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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Obama Bush

      So, are you fixin' to visit the president when he speaks in Warren today? Well unless you have a note from your mommy, stop fixin'.
      A funny thing happened on the way to the White House.  President Barack Obama caught the same disease that other presidents have had i.e. let's keep unsavory citizens critical of our policies from infiltrating our public events.
      Recall that candidate Obama routinely gave speeches and staged town hall meetings by opening the doors to whomever wanted to attend.  Frankly it was a refreshing break from the way President George Bush did it and the Obama folks were fond of pointing out the difference between the two.
      Three cheers for transparency.
      So when it was announced last week th at the new president was coming to Macomb County for a town hall meeting, it was assumed it would be 'first come, first served."
       If you have an invite, you can come in.  If you don't you can watch it on the tube. 
       So much for change.
      Actually this shift in strategy has been bubbling in the White House since earlier this month when veteran correspondents Helen Thomas and NBC's Chip Reid got into it with Press Secretary Gibbs.
      The essence of the exchange was, if you guys are so transparent why are you controlling audiences who ask the questions?
       Gibbs put on his tap shoes and danced around the sticky wicket.
      Now the Obama handlers have nixed the townhall format and are calling it a speech.
      Speech. Smeech.
      If you are for openness in government, why is it invite only?
      You can hear the "security" argument and while that is a factor, you can install metal detectors to address that.
      Unfortunately President Obama  has not invented a machine to detect those who would shout him down during his remarks.
      How un-American is that?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Free speech is American; shouting down someone so that those who want to hear the speaker cannot do so is rude and inappropriate. Our rights are not meant as a method to infringe on the rights of others. The President and those that agree with him have free speech rights too.

Having said that I think he should include some of both types of events: some with anyone who wants to attend so that he is not insulated and hears the good and the bad, and some where he invites people who have a legitimate interest in actually listening to his message and not overrunning it with one of their own.

July 14, 2009 at 8:50 AM 
Blogger MaggieMI said...

Could it have anything to do, in this case, with crowd control?!

July 14, 2009 at 6:31 PM 
Blogger Communications guru said...

Well, the big difference I can see. Mr. Skubick, is that a loyalty oath isn’t required, and, as I understand it, the tickets were given out via lottery to students and facility at MCC. It’s kind of hard to screen people via a lottery.

I love watching “Off the Record.” Keep up the good work.

July 15, 2009 at 10:17 AM 
Anonymous Tom Mitchell, Mt. Pleasant said...

Tim, For those who believe in Santa, the Easter Bunny, Global Warming, Al Gore, and the Obama Administration being about change and truth, please find the following link to a largely ignored CBS report showing how easy it is to keep the facts from getting in the way of a good story. Please review this yourself and share the truth with your readers.

July 15, 2009 at 8:53 PM 

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