Pres O: In Campaign Mode and All Fired Up

By Craig R. Hall

“He ran calling wildfire …”

At least that seems to be the campaign slogan for Colorado. Did you catch President Obama’s latest campaign stopover in Colorado Springs last week? It would be hard not to, what with all of the hype, promises and rhetoric that raged across the foothills of Colorado with more ferociousness than the fires themselves.

In his remarks to America, after taking nearly three hours out of his busy campaign schedule to assess the damage and allow the serfs to fully share and understand the depth of his expertise in fighting wildfires, our president offered up the following hits from his “top forty” count down.

First up, and holding steady with an amazing three and a half years on our countdown, is “It’s still early in the fire season, and we still got a lot more work to do.” Despite the fact that “we’ve” got a lot of work to do out here in Colorado before, during and after your photo-op, that’s Obamaspeak for wildfires. In other words, “It’s George Bush’s fault, and if you’d just give my programs more time, and me four more years in office, I can really screw this country over.”

Next on our list, but fading just a little more each week is, “We’re starting to see progress.” Never mind the fact that after nearly three weeks of burning, all fire containment will show progress, as the earth they scorch runs out of fuel to burn. Does this remind anyone of Obama’s economic policies for our country? My thoughts run to how the president takes credit for any positive signs in our economy, like factory orders going up simply due to the fact that companies have run out of inventory and eventually have to buy inventory so they can stay in business. Quite frankly, he should have released this little, b-side ditty under his cover name of Joe Biden.

Now it’s time for that one-hit wonder, “We’re not out of the woods yet.” Well Mr. President, if the government keeps up its stellar record of managing public lands under the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Department of the Interior as it has shown over the years in letting its fleet of fire-fighting tankers deteriorate, taking over land by the millions of acres and showing a total lack of understanding of fire prevention, all while bowing down to the environmental lobby, the good news in that your totally insensitive comment will have no meaning soon, as there will be no woods left to burn in the US. Toss in a duet with the inept Ken “the Hat” Salazar in charge, and there’s no telling how this will burn up the charts. But I’m guessing the real opportunity won’t happen until (heaven forbid) a wildfire hits near Vail, Aspen or any place real Americans who can donate the big bucks live.

But my favorite is climbing the charts fast and furious, “The country’s got your backs” as it relates to the firefighters. Let’s forget about the fact that our rescue workers are some of the most admired people in our country and that almost every American understood this before your empty rhetoric. What offends me the most is that these words match your latest offering in campaign ads. You know the one; the oddly, ethnic-sounding campaign spot with the folks doo-whopping, “We’ve got your back” in the background? Right before, of course, you ask for some money.

And that is what this comes down to for our embattled president. This was a campaign promotion because Obama needs the two things every president needs when his administration is a complete and utter flop–like the latest offering from Vanilla Ice: Votes and money.

Colorado is a swing state and an opportunity to act like Obama cares, in the exact opposite way than George Bush didn’t after Katrina is just too sweet to pass up. And nothing says I care about the people of this country like standing in the charred ruins of what was some unknown citizens’ home, offering all the resources the taxpayers can provide, not meeting with evacuees (well this was time sensitive campaign-wise and billionaires were waiting in New York and California) and taking pictures with firefighters. I’m just surprised Obama’s team didn’t have Kanye West do a reprise of his famous hit, “George Bush (and therefore Republicans) hates black people” for the score of the docudrama that played out on Air Force One on the ride back to where the money is.

You see, coinciding with the release of the photos from Colorado Springs (the nicest backdrop of all the wildfires in our state, with its Air Force Academy columns and all) of Obama looking presidential and his script offering up talking points was one picture most of the country missed. That would be the picture of Obama on the “special phone” on Air Force One for nearly 20 minutes begging for campaign cash in the way an incumbent president only can. And that would be after a carefully-scripted, photo op of a disaster that real Americans are suffering through, offering up tax dollars we, the country, do not have, all wrapped up in a swing state opportunity too good to pass up.

And while that may look presidential to some, to the vast majority of Americans, it is the least presidential thing a president can do.

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