Instead of focusing on issues that really matter — such as Libya or the nuclear crisis in Iran or high unemployment— Obama has given time to subjects that are undeniably unimportant. Here are five things Obama has been talking about, unnecessarily.
When GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney mentioned cutting federal subsidies to PBS, the former Massachusetts governor probably did not realize his comment would spawn a “Save Big Bird” frenzy on social media — or that the Obama campaign would have a hand in perpetuating it. In the furor, the fact that federal funding accounted for only 12 percent of the PBS revenue in 2010 got completely lost.
Undoubtedly, Sesame Street and PBS will both survive without federal funding. In spite of these facts, Obama campaigned on Romney’s comment, even releasing an ad accusing Romney of vilifying the giant yellow bird. Sesame Workshop, the company behind Sesame Street, asked the Obama campaign to take the advertisement down, but the Obama campaign declined to do so.
Yet another presidential debate comment from Romney has become a campaign talking point for Obama. When Romney was talking about his push to hire more women to his cabinet during his time as governor of Massachusetts, he mentioned how he was brought “binders full of women” who were qualified. The remark sparked a Tumblr blog, Facebook page and plenty of tweets. Following the second presidential debate, Obama hit the campaign trail in Ohio and mocked Romney for his “binders” comment, saying “we don’t have to collect a bunch of binders to find qualified, talented, driven young women.” Vice President Joe Biden also jabbed Romney while campaigning in Colorado, asserting that the former governor was “out of touch.” The Romney campaign recently released their own response to Obama’s “binders” jokes, showing Obama’s plan for the next four years as an empty binder. And while the “binder” debate roils, The Daily Mail reports women in Obama’s White House make, on average, $11,000 less than their male coworkers.
Following his speech to the United Nations in New York, Obama decided against meeting with important world leaders, instead choosing to appear on ABC‘s “The View“ along with First Lady Michelle Obama. An Obama campaign advisor tried to justify the president’s choice, saying the White House has a phone and did not need to meet with world leaders face-to-face.
Joy Behar, one of five hosts of “The View,” also stood up for Obama. “Maybe he’d rather talk to me than Netanyahu. Ever think of that?” she tweeted, referencing Israel’s president Benjamin Netanyahu, one of numerous leaders with whom Obama could have met while in New York. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor criticized Obama for prioritizing “The View.” “I think it speaks volumes to the lack of seriousness with which this president is taking the current situation,” Cantor said. Instead of placing value on international diplomacy, Obama thought it was important to serve as “eye candy” for the ladies of the daytime talk show.
While phoning in to Michael Yo’s radio program “The Yo Show,” Obama was asked about the feud between “American Idol“ judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj. “I think that they are going to be able to sort it out, I am confident,” the president said. “I’m all about bringing people together, working for the same cause, I think both outstanding artists are going to be able to make sure that they’re moving forward and not going backwards.” Coverage of the president’s comments took on a cheeky tone, poking fun at the seriousness — or lack thereof — of the Carey/Minaj argument.
The day of the vice presidential debate, the Obama campaign released an advertisement accusing Congressman Paul Ryan of possessing the “7 habits of highly misleading people.” The first one on the list was Ryan’s self-proclaimed personal best marathon time, which was found to be inaccurate. Ryan later admitted he had accidentally misrepresented his time, since the race was a long time ago and the GOP vice presidential candidate has not run one since. “I literally thought that was my time,” Ryan told Toledo News Now. ”It was 22 years ago. You forget sorta these things.” And while the mistake would be easy to make, the Obama campaign just will not let it go.
With fewer than 20 days until the election, maybe it’s time Obama and his campaign focus on issues that actually matter to the American people if he wants a shot at winning his reelection bid.