Yesterday morning, President Obama made time on his busy schedule to give brief interviews to reporters from several "swing" states. The markets hit included Roanoke, VA; Jacksonville, FL; Greenville, SC; Sioux City, IA; Green Bay, WI; Colorado Springs, CO; Reno, NV; and Fresno, CA (note: if all of these states are actually in play, then Obama is obviously in a bigger world of hurt than anybody previously imagined).
As anybody could have predicted (and judging by the president's clearly rehearsed answer, he and his handlers did), the reporter from Green Bay, WBAY's Mike Smith, asked about the president's notable absence from Wisconsin during the run-up to the recall election foisted on the state by union and Democrat leaders whose eyes turned out to be far bigger than their stomachs. Here's the vid (warning: sound quality is poor):
WBAY reporter Matt Smith: I'd like to ask you about Wisconsin's recall election. There are a lot of Democrats that are upset you didn't campaign for Tom Barrett.
President Obama: The truth of the matter is that as President of the United States, I've got a lot of responsibilities.
So. "Presidential responsibilities" kept Obama away from a battle specifically chosen by his closest allies (organized labor and public sector workers). Coincidentally, his side received a shellacking from Wisconsin's voting pubic – an outcome which had been predicted by every poll except election-day exits (the latter being, of course, the polls that Democrat pundits have a long history of believing to be more important than actual vote totals).
So, what "presidential responsibilities" kept Obama away from Wisconsin at this critical juncture in the fight between fiscal sanity and unchecked union power? Why, holding as many reelection fundraisers as possible, of course! By BuzzFeed's count, "Obama did 13 fundraisers in the two weeks before the recall election nine in the four days prior."
Some of those fundraisers were very close to Wisconsin, yet he refused to cross the border to help a candidate he had actively campaigned for just two years prior. As Ace notes, Obama "actually flew over Wisconsin twice, avoiding it both times, in the crucial last days of the recall. At one point, when on the ground, he was 15 miles away from the border of Wisconsin – no quickie rally?"
Nope. He was too busy, and we all know "presidential responsibilities" like $35,800-per-plate dinners with deep-pocketed friends have to come first, for the good of the country.