I've been thinking. Dangerous habit and usually I want no part of it, but Wednesday when I was watching the health care news conference, the last question struck me as odd. An hour on health care and a reporter asks about a black professor being arrested? To the first black president? Huh? Why? And why would Obama answer the question? There were many way to handle it, and when he said "The police acted stupidly...," I think everyone watching knew what the headline would be the next day.
So why didn't Obama know? Why did not Mr. President Obama say "I don't have enough information." Or why didn't he say "What? An hour on health care and you ask me the black question? May I ask why you felt a need to ask the president what he thought about a disorderly conduct arrest in Massachusetts? A charge which has been dismissed? Would you have asked a white president that"
Well, I have been thinking. President Obama did know. Come on. I used to be in the newspaper business, but who spends more time thinking about what's going to be asked at press conferences and what answers to give? Me or the White House? Who spends more time on this stuff? You or the White House? I think the answer is pretty clear: The White House. Additionally, the last question was not merely the last question, it was deliberately the last question. President Obama in fact prefaced it by saying, "I kept that short so Lynn Sweet could get in her question." That struck me as odd at the time. I wondered if he knew what her question was and wanted to answer it. If it were prearranged, that might make sense. Obviously, however, given what happened that is impossible, right?
Lynn Sweet is the Washington bureau chief for the Chicago Sun-Time. She is considered to be something of a critic of the president, so it is unlikely that she was in on a plan, but is it unthinkable that the president expected her to ask a stupid, irrelevant and borderline racist question at the end of an hour long press conference on health care? Well, I thought off it, so obviously not, but I think of a lot of dumb stuff.
Like now. Now I am thinking, "What the hell is in the health care plan that the president wants us not to look at it?" The Gates arrest was national news...I dunno. With the last guy I would have thought, "Yeah, he's that dumb." With this guy, I find it unlikely.
Anyway, now we have we have had two days on Gates-Gate, and now the president gets to have a beer with Henry Louis Gates and his pal and co-conspirator Sgt. Crowley. I picture the three of them sitting in the basement of the Whitehouse with Lynn Sweet and Rahm Emamuel. Dave, the bartender at Binny's, which is across the street from Manny's, a know Obama hangout, is serving them the last of the Surly Darkness. (A wonderful beer which Binny's had run out of when we tried to order it again. Dave wasn't there either last week. Hey, it's my conspiracy theory and that was some good beer.) They are laughing at the thought of us wondering why the president felt such an urgent need to call on Lynn Sweet.
Now, I am just a neurotic paranoid, and I make stupid jokes on the Internet in my spare time, and I have since 1984, but I still wonder what the president doesn't want us to pay attention to in that health care bill?