The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


The Rundown

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.

Continue reading at Political Browser »

Posted at 8:31 AM ET on Apr 28, 2009  | Category:  The Rundown
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Hey, formless(brain), thanks for proving my point. Your gay, aren't you?

Posted by: DumbPublic | April 28, 2009 5:54 PM

DumbPublic: "convoluted attempt at tying apples to oranges in an otiose effort at deriving his conclusion."
Anyone else find the irony and hypocrisy in that sentence?
there was nothing complicated about what I said, your dear GOP has always stood in the way of human decency and common sense. And besides, everyone knows the hardest thing to do on Earth is having a rational conversation with right wing nutjob. And with that I bid you good day, though I really mean go f#@K yourself.

Posted by: formlessness | April 28, 2009 2:26 PM

The Swin flu epedemic is both a political and health hazzard. It is political because we have refused to seal our borders. During the Carter administraton we drop our health standards on persons entering Amrica. Now we are reaping the results of this by the emergency of disease that were eradiated from our country. This has caused a health hazard that can be laid at the feet of the Democrats and Carter. It also effects the Republicans for not reintroducing the health standsrds when they came to power. All congresses and Presidents after that can be helt accountable. With the mass inflous of Criminal Illigal Aliens into our country going unchecked it can only get worse and cause epidemics we are unprepard for at this time. The CDC does not have the ability to provide enough medicatons from reserves to protect the citizens of the United States of America

Posted by: jmsmaxwell | April 28, 2009 1:46 PM

Well, scrivener, to me "cruel and unusual punishment" is listening to liberal attempts at making sense with kindergarten logic. So that also constitutes torture as of now, according to liberal rules. Ie: formlessness' convoluted attempt at tying apples to oranges in an otiose effort at deriving his conclusion. The hardest thing on earth to do is to make sense of leftist "thought" process, followed closely by spinning it into a believable format. But that is why we have the Post and the Times.

Posted by: DumbPublic | April 28, 2009 1:24 PM

This IS a political crisis for the GOP. They blocked $900 million in funding for Pandemic Flu Preparedness, and have blocked Obama's nominee for Health Secretary, leaving the country without health leadership in the face of possibly the greatest public health crisis in a century.

As usual, they are doing exactly the OPPOSITE of protecting the country, and Americans are getting wise to it. In a poll last week, only 21% of elibible voters were willing to call themselves "Republicans." At this rate, if they keep this up, by the next election they will be lucky if they can hold on to a single seat in Congress.

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | April 28, 2009 11:58 AM

This isn't a political crisis for Obama for two reasons.
1.) swine flu is not actually his fault, how he handles it is... and thus far he's doing everything that needs to be done.

2.) the GOP has again put it's foot in its own mouth because they cut funding for crisis such as swine flu, just as they mocked volcano monitoring right before a volcano exploded. Republicans lost, they constantly need to be reminded of this, but they lost because their party of ideas was actually a party of bad ideas. They lost because they are time and again dead wrong about everything. Lowering taxes and deregulating all in their path won't stop volcanos from erupting or global warming from happening or oil from running out. Just as teaching creationism in public schools won't stop flu virus's from evolving, nor will stopping gay marriage halt solar storms from knocking down our fragile power grid. Republicans lost because they thought that just lowering taxes on the rich, and deregulating business and stopping gays and abortion would solve all of our problems, when it actually only compounds them. This is a political crisis, not for Obama, but for the GOP.

Posted by: formlessness | April 28, 2009 10:37 AM

How many cases in the US; less than 50? How many deaths? None? HS! I'M IN A PANIC!!

I wonder what they're all trying to distract us from now; CIA torture? the war? the economy? Team Sarah?

I can't seem to get away from this overblown story. Report it, don't scream it; constantly; from every "news" outlet.

Posted by: scoates2482 | April 28, 2009 10:10 AM

re: "100 Days" press conference


Mr. President:

The Senate Armed Services Committee report on "enhanced interrogation techniques" used at Guantanamo stated at least twice that detainees were subject to "induced physical weakness and exhaustion."

The report also stated that detainees were subject to "physiological and psychological pressures" and "environmental manipulation."

Has your administration inquired as to what "induced" these effects...

...and whether detainees were exposed to microwave radiation devices such as so-called "directed energy weapon" discharges... or any other type of radiation, including X-rays, gamma rays, sonic waves, or laser "dazzlers"?

If detainees were exposed to radiation, does that not constitute "torture" and "cruel and unusual punishment" in and of itself?

OR (if links are corrupted):

Posted by: scrivener50 | April 28, 2009 10:04 AM

I’d say the swine flu mania is a good thing for the White House. It gets to portray Obama as an apolitical protecting figure and allows the media to publicize the GOP’s reckless delay tactics used against Sebelius for HHS.

Posted by: parkerfl1 | April 28, 2009 9:10 AM

The former post should have read Susan Collins wanted the money removed from the stimulus package.

Posted by: Gator-ron | April 28, 2009 9:07 AM

You sound disappointed Ben that it isn't a political crisis. Was it not Susan Collins who wanted the stimulus money devoted to a pandemic. Obama is wise about money. He is not a spend thrift and not a tight wade.

Posted by: Gator-ron | April 28, 2009 8:47 AM

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