, while only 40 percent approved, the lowest score of his presidency.
Daniels: The Indiana House of Representatives approved an anti-abortion bill last night, thus forcing Gov. Mitch Daniels to make a decision, which could reveal his White House intentions. The most important part of the bill cuts off funding for Planned Parenthood, a provision which, could open the door for the Obama HHS to cut off Medicaid funds to Indiana entirely. The bill provides Daniels with a golden opportunity to clarify the meaning of his “truce” on social issues comment. Daniels has said that abortion shouldn’t “get in the way of the really crucial” objectives he had for Indiana. He has also told Laura Ingraham that “ours has been without question the most pro-life administration in our state’s history.” And when he walked back his original truce comments, he cast abortion in a fiscal light, telling Michaerl Gerson that promoting abortion with international family planning funds is one of “a thousand things we shouldn’t be spending money on.” Now we will see if that same fiscal reasoning applies to Planned Parenthood as well.
The imploding liberal welfare states: Yesterday, Massachusetts became the latest state to restrict government union collective bargaining rights as part of an effort to control spending. The state house approved a measure that would strip police officers, teachers, and other municipal employees of most of their leverage to bargain over health care. Meanwhile in Los Angeles, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa ordered his managers to impose furloughs on 6,300 government union workers who voted against a plan to cut that city’s budget. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is looking more prophetic everyday.