SOMETIMES, A DATE IS JUST A DATE…. Ordinarily, this is the kind of human-interest story that I wouldn’t even read. Apparently, though, it’s angered quite a few Republicans, so I guess we might as well take a look at.
The first couple, known for having weekend date nights, later made a visit Saturday night to New York City for what the White House is calling a personal visit. The New York Times reports that the Obamas are seeing the Broadway show, “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.”
According to a White House spokesperson, Obama said he was taking his wife to the Big Apple “because I promised her during the campaign that I would take her to a Broadway show after it was all finished.”
Good for them; I’m sure it’s nice for the Obamas to get out once in a while. Their date led to some street closings in NYC, but folks in the city nevertheless seemed pleased to see the First Couple: “As the motorcade left the West Village and drove up Sixth Avenue to the theater, crowds of people, at times about eight deep, gathered on the sidewalks of the blockaded streets to wave as the Obamas passed. Some cheered…. The Obamas left the theater after the play and were greeted by more cheers from enthusiastic bystanders along New York streets as they headed back for the flight to Washington.”
So, what’s the problem? “The Republican National Committee slammed the outing in an ‘RNC Research Piece’: ‘As President Obama prepares to wing into Manhattan’s theater district on Air Force One to take in a Broadway show, GM is preparing to file bankruptcy and families across America continue to struggle to pay their bills.”
First, the Obamas didn’t take the usual Air Force One jet. It’s a short flight, and the First Couple took a smaller plane (technically, any plane the president is on automatically becomes Air Force One, but the point is, the Obamas didn’t take the Air Force One).
Second, by the RNC’s reasoning, the Obamas would never be able to enjoy a nice evening out, since there’s always something going on in the world. (“The president went to his daughter’s soccer game in the midst of two wars? Outrageous!”)
And third, isn’t this whining unusually small-minded, even by RNC standards? The President took the First Lady on a date to NYC. They didn’t even spend the night in the city. Is everything grounds for petty, partisan sniping?
Far-right blogs seem to think so. One prominent blogger complained, without a hint of humor, “[N]ote that the Obamas went to a ‘black’ show. When does he ever pay homage to his white side?” Another added, “Obama also promised a middle class tax cut and healthcare reform, but obviously those can wait.”
Rumor has it, Obama occasionally eats and sleeps, too. The nerve. Doesn’t the president realize he has things to do?