Presidential PR gaffe of the year?

No, it’s not quite terrorizing Manhattan for a photo-op, but it’s right up there in the tone-deaf department:

Sobbing Kindergarteners Snubbed for Steelers? Kids locked out of White House; officials say they were too late

Thursday was supposed to be the highlight of the year for more than 100 kindergarteners from Stafford County, Va. They got up early and took a chartered bus to the White House for a school field trip. But when they arrived, all the 5-year-olds got was a lesson in disappointment.

The buses from Conway Elementary arrived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue a little later than planned, and they were locked out.

"We were going to the White House, but we couldn’t get in so I felt sad," 5-year-old Cameron Stine said.

Parents say they were just 10 minutes late for their scheduled tour. School officials say White House staff said they needed to get ready for the president’s event with the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers, so they couldn’t come in.

Okay, I realize the White House operates on a tight schedule, but shouldn’t the staffer in charge of this have realized what a massive amount of egg on the face this would mean for his boss? I mean, doesn’t "Mean president makes little kids cry" just jump out at you? Hello? Are you saying to the world that the President of the United States is such a callow man-child that he’d tell little kids to shove it so he could hang with the jocks?

The reasonable solution was also the simplest: invite the kids in so they can meet the Steelers and the President, making their day and letting Obama bask in yet more media glory. See how easy that was?

I swear, for a guy who ran such a slick campaign and who (so we’ve been told – again and again) has superior judgment, Obama and his team have the public-relations savvy of a rock.


2 Responses to Presidential PR gaffe of the year?

  1. Matt Goodman says:

    I dunno… if this scars the kids so that they always arrive early so that they’ll be on time, I’m all in favor.

  2. Zombywolf says:

    gee the kids weren’t driving the bus–I swear Obama does this sort of thing–well in this case so he could be center of attention for the Steelers–the White House Story must revolve around him

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