For Obama so far, Swine Flu a Health Crisis, Not a Political Crisis
By Ben Pershing
Often, anything a president touches immediately turns to politics. So far, that has not been the case with the burgeoning swine flu crisis. It's still a story about a public health emergency, and mostly not a story about the effectiveness of President Obama's response. Not yet, anyway.
Obama said yesterday there currently is "not a cause for alarm," and while the situation in Mexico certainly is dire, it's possible the media is overhyping the domestic crisis just a bit. Fortunately, as Robert Gibbs had to announce repeatedly, Obama himself is healthy. This is not actually an episode of "24."
There is action on the Hill. Swine flu hearings are planned in both chambers, and the Senate will consider Kathleen Sebelius' nomination for Health and Human Services Secretary later today. Sebelius had been expected to plunge immediately into the health care reform debate, but now she has more immediate concerns. The swine flu crisis has provided another Cabinet official, Janet Napolitano, the chance to play a visible public role and temporarily put her own controversies behind her.
Posted at 8:31 AM ET on Apr 28, 2009
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