Obama’s Insensitive Photo Op: Coffins and Cameras…

by Clio

This morning I watched flag-draped coffins carried past an honor guard and Barack Obama at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. Mr. Obama recently rescinded the ban on photographs and media coverage of the arriving coffins.

The ban was put in effect by former President George H.W. Bush in February 1991 during the first Gulf War (there are reports that the ban may have started earlier, in 1989). Using a split-screen technique, the media broadcast images of the President at a news conference, appearing to joke, while juxtaposing the solemn ceremony reserved for fallen soldiers at Dover. Media coverage was curtailed after that insensitive stunt.

President George W. Bush further tightened the ban on media coverage at Dover, preferring to meet in private with the families of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. President Bush was often accompanied by First Lady Barbara Bush.

While Mr. Obama stood at attention amidst the honor guard at Dover, delivering a slow, solemn (and nicely choreographed) hand salute to the flag-covered caskets, the photographers snapped away and film crews documented the event. Mainstream media reporters submitted their homage to Mr. Obama’s pre-dawn attendance at the base, lamenting that he “inherited two wars” and was bearing witness to the results of war “directly.”

I reviewed reports from ABC, AOL, Associated Press and numerous blogs that characterized this “historic” occasion as noble, pivotal, heart-rending and a “dramatic image” not seen in years. Gushing with tributes and honor for the great sacrifices by Mr. Obama (he pulled an “all-nighter” in order to make the visit the Dover, Delaware base), this was a perfect occasion for the Obama administration to do a little image-polishing after his popularity and health care initiatives were tarnished by performance disapproval, Tea Party demonstrations and strong opposition to health care reform and a myriad of other issues on his agenda.

The reporters were correct in their description of the return of our soldiers’ remains; it is a heart-rending, solemn and moving experience. However, the media also took this somber moment to condemn former President George W. Bush for not allowing media coverage of the caskets; President Bush preferred to respect the privacy of the grieving families.

President Bush was noted for private visits, without fanfare or media entourages, to military families, wounded warriors at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the survivors of the September 11th terrorist attacks and other victims of disasters:

This is my duty,” he said. “The president is commander in chief, but the president is often ‘comforter in chief,’ as well. It is my duty … to try to comfort as best as I humanly can a loved one who is in anguish.”

Comfort can come in many different forms, the president said. “Comfort means hug, comfort means cry, comfort means smile, comfort means listen,” he said. “Comfort also means, in many cases, assure the parent or the spouse that any decision made about troops in combat will be made with victory in mind, not about my personal standing in the polls or partisan politics.”

Some military families objected to the ban, but most appreciated the consideration for their privacy shown by President Bush.

I was disturbed and saddened as I viewed today’s reports and video footage of the caskets; many members of my family have served in the Armed Services. My brother, who segued from a tour in the Army to the National Guard (he recently retired after 20 years of service), was called up to serve at the beginning of the Iraq war in 2003. I’m grateful for his service and safe return to our family.

Along with other Americans, I honor the men and women who fight and die for the cause of liberty and offer prayers for their families.

However, what I find inexcusable is using such a serious moment – a soldier’s final return to his family and nation – for a photo op, mainstream media accolades and adoration and public relations maneuvers. Real leaders don’t stage-manage their images at the expense of our fallen warriors and their families.

Doug Hoffman for Congress – Endorsements

by Clio

The Bold Pursuit is pleased to add our endorsement to a growing list of respected Republican and Conservative leaders, as well as the New York Post and other conservative interests, in supporting Doug Hoffman, Conservative Party nominee for New York’s 23rd Congressional District.

Governors Tim Pawlenty and Sarah Palin, former Senator Fred Thompson (TN), Senator Jim Demint (SC), Senator Rick Santorum (PA), former House majority leader, Dick Armey and Dr. James Dobson and others (click here for the full list of endorsements) are pledging their support Doug Hoffman.

Hoffman is a Managing Partner of Dragon Benware Crowley & Co., an accounting firm in northern New York State, as well as oversees Hoffman Family Enterprises of Hoffman (a diversified investment firm).

Governor Palin distinguished Hoffman from his opponents in her Facebook Notes by observing that Hoffman was “not … anointed by any political machine” (in contrast to his Republican and Democrat challengers). She further commented:

“Doug Hoffman stands for the principles that all Republicans should share: smaller government, lower taxes, strong national defense, and a commitment to individual liberty.”

Clearly, Hoffman’s conservative political ideologies appeal to national conservative, Republican and independent leaders and New York voters; Hoffman leads Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava (R) by 11 points in today’s (October 29) polls and is in a dead heat with Democrat, Bill Owens.

Doug Hoffman’s home page includes a link to a list of his positions on a number of issues, including the Stimulus plan, health care reform, cap and trade, bank bailouts and tax reform. Click on this link for the full details on Hoffman’s political views: Issues

TheBoldPursuit.net is a conservative blog; TheBoldPursuit.com, our web site, will be launched this year. Our mission is to provide a forum for political coverage and commentary, as well as motivate and support efforts to protect our country, its citizens and our Constitution.

Words from one of our nation’s Founders, Thomas Jefferson, inspire our vision for TheBoldPursuit.com: fearlessly, honestly seek truth and offer it for discussion or debate.

“I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way.” – Thomas Jefferson

Skohl! Nobel Committee Aligns with Kool-Aid club …

by Clio

I awakened in the middle of the night and found that my television was still on, tuned to Fox News. Moments later there was breaking news: Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize. I pinched myself to make sure that I wasn’t dreaming (I’ll have bruises for days), made a cup of tea and went back to my television. Of course, I couldn’t fall asleep again – could you?

My thoughts and feelings are doing battle with my pragmatic, analytical side (granted that occupies a small part of my predominately “creative” brain). I felt a sense a déjà vu this morning, remembering how I felt after the election results were announced last November. How could this have happened? How could Obama, an inexperienced politician with shady friends, a communist mentor and sealed birth and college records prevail against a war hero, former POW, a respected senior senator with notable legislative experience who had a dynamic and accomplished running mate at his side?

After the election, the easiest way to describe my feelings was to create an analogy with a computer that has been fed bad information; it doesn’t compute, it slows down the machine and causes internal dissonance. I feel some internal dissonance today…

May I say it? Un-freaking believable! (I have some other, more colorful, observations, but shall restrain myself.)

When I first started this blog, I intended to write about the nascent conservative movement that is gaining momentum and attracting millions of concerned Americans. This movement, in my opinion (shared by many conservative commentators) is on its way to becoming a revolt. As a former political wallflower, I want to support this movement, in whatever (peaceful) direction it travels, but first let me express my thoughts about today’s news. I’ll publish another blog, The Conservative Tsunami: A Fight for Freedom, on Monday.

Back to today’s news…

According to news reports, Mr. Obama’s nomination for the prize (the person who nominated Obama will not be identified unless he/she voluntarily steps forward) happened within twelve days after his inauguration. The deadline for nominations was February 1, 2009. The Nobel Committee sent out invitation letters to individuals qualified to nominate in September 2008, two months before the election.

“Whatever their motives, the decision of the committee to give the peace prize so early to President Obama was perverse and premature. The prize, the most prestigious of its kind in the world, should be given in either of two sets of circumstances.” – London Times (Sir Malcolm Rifkind was Defence Secretary and Foreign Secretary, 1992-1997. He is MP for Kensington and Chelsea.)

As I peruse news web sites and blogs, I find that most conservatives and many liberals share my internal dissonance and question what has Obama done to deserve this honor?

“Rarely has an award had such an obvious political and partisan intent. It was clearly seen by the Norwegian Nobel committee as a way of expressing European gratitude for an end to the Bush Administration, approval for the election of America’s first black president and hope that Washington will honour its promise to re-engage with the world.

Instead, the prize risks looking preposterous in its claims, patronising in its intentions and demeaning in its attempt to build up a man who has barely begun his period in office, let alone achieved any tangible outcome for peace.” – London Times

Around the globe and across the Internet, on conservative and liberal sites, there is confusion and questions about the appropriateness of this award, at this time. Forget the fact that Mr. Obama was nominated a week and half into his presidency; what did he accomplish in those twelve days that warranted a nomination? What has he done since then to merit such an honor? Something is stinky in …Sweden (and Norway)…

The consensus is NOTHING. Yes, he’s been very busy closing Gitmo (that closure is currently delayed. Obama never defined an exit strategy for Guantanamo Bay or its detainees), travelling aboard Air Force One for world-wide apology tours (and dates with his wife), as well as devising a massive, expensive health care plan that he intends to foist on Americans – whether they want it or not. If you don’t want it – too bad; he will “fine” you if you choose not to buy health insurance (not tax, “fine.” The difference is very subtle, in my humble opinion).

What Obama has done is drive our country into unprecedented debt, bailed out the automobile and banking industries with hastily written bills that were expeditiously forced to a vote without allowing our representatives time to read the legislation and deceived us about his socialist intentions regarding wealth redistribution plans. Let’s not even mention his promise of “transparency in government.”

In brief (trust me, the list is overwhelming) Obama has, so far, failed to live up to many of his campaign promises, including his determination to focus on winning the war in Afghanistan. Mr. Obama continues to delay a decision regarding additional troop deployment requested by General McChrystal. Our troops must wonder how committed their commander in chief is to their personal safety and the completion of a successful mission.

“The Nobel Peace Prize has come too early for Barack Obama. The US president cannot point to any real diplomatic successes to date and there are few prospects of any to come.” – Der Spiegel, Germany

A fellow conservative blogger, Upinak The Palination — http://www.thepalination.com, is more concerned with the morale and well-being of our troops than in today’s farcical announcement about the Peace Prize. Upinak urges the blog’s readers to copy and paste portions of the following into their own blogs and posts. I’m happy to do so:

“…I have more to worry about than an ignorant attempt at someone who has no concept of peace in this time. How about the low morale that our Marines and Troops are dealing with at the moment? Or the fact that Obama will not help OUR Military!

At this moment, I have had numerous emails coming in to ask to help. Help Sarah Palin, help our Troops and Marines. Just help out in general and since Track Palin had his mom, Sarah come to the ceremony to welcome his unit home from Iraq and the fact I have a friend who is back home due to a horrible family accident, yet is stationed in Afghanistan, I and a co-worker of mine have decided to give back.

With your help… and to make a statement to Obama, the administration and to all those who do not care about our Marines, Troops and those over in Iraq and Afghanistan who are doing what is told, even if they do not agree.

Let us shower them with packages and remind them they are not forgotten. So how should this work? Adopt a Soldier, Squad, and a Platoon and here is how you can do it:


You can have monthly Church groups stuffing boxes. Your office can donate a few bucks a month to send a box. Or even have whatever organizations you are affiliated with send their own.

This link is a great source of information on what to send to your “adopted soldiers and marines”.


I have been adopting soldiers and marines for years. This is the best defense against those who are on the offense concerning Iraq and Afghanistan. Who can you trust? The soldiers and marines who are there or the administration and Obama who do nothing? I pick our military! You will NEVER feel bad about helping those who need a good laugh and a package of love.”

Thanks, Upinak, for the perspective and advice.