Tuesday, April 28, 2009

'A perfect storm of idiocy'

That's what the New York Daily News is calling the Obama administration's stunt Monday, having Air Force One and an F-16 fighter buzz Manhattan for a photo op that terrified New Yorkers:
Louis Caldera, the director of the White House military office who sent Air Force One and the fighter jet on an "aerial photo mission," got slammed by an angry President Obama.
"I approved a mission over New York," Caldera said in a hastily prepared statement. "I apologize and take responsibility for any distress that flight caused." . . .
Sources said the chief reason for the panic-inducing flight was to create souvenir pictures of Air Force One flying over the Statue of Liberty to be given out - like a presidential tie clip - to family, friends or supporters. . . .
("Souvenir pictures" -- for big-shot Democratic Party contributors, I'm sure.)
Caldera did not state a reason for the "mission" in his apology, but he insisted that "federal authorities took the proper steps to notify state and local authorities in New York and New Jersey." . . .
[NYC Mayor Michael] Bloomberg said he found out that his city was being buzzed by planes when his BlackBerry began buzzing with complaints.
"I'm annoyed - furious is a better word - that I wasn't told," the mayor said. "If I had known about it, I would have called them right away and asked them not to." . . .
[T]housands of terrified people evacuated from buildings in the city and across the river in New Jersey.
"I was crying and praying to God to forgive me my sins because I thought I was going to get killed," said Kathleen Filandro, who fled from 1New York Plaza when she spotted the planes.
"It's like someone coming up to you, sticking a gun to your head for 15 seconds, walking away and hearing 20 minutes later it was an undercover cop posing for a photo," said Wall Street worker Bill Privett.
"I am still shaking," he said.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs appeared taken aback as reporters peppered him with questions about the incident.
"I have no information beyond what I saw" on news reports, Gibbs said at his afternoon press conference.
A short time later, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel tracked down Caldera and "relayed the President's displeasure," sources said.
"The President was furious," a White House insider said.
It seems to have been conceded that the stunt was conceived for political P.R. purposes. Happy Hundred Days, morons.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin:
Seems to me that a little thing called "Photoshop" could have saved a ton of fuel, not to mention spared a few nerves.
If the Bush administration had done this to Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Shep Smith would have denounced it as torture.

UPDATE II: Linked at RCP Best of the Blogs. Please check out my reaction to the UAW/"Geithner Motors" swindle.

UPDATE III: "Hey maybe the Prez will want to do a photo op with a rental truck in OKC next?" Ouch. Also, I'm not the only one who sees the "torture" analogy.


  1. "Sources said the chief reason for the panic-inducing flight was to create souvenir pictures of Air Force One flying over the Statue of Liberty to be given out - like a presidential tie clip - to family, friends or supporters. . . ."


    "It seems to have been conceded that the stunt was conceived for political P.R. purposes.Cheap AND Stupid. Truly, a perfect storm of idiocy. Welcome to the end of the first hundred days.

    Aintcha lookin' forward to the NEXT hundred???

  2. "The President was furious," a White House insider said.As furious as he was disappointed he learned his church of 20 years was a black supremicist front.

    Obama must think we are idiots.

  3. Haven't these people ever heard of Photoshop? If the exercise was only to produce a pleasing image, any moderately bright ten year old could have taken a photo of Air Force One and a photo of the Statue of Liberty, and combined them, without the need to fly actual aircraft at alarming attitudes over nyc.

  4. Obama must think we are idiots.He knows the 65% that approve of him are.

  5. I think a nice lawsuit for intentional infliction of emotion distress is warranted! We could then subpoena all records and depose all the people involved and learn who knew what and when. I think we need a truth commission on this!

  6. The stunt was idiotic alright.

    But congress released figures a couple of years ago showing that it costs more than $50-grand an hour to fly Air Force One. In other words, these two jets cost taxpayers north of a hundred grand just for a couple of snapshots... at a time when Obama is asking for sacrifices from everyone else.

  7. obama was furious.

    amazing that only 35% of the country know this is white house spin to protect his image.

    you know, plausible deniability and all.

  8. Oh, I saw this was called, "Perfect Storm of Idiocy" and I thought it was referring to the entire Bush presidency.

    Let compare: With Bush, we got torture, Iraq, a doubled national debt, Katrina response (or rather, lack thereof), and general incompetence, no legislative successes in second term, worst approval rating ever, etc.

    Obama: BAD decision by White House staffer who was apparently an idiot.

    Yes, I can see how you conservatives would think you're all so smart, and 65% of the country is dumb. You know, with those hate-colored glasses on an all, it probably makes it a lot easier for you.

    Hey, keep it up - maybe Collins and Snowe will follow Specter, then you can all throw so more tantrums.

  9. I have it on good authority that the teleprompter authorized this flight. They've just thrown the military guy under the bus to cover up.

  10. This is a ridiculously stupid mistake. Why didn't the Obama administration just spend $300 on Photoshop rather than scaring thousands of people in New York??? Nice move, Caldera. Anyway, here's a video i found today that shows how different news outlets are covering the story. Definitely worth a look:

  11. You can't tell me that Obama didn't know. When he flies both VC-25s fly. Therefore someone had to tell him that he couldn't fly anywhere on the 27th. Further some other plan had to have been made in case they had to get him out of town in an emergency.

    Are we to think they told him that the turn signal fluid needed to be changed? The wings rotated?

    He knew.