As economists predict that the Japanese earthquake and tsunami will contract the third largest economy’s GDP by between zero percent and 3 percent, Obama has responded by filling out his bracket for the NCAA tournament.
If Reagan was the Great Communicator, Obama is the Great Fabricator. For Obama, every day is just another episode of the Beltway Unreality show, where acting is much more important than actually doing something; where pop-culture trumps substance.
Time’s senior correspondent Michael Crowley complains, “[A]t a moment when it feels that the world is reaching a full boil, it's hard for the president not to speak.”
Crowley’s got it half right.
It’s hard for Obama not to speak irrelevantly.
Since the tsunami in Japan. the White House has released statements on Obama’s drop-in at a middle school (“You guys have made us proud!” and “So, yes, I’m determined to cut our deficits!”); and his drop-by with the Chicago Blackhawks (Hello, Blackhawks fans!)
Obama also found time to go on ESPN for a five-minute spot to reveal his picks on the NCAA Tournament.
But most of the response on Japan has been left to staffers like Press Secretary Jay Carney.
While Americans stock up on iodine to circumvent the non-existent risk of radiation exposure at the direction of Obama’s Surgeon General, Regina Benjamin, Obama will meet privately with USAID to "discuss USAID humanitarian assistance efforts including those in the Middle East, Africa, Haiti, Afghanistan and Pakistan and <oh, by the way> the disaster assistance being provided to the Japanese government as they respond to the recent major earthquake and tsunami."
So much for the schedule from 11:00 AM to 11:15 AM.