According to a new poll by Rasmussen Reports, President Obama, who had promised to be a healer of race relations in a “post racial” presidency, actively drove a wedge between the races in last week’s prime time press conference.
In the presser’s final question, President Obama reacted to the arrest of his friend, Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, by saying, “The Cambridge Police acted stupidly.”
Rasmussen Reports subsequently asked a representative sample of the public what they thought about President’s response to the question. The results showed a racial disparity that hadn’t been seen since the acquittal of O. J. Simpson:
White respondents: Good or excellent 22% Poor 53%
Black respondents: Good or excellent 71% Poor 5%
Those who defend Obama for being blind sided by an unfair question are uninformed. The current administration orchestrates its press conferences like no other, with total control over the questions and the order in which they are asked. Obama aide David Axelrod later specifically acknowledged that the administration had requested such a question from the Chicago reporter who asked it. The question was consciously placed as the press conference’s final question, so that it would have maximum impact.
Obama’s answer was planned in advance, and he was consciously race-baiting. What he didn’t plan, and couldn’t control in spite of his best efforts to do so, was the public reaction.
The next day, as part of damage control, Obama invited both the professor and the arresting officer to discuss the incident “over a beer.” Let’s see, an angry black man with the humility of a Harvard professor, a defensive cop, and free beer. What could possibly go wrong there?