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Obama Mourns Lawmaker but Not Tornado Victims

by Keith Koffler on March 6, 2012, 3:57 pm

President Obama today stopped himself as he was about to leave the podium to end his press conference and returned to the microphone to express condolences to the family of “a friend of mine,” Rep. Donald Payne, (D-N.J.), whose death was announced today following a bout with cancer.

But there was nothing in Obama’s press conference about some 40 of his countrymen who died from a plague of tornadoes that roared across the middle of the country late last week.

As far as I can tell, Obama, though he called the governors of the affected states, has said nothing at all publicly about the tragedy, in which many were maimed as well as killed, towns eradicated, and lives ruined. Not even a written statement has been released.

And yet the president took a moment to remember a single Congressman he happened to know who died at the age of 77, after earlier releasing a written statement about Payne’s death. It’s sad, but it doesn’t campare to the tragedy surrounding the storms.

Obama’s tribute for Payne and not for the storm victims isn’t consistent with the image the president seeks to cultivate for himself as someone who cares about the average citizen over and above the elite.

Michelle Obama, to her credit, mentioned the storms at fundraising stops in Missouri Monday, offering prayers for those affected “on behalf of myself and my husband.” But that only underscores that even the White House understood that it was appropriate for something to be said, and there is no reason the president can’t do so by himself instead of through his wife.

Yesterday I wrote that Obama had taken time to call a Georgetown University Law student who had been insulted by Rush Limbaugh while waiting until Saturday to speak with three of the governors of the affected state. It was pointed out to me that he had actually called six governors Thursday, and so I decided my original story that he hadn’t devoted time to the tragedy was unfair.

The president expressed condolences through the governors. But the president is, as our nation’s leader, expected to use the bully pulpit to comfort the bereaved and the injured and express the nation’s sorrow. His utter silence is incomprensible to me, and an insult to the victims.

This is not the first time Obama has insufficiently addressed tragedy. He was criticized for being slow in his response to the BP oil spill.

Obama should make a statement in person about the tornadoes, and then go to the area and help the healing process by witnessing some of the damage.

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

One Mad Woman March 6, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Hmmm, I don’t know – could it possibly that since these are states that contain some politically red that he has decided that they no longer exist? This is blatant disrespect and if there are any people left that support him in these states after this abominable treatment then they deserve what they get; for the rest of them – they have my prayers.

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Star March 7, 2012 at 11:27 am

In my opinion, one of your prayers is worth more than some phony walk-through by the president.

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srdem65 March 6, 2012 at 4:09 pm

A kindly word of concern for those affected would have cost him nothing and gained him a lot. A leader must show concern for his people.

As I listened to PMNetanyahu yesterday I heard a man who loves his country, his people, and would do anything to keep them safe and secure.
The PM’s pride for his country’s progress, for all of their compassion for others was a stark reminder that our President never speaks of America in that way. Americans have been chastised, berated, insulted, and dismissed as too stupid for their own good by our President and his supporters.
MrObama could learn from the PM of Israel on how to garner his people’s support and earn the respect of all he governed.

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Brenda A. March 6, 2012 at 7:35 pm

I don’t think he’s responding b/c if he did, the media would cover it, it would be public and then he would have to DO something. By not making a public statement, he can get away with his inertia. Who’s going to call him on it (other than you, Keith!), the MSM?

But he’s consistent. He didn’t respond last year either.

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Star March 7, 2012 at 11:28 am

Well, you know how irritating weather is.

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Lizzy March 6, 2012 at 4:42 pm

He doesn’t care and why subject those suffering to a pandering photo op?
Haven’t they suffered enough it just show’s what a cold vile miserable man he truly is to care more about a conceited little girl who wants free sex than people who have lost everything including their loved ones. But he did remember a Democrat who died. Cold unfeeling calculating man not fit to be
President.

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Jojo March 6, 2012 at 4:59 pm

I can’t help but recall the firestorm President Bush received due to the perceived inaction after Katrina… Even though he publically spoke on the matter he was held accountable for the inaction of their governors. Interesting conundrum… On another note Keith, I was wondering if you have seen the Wikileaks report about Obama paying off Jesse Jackson to be quiet and sit out the 08 election?

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SnarkEsq. March 6, 2012 at 5:12 pm

He’s a despicable POS. He found time on his press conference today to discuss Fluke and the contraception farce, even bringing his daughters into it. Yet, even DAYS later, not one mention about the poor people who have been killed, injured, or lost so much in the tornadoes. He has done this before, yet again illustrating that he just does not give a crap about certain areas of the country. Hell, I’m of the opinion that he despises this entire country. We can’t get rid of him soon enough, only 35 weeks from today.

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Susan March 6, 2012 at 5:18 pm

I watched PM Netanyahu’s AIPAC speech last night and it made me yearn for the days when we had a real president. Someone who cared about all of his people and not just the victim class. Mr. Payne was the first black congressman from New Jersey, so that mention of his death was purely for political gain. He can get no political gain from dead Mid-westerners. He wrote us red states off long ago.

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Jeff March 6, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Ive thought that many times, he is a true statesman compared to her dictator..

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Shofar March 6, 2012 at 5:20 pm

An interesting factoid. The tornadoes this past week took 39 lives, according to Reuters. According to my count (using WHD’s daily schedule for Obama) Obama has had 33 fundraisers so far this year, including the one today.

I stand by what I posted the other day here, he won’t say much about this because there is no one to put the blame on, and reap political spoils by demonizing some other group, company, or point of view.

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Susan March 6, 2012 at 5:33 pm

I agree with you Shofar. These acts of God are just petty inconveniences to him. A minor change to his fundraising flight plans.

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Bill in AZ March 6, 2012 at 5:28 pm

“…there was nothing in Obama’s press conference about some 40 of his countrymen who died from a plague of tornadoes that roared across the middle of the country late last week.”

Good point. Not sure if it will be ‘noticed’ that way, but it would have been a nice touch. I’m betting some of the affected folks made note of it.

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Lanie March 6, 2012 at 5:42 pm

The compassion of Obama is sorely missing. But then as a narcissist, if he couldn’t relate the devastation of the tornadoes to himself or his campaign, they aren’t important, are they? Also, if Payne had been a Republican he would not have bothered saying anything.

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Jeff March 6, 2012 at 5:45 pm

You know Kieth, only dead Democrats can vote, if Republicans did, well that would be down right racist..Now pass the birth control and free drugs Ron Paul was talkin about

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Anonna March 6, 2012 at 6:05 pm

So, I guess he probably won’t mention Andrew Breitbart.

The One is like this — his Easter message was criticized, so next Easter there was no message. These states didn’t worship The One and The Wife, so they don’t get no sympathy from the King.

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Sadie March 6, 2012 at 6:06 pm

He’s beyond a POS. Stephanie Decker lost both of her legs while protecting her children from the tornado. What story did we get instead …Ms. Fluke directing us to Media Matters.

There are simply no words (suitable for the website) to describe it all.

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Lizzy March 6, 2012 at 6:49 pm

None that I would use and Keith could print. Shame tornadoes don’t
come with a big R attached that would get his attention. He truly is a vile heartless little man.

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Stephen C. March 6, 2012 at 8:37 pm

I like your comment Sadie.

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Girly1 March 6, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Keith, this is the second time you have had to report on Obama’s incorrigible behavior. There is a definite pattern here–and it’s not pretty! If I didn’t know better – I would say it’s racist and partisan! sarc/off

April 20, 2011

http://www.whitehousedossier.com/2011/04/20/obama-skips-tornado-destruction-heads-west-raise-money/

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Girly1 March 6, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Well, Obama sure has time to read spy novels and pitch them to Harvey Weinstein! Look for the Obama Book Club coming to a neighborhood near you….soon! Who knows, maybe the First Slob will have a starring role!

http://www.politico.com/blogs/click/2012/03/obama-sends-movie-tip-to-harvey-weinstein-116575.html

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The Original March 6, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Has FEMA gone out to help? I would hope they have.

Did he ever respond to the Nashville/TN floods? I just don’t remember if he did.

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Lizzy March 6, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Saw a report that a group called the Rubicon Project are in the affected areas helping. They are veterans who go around to help all they can.
Now that’s something to be proud of so you won’t here about them from
the MSM will you? Yes et’s cut heir benefits and buy some Birth Control
pills for Miss Fluke.

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P. Diddy March 6, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Yet none of the rabid Kool-Aid sucking sycophants will either comment, realize this happened, or remember it when they talk about the “compassion” of the current resident of the Peoples House.

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John Sherwood March 6, 2012 at 6:44 pm

He only cares about the blacks for obummer vote,not you whites that die from a tornado.Get real,no care for anybody else.The phony!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Mike Lester March 6, 2012 at 6:48 pm

“The rest of the country hasn’t caught up to New York and L.A.” -Donny Deutsch on “Morning Joe”.

Contempt and class warfare and they think they’re winning.

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srdem65 March 6, 2012 at 6:56 pm

I like to think that NewYork and L.A. are out of touch with the real America.

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Susan March 6, 2012 at 7:44 pm

They are out of touch. Reagan called it the “iron triangle” – entrenched bureaucracy, establishment/liberal politicians, and the media. He predicted the people would rise up against it. It is finally happening…

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William Carroll March 6, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Bet you can’t guess how the media would be all over this were it a Republican president!

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Michelle, no not THAT ONE March 6, 2012 at 8:00 pm

This is the same president who gave a shout out the day of the Fort Hood “workplace violence”. I teach in an Indiana school district and I recall our school board/ administrators pleading day after day for Katrina aid. So far not a single peep for our fellow Hoosier citizens. Their ideology is not a surprise anymore. A group of us at my school collected things to donate to the two country music stations, which are filling trucks to deliver needed items.

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Quintis Arrius March 6, 2012 at 8:00 pm

In keeping with his musical theme of late I thought he was rushing back to the podium to say “We are the Sultans…The Sultans of Swing!”

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sablegsd March 6, 2012 at 11:19 pm

He is evil.

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Susan March 7, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Love your Breitbart avatar!

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GotFreedom March 7, 2012 at 12:22 am

He is nothing but an opportunist looking for his next photo op!!

“Obama to deliver high school commencement in tornado-ravaged Joplin, Mo.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/03/05/obama-to-deliver-high-school-commencement-in-tornado-ravaged-joplin-mo/#ixzz1oPCILRbd

What is wrong with these people–do you really think he is coming to Joplin because he truly cares how you’re doing/how your city has recovered after last year’s devastating tornado–IT’S A PHOTO OP FOR HIS RE-ELECTION!!! WAKE UP AMERICA AND START SAYING “NO” TO ANY/ALL REQUESTS FOR HIM TO SHOW UP IN YOUR TOWN–HE’S USING YOU!!!

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Brian March 7, 2012 at 2:00 am

Wow Keith, I guess it`s come full circle….
I`d never ever would`ve thought the POTUS was this arrogant and this stupid…
A tax payer funded photo op demonstrating his support of the common man and he walks away…in an election year…
I can`t put my finger on it but as others have commented is he in fact abandoning the Midwest? The South?
Quite curious…

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GWShrub March 7, 2012 at 10:08 am

Yup! He’s a Grifter! There’s nothing in it for him to make a visit…no folks with money for a fund-raiser, no place to even HAVE one, all the golf courses have debris on them….there probably isn’t even a place to shoot hoops.

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Kenny March 7, 2012 at 6:30 am

Shallow being this Obama guy. Extremely shallow.

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PennyBeach March 7, 2012 at 9:58 am

43% even thats high. The Republicans should be ashamed. Romney with all his loot (that he appears to act embarrassed by) should have hired a coach to work with him on his public speaking & social skills.The way the left has made the religious freedom issue a war on women is surreal. Obama cares only about Obama & he probably will win. His “concern” for Fluke was creepy.It’s like the biggest diverse group of minority misfits are taking over.No God ,no real work ethic just what can I take because I feel I’m entitled. Yikes

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SickofLeftists March 7, 2012 at 10:23 am

The tornado victims were white. The congressman was black. End of story.

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Mark Woodworth March 7, 2012 at 2:13 pm

And, Michelle, such an empty sentiment, offering prayers for those affected “on behalf of myself and my husband.”

You can not genuinely pray on behalf of someone else. I guess Obama is too busy campaigning to pray for himself.

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