Even on the construction site, I’ve heard criticism of gubernatorial candidate Frank Caprio for his “shove it” comment, related to a general sense that one should have respect for the office of the president. Firstly, one must wonder why President Bush did not receive similar defense against his hostile critics. Secondly, President Obama’s hardline partisanism and eagerness never to leave the campaign trail surely affects the respect that he’s due generally.
Two letters in yesterday’s Providence Journal create an interesting context for Caprio’s complaint about Obama’s treatment of Rhode Island. From Tom Letourneau in Cumberland:
Consider the people who coughed up the paltry sum of $7,500 for the privilege of having dinner with the president. (I would not have called it anything close to a privilege to be anywhere near a man who will go down in history as the worst president since Jimmy Carter.) But then they were told where his (Obama’s) priorities really lie. When Mr. Obama concluded his remarks, at about 7:30, he informed all of those present, and his gracious hosts, he couldn’t stay for dinner, stating: “I’ve got to go home to tuck in the girls and walk the dog and scoop the poop!”
I can’t imagine paying that much money for dinner with anybody, but I can imagine the care and excitement that must go into planning and preparing an event to be experienced by somebody whom the participants believe to be important. What a disappointment that the preparations yielded only a passing stump speech. Recall the extensive coverage of local veggies on which the President would be dining. Perhaps he took a doggy bag.
But Rhode Islanders were not entirely deprived of the experience of a presidential visit. From Richard Jackson of East Greenwich:
I fear for this country when those who are running it are not even smart enough to schedule the travel itinerary for President Obama’s visit around Rhode Island’s rush hour.
He left Woonsocket at about 5:15 p.m. on Monday to travel south on Route 146 to Route 95 south — closing the highway in advance of his arrival.
That 20-minute drop-by in Providence appears to have netted the president more than a third of a million dollars in campaign dough, and in modern America, that is apparently a higher priority than the daily lives of thousands of Rhode Islanders.