Machiavelli: Call your agent!
that's the take of John Hinderaker over at Powerline:
Although Gibbs doesn't come out and say it, it appears that Obama's "acted stupidly" line was not a spur of the moment blunder, but rather scripted commentary that he worked out in advance with his aides.
I had wondered a bit myself, it this remark had not been calculated as a stalking horse to distract the country from the odiousness of his public health proposals.
I kept telling myself it was too Machiavellian, and I should just Keep it Simple!
Hinderaker cites the exchange on Fox News Sunday:
BAIER: Presidents, before prime time news conferences, usually have detailed preparation sessions. And President Obama has already had four time prime time news conferences.
Before Wednesday's news conference, did you prepare him for a question about Henry Gates's arrest in Cambridge?
GIBBS: Well, look, let's just say, it's safe to say we went over a whole lot of topics that we thought might come up, and certainly, this was a topic that was and has been in the news.
I think the president, on Friday, spoke about the fact that he hadn't calibrated his words well probably unnecessarily added to the media frenzy around what was going on in Cambridge, so much so that even the police officer, Sergeant Crowley, that he talked to, from Cambridge, asked him for advice on how to get the press off of his -- off of his lawn, and the president said, "I'm trying to figure out how to get the press off my lawn, too."
BAIER: You know, you -- so you prepared him for the question, or at least made him aware that it could come up. Did he read the police report beforehand?
GIBBS: I don't know if the president read the police report. I think the president was clear in discussing the fact that he did not know all the details of what had transpired in Cambridge.
My guess is that only a very few people know exactly what happened in every instance in that. Again, I know the president...
BAIER: I guess my question is, early on, did he determine that he was going to take sides to back his friend to the extent that he did Wednesday?
GIBBS: Well, again, I think the president discussed the notion that saying beforehand that he knew Professor Gates, that he didn't have all the details, and in hindsight understands that his words were not calibrated as they should have been.
Gibbs even repeats the same lame "calibrated" remark that Obama tried to use to excuse himself!
So, now there are more possibilities!
A) It was a stupid and careless remark based on insufficient facts.
B) It was calculated to distract the public from an odious health plan by making inflammatory statements against the police
C) It was calculated to be a "teachable moment" to bring us poor rubes in America where we needed to be in the matters of race relationships.
D) A and B but not C
E) B and C but not A
F) All of the above
Whatever it was, it appears to have backfired on Obama, unless it was "B", in which case it may have succeeded beyond his wildest dreams!
Cross posted at Say Anything