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FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR

The Big Bird Presidency

President Barack Obama has fought more for Big Bird’s job in the last week than he has  fought for the jobs of 23 million unemployed Americans in the past three years. Political pundits have questioned the wisdom of Mitt Romney’s quip about Big Bird in stating he would like to cut federal funding for PBS. Democrats have reacted with glee, seizing on the statement as yet another chance to portray Romney as out of touch. In the wake of the debate it’s natural for Obama supporters to want to seize on something – anything – to focus attention away from the facts of the President’s record and poor debate performance.

The strategy to use Big Bird as a distraction has resulted in Obama supporters dressing up as Big Bird while political operatives create Big Bird-themed graphics and ads. Clever as this may be as a strategy, it has the potential to backfire precisely because the last three and a half years could be termed the Big Bird Presidency.

Barack Obama has repeatedly ducked responsibilities, avoided tough decisions, and chosen to blame others for his problems while creating distractions to hide his failures. His administration has acted in a childish and distracting fashion. When faced with responsibility the President has fled to the comfort of late night television comedy shows, using his power to enhance his personal prestige in a vain attempt to show Americans he is a funny guy.

America is not laughing. America is not distracted.

Instead of meeting with international leaders, or even the lone leader of the country’s most reliable democratic ally in the Middle East, Barack Obama chose to chum with Whoopi Goldberg and her girlfriends.

Although missing roughly half of his daily intelligence briefs, President Obama has made more trips to late night television for fist bumps and laughs than any other president.

Given the chance to live up to his 2008 campaign promise of immigration reform, he decided to ignore the issue once elected. When pressed about his lack of serious action by the bold journalists at Univision, the President furrowed his brow and blamed Republicans in Congress for his shortcoming. Never mind that his party enjoyed a full bicameral command of Congress for the first half of his administration.

As Congressional investigators probe into the tragic aftermath of a terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, Americans are learning that the President and his team were not truthful in their initial explanation of what happened. The attack was not unexpected nor was it even part of a protest as Americans were initially told.

The YouTube video that Obama blamed for the violence was Big Bird in a different form. It was a distraction designed to focus attention on a non-existent threat. A no-name YouTube video creator is not responsible for a terrorist attack on an American consulate or the death of four American diplomats. Such evil was the handiwork of radical Islamic terrorists and increasingly this Administration has no plan to separate the good guys from the bad guys in a dangerous part of the world.

Despite attempting to create a story out of a non-story (Romney was not suggesting Big Bird’s job should be axed, only that he shouldn’t get federal subsidies anymore), the Obama team has handed critics a wonderful caricature of their response to big issues. Focus on trivial matters (Big Bird doesn’t matter compared to the national debt), misrepresent the truth, and make more of entertainment than leadership.  It’s time for this Administration to be known for what it is.

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