Wendell Goler of Fox News, who has been around the White House for a couple of decades and seen a thing or two, decided to stick it to the president for claiming he didn’t go to the Texas border because he doesn’t like photo ops.
Okay, Wendell’s a professional, so let’s put this another way, without my editorializing. Wendell decided to examine the consistency of the president’s claim that he doesn’t like photo ops.
Here he is during Tuesday’s briefing working over White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
GOLER: Did I misread him, or was the President enjoying himself in his photo op this morning? (Laughter.)
EARNEST: The President seemed to be in good spirits today.
GOLER: And is he likely to be just as unhappy with the photo op he has planned later this week on infrastructure?
EARNEST: Unhappy or happy?
GOLER: Unhappy. Given that he was pretty happy with today’s driving instruction. What I’m trying to get to –
MR. EARNEST: I guess I don’t quite understand your question.
Oh, Josh understands.
GOLER: I’m getting back to his blowing off photo ops on the border. Was he concerned that that might send the wrong message to people in Central America if he went to the border?
EARNEST: What the President is concerned about is focusing on solutions. And that’s exactly what the President was focused on last week.
GOLER: I’ll grant you that. But he said he didn’t like photo ops, and he seemed to be having a pretty good time.
EARNEST: Well, I think what the President’s concern is, is people who put photo ops ahead of actually finding solutions to problems.
Okay, so it’s not photo ops, it’s putting photo ops ahead of actually finding solutions. Except, that seems to be the problem with this president. He doesn’t seem to be finding solutions to many problems. Rather, he’s creating conundrums. Which require further solutions.
If there are opportunities — as I mentioned to Mr. Knoller last week, if there was an opportunity for the President to appear in a photo op that will reinforce the value of the solution that the President has put forward, the President won’t hesitate to participate.
Alas, under certain circumstances, photo ops are good things!
Nice job, Josh, cleaning up the boss’s mess.