Thursday, June 4, 2009

GOP Takes a 'Cheap Shot' at Obama Date Night; Forgets Bush's Brush Clearing


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by Rebecca Freitag

George W. Bush visited Camp David and his Crawford, Texas ranch for 977 days during his presidency. Those 977 days amounted to 30 percent of his presidency spent driving pick-ups and clearing brush. American taxpayers paid for it each time.

We didn't hear the GOP tongues wagging then as he boarded Air Force One to spend days at a time, away from his presidential duties at the White House in Maine with his parents, in Texas at his ranch, or in Maryland at Camp David. But when President Obama took his wife out to dinner and a Broadway play in New York City Saturday night, the GOP was so offended that they took to their e-mail list to release a critical statement with the subject: "Putting on a show."

As President Obama prepares to wing into Manhattan's theater district on Air Force One to take in a Broadway show, GM is preparing to file bankruptcy and families across America continue to struggle to pay their bills... Have a great Saturday evening- even if you're not jetting off somewhere at taxpayer expense.

Traffic was stopped, photographers swarmed the area, and the show was delayed for 45 minutes. Secret Service agents surrounded them at all times, snipers perched on rooftops, and hundreds, maybe thousands of onlookers gathered to catch a glimpse of the Obamas on their now-famous "date night."

TV shows such as "Hardball," "The Rachel Maddow Show," and "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" each responded to the controversial statement.

Chris Matthews called it a "cheap shot" on Monday during his "Sideshow" segment. He cited the Republicans' "nincompoop anti-intellectualism" as the reason for the statement, and said he enjoyed the fact that the president took his wife to Broadway and has cultural interests. President Bush, he said, has a "total lack of curiosity for anything beyond his backyard."

"I don't think the Republicans get it yet," Matthews said. "This is the kind of pissant criticism that makes you wonder why Michael Steele still has a job."

Stewart called them "insanely glamorous" and jokingly wept about them being so beautiful. The show even created a mock cologne called "POTUS" that "smells like freedom" for average Americans by the president so anyone could be like him.

The Obamas' "date night" has been a tradition for many years, according to First Lady Michelle Obama, when she spoke with Roland Martin on TV One in Aug. 2008.

Having "date night" shows that "This family is not just two folks raising kids, it's two people building a life together," she said.

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