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Swine Flu Crisis May Overshadow 100-Day Milestone

By Ben Pershing
Even for presidents, the best-laid plans can sometimes go awry. So as Wednesday's 100-day milestone approaches, watch closely to see whether the White House's carefully choreographed effort to tout the administration's accomplishments and lay the groundwork for more big-ticket initiatives is instead overshadowed by a public health crisis.

Swine flu has dominated headlines for the last two days, presenting President Obama with an unexpected challenge. The U.S. has declared a "public health emergency," though Janet Napolitano yesterday cautioned, "That sounds more severe than really it is." Administration officials did say they expect many more cases of the flu to be discovered in the coming days, which ensures that the focus on this crisis will only grow as the week progresses. Is there anything Obama can or should be doing to address the crisis that he isn't already? It doesn't appear so, but it does appear that his Wednesday prime-time press conference could end up being dominated by flu talk, which is certainly not how the White House drew it up.

The swine flu crisis and the rest of the world's problems didn't stop Obama from playing golf Sunday. The president's poll numbers are good enough that the White House presumably isn't too concerned that Obama's political enemies will take pictures like these and try to portray him as elitist or out of touch. At Sunday's press briefing on swine flu, Robert Gibbs was asked: "What if anything are we meant to read into the fact the President Obama decided to go golfing today? Is this part of your effort to reassure Americans that there's no need to panic?" Gibbs said he wouldn't "draw a direct conclusion" between the flu news and the golf outing, but that's our job in the press -- to read meaning into every single thing the president does. (By the way, Obama lost yesterday. Does that symbolize something?)

Continue reading at Political Browser »

By Ben Pershing  |  April 27, 2009; 8:22 AM ET
Categories:  The Rundown  
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Past swine flu outbreaks have been spread from pigs to humans, who then passed the flu on to other humans. However, with A-H1N1, there have been no reported infections of pigs. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), A-H1N1 has gene segments from North American swine, bird and human flu strains and a segment from Eurasian swine flu.
Where are the pigs that spread this flu?

Posted by: seemstome | April 28, 2009 3:44 AM | Report abuse

The first 100 days is a manufactured issue of no significance. The swine flu epidemic may or may not be an important issue but considering how much press it is getting I suspect it too is manufactured. MSM only gets it right by accident. They will not spend what it takes to be relevant.

Ben Pershing, you are second rate, but I am not telling you something that you don't already know. It is not your opinions I find so offensive, it is your banality.

Posted by: Gator-ron | April 27, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Keep an eye on Rove and Cheney. They pull their worst stunts when the media are preoccupied. Last time the media was this preoccupied a key witness to illegal Bush administration actities was killed, and few took notice.

Most European countries have reasonable sick leave, and family leave policies, which decreases the chances of bringing home diseases that could be deadly to our children. Not us. The party of "Family Values" has turned us over to the market, sold us for a quick buck like they always do. Republicans hate Americans when they're through using them.

Posted by: rooster54 | April 27, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse




Bye Bye MSM...

Posted by: JohnQuimby | April 27, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

8 years of this intellect- Worldwide Americans do not even rank in the top 25 for education –

Now the 'JUST SAY NO' Party will begin their ignorant rhetoric and worry about the border NOW----

All the while, apparently no concerns with ‘our national security’ while the "Party of NO' and the Bush administration allowed the wide open borders for the last 8 years to exist?

Now the 'C' mentality will add to the list of CLEANUP for OBAMA to handle--the 'A' student.

Oh well- I am sure he will.


Posted by: sasha2008 | April 27, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

OMG ! It just hit me as to who started this Swin-Flu !!!!!

If you plot the time-line carefully, guess who came-out -of-hiding from underneath his rock, just before the outbreak ?? ''THE SWINE'' himself, - - - DICK CHEYNE !!!!!!!!!!!!

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo !!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: mewindows | April 27, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Congresswoman Giffords!

I am one of the more susceptible to swine flu seniors(70).

Your effords on opening our southern border to illegal aliens by decriminalizing those employers who hire illegals is a magnificent way to reduce both unfunded liabilities for Social Security and Medicare as well as current cash outflows for both. KILL THE SENIORS OFF WITH SWINE FLU. You do recall the whole of America has been told illegals only fill jobs Americans won't do - FAST FOOD for example.

Your failure to act responsibly as our elected representative has now put millions of Americans as well as Arizonans at risk of premature death. Who is going to stop and screen the flow of illegals accross our border? The DRUG Lords who are paid to guide them across?

Your support for a President who makes the following public statements is obscene as is your effort to decriminalize employers of illegals. Obama: Swine flu cause for concern, not alarm. U.S. launches border screening after declaring public health emergency. Newspapers: NATIONS RACE TO CONTAIN SWINE FLU.

Posted by: PRRWRITER | April 27, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

You know, there was spending for pandemic flu preparation in the Stimulus Bill.

The Republicans insisted that it be removed.

Posted by: nodebris | April 27, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Most people's immune systems have experience with previous swine flu variants.

The danger is nowhere near as great as bird flu was.

A lot of this is just an excuse for anti mexican xenophobia.

As a patriotic America, I apologise to them for this very un-American response.

Posted by: svreader | April 27, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

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 27, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Some cheap shots from Pershing's rifle...The idiot at the press conference who implied that President Obama should have abstained from a day on the golf course because of 8 American cases of the "swine flu" should have been identified by name. And what is wrong with any administration wanting to highlight its achievements at the media-hyped 100 day benchmark? "Choreographed?" Is trying to contain an economic depression and the loss of jobs and home foreclosures that are its consequence, dealing with two wars in which our men and women in uniform are being killed and maimed every day, restoring the diplomatic standing of the US in the world, dodging the rotten tomatoes the Republicans toss at every move he tries to make, putting forward a health care plan that will become even more imperative if there is a major epidemic, flu or otherwise, some sort of "dance" the Obama administration is performing?

Pershing needs to find more deserving targets for his sniping.

Posted by: profco | April 27, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Takes the pressure off of 100 days and allows the administration to be seen as something other than partisan.

Posted by: parkerfl1 | April 27, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

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