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July 11, 2014

Things "The Bear" Has Time to Do

Interestingly, none of them involve running the Executive Branch:

On a single day this week in Denver, President Obama scarfed down pizza and drinks with strangers, shot pool with Colorado’s governor and shook hands with a guy on the street wearing a horse mask. His top staffers are promoting these stops on Twitter with the hashtag #TheBearIsLoose — a term one of Obama’s aides coined in 2008 when the candidate would defy his schedule.

More than five years into his presidency, Obama is trying to free himself from the constraints of office, whether by strolling on the Mall or hopscotching the country as part of a campaign-style tour. White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer says the president “just wants to get out” and influence “our overall political conversation” by connecting with ordinary Americans.

But to some, breaking free can also look like running away.

Obama’s trip to Colorado and Texas this week took place against the backdrop of a burgeoning crisis on the Mexican border, where tens of thousands of children have been apprehended seeking entry into the United States. In Dallas, Obama dismissed the idea of heading farther south for a border visit as a “photo op” — not long after those photo ops showing him shooting pool and sipping beer in Denver.

In addition to the photo ops he's not interested in, Obama also has time to attend fundraisers - at last count, 177 more than Bush had at this stage of his presidency:

... the afternoon following the Sept. 11, 2012, murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Libya, Mr. Obama left the White House for a fundraiser in Las Vegas and a campaign appearance in Colorado.

As Russian troops stormed into the Crimea on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, Mr. Obama clinked his glass at a DNC fundraiser, declaring "this is now officially happy hour with the Democratic Party. I can do that. It is an executive action. I have the authority." Vladimir Putin must have been amused.

When Islamic terrorists captured Mosul, Iraq's second most populous city, and menaced Baghdad in mid-June, Mr. Obama did not hunker down in the Situation Room. He headed to a Laguna Beach, Calif., fundraiser where 25 people wrote checks of up to $32,400.

Enlarge Image

At the Denver airport on Wednesday before heading for Dallas. Reuters
After raising money at an event for Sen. Mark Udall in Colorado Tuesday—Mr. Udall bailed at the last minute—Mr. Obama is now completing a two-day fundraising swing through Texas. On Wednesday he attended a barbecue at the palatial Dallas home of plaintiff attorney Marc Stanley. Tickets cost as much as $32,400, with the money going to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Then the president flew to Austin for a fundraiser at the home of director Robert Rodriquez, whose family-unfriendly films include "Machete," "Sin City" and "Planet Terror."

On Thursday, abortion activist Aimee Boone Cunningham will host Mr. Obama at an Austin roundtable with checks made payable to the Democratic National Committee for up to $32,400.

Fundraisers are a priority for this president—he has attended 393 fundraisers since taking office, according to CBS White House correspondent Mark Knoller, compared with George W. Bush's 216 at the same point in his presidency. What is not a priority is visiting South Texas to see the tragedy unfolding from a wave of illegal immigrants, many unaccompanied children.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest says he doesn't need to visit the border "simply because the president is very aware of the situation."

This, from a man who never seems to find out about anything going in his own administration until he reads it in the newspaper.

The mind boggles.

Posted by Cassandra at July 11, 2014 08:33 AM

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When I think of Barry, "bear" does not come to mind (unless Boo-Boo is the bear in question).

I think #TheWeaselIsLoose would be a better hashtag, because weasels are skinny, sneaky by nature, and hide to avoid detection. This one is bi-racial (or at least two colors...), and is even limp-wristed.

According to Wikipedia, the weasel has many unfortunate cultural references. In North America, native Americans deemed the weasel to be a bad sign; crossing its path meant a "speedy death". According to Daniel Defoe also, meeting a weasel is a bad omen.

I'd say this is playing out.

Posted by: MathMom at July 11, 2014 11:39 AM

Oh, I dunno.

I could totally see myself as that creepy fabric softener bear.

Don't be afraid of me, ladies! I'm here to help you!


Posted by: Barack Obama at July 11, 2014 11:53 AM

Just don't let him into the woods. That would probably lead to an EPA violation of some kind.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at July 11, 2014 03:55 PM

Ok, I'm a native NW guy.
No damn way Barry is a bear. Ask any real bear.
Best regards,

Posted by: CAPT Mike at July 12, 2014 02:11 AM

#TheBearIsLose??!! Better term is #TheClownIsLoose (except that insults good hard working rodeo and circus clowns).

Or it could be clown weasel??

And yeah - would be multiple EPA violations if let loose in the woods. ;-)

Posted by: Nina at July 12, 2014 10:11 AM

MM, I was thinking the same thing wrt the *bear*.

Posted by: DL Sly at July 12, 2014 12:31 PM