Obama's Olympics, Bush's Socks, Carter's Rabbit - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Obama’s Olympics, Bush’s Socks, Carter’s Rabbit

In the fall of 1991, as his polls began sinking and America found itself in a recession, President George H.W. Bush was urged to show his compassion and concern for his fellow Americans. Thus pushed, Bush descended from Camp David to stroll into a local Thurmont, Maryland store to show his support for the economy by buying — socks. A pair of socks.

Alas, as with Jimmy Carter’s unfortunate tangle with a killer rabbit, the Bush socks episode became a metaphor for the Bush presidency. His opponents never ceased to portray this episode as an example of the “elitist” and “country club” conception of trickle-down economics. It was a small thing, but in the context of the day, like Carter’s hapless episode with the rabbit, it became a metaphor for a presidency in trouble.

The Bush and Carter episodes come to mind watching this Obama jaunt to Copenhagen for the Olympics. Image making is a risky business in the White House. The Obama administration put their man out there front and center at what was a distinctly non-presidential task: getting the Olympics for Chicago. And he failed. Spectacularly.

Now casting this as a talking point about meeting General McCrystal to discuss Afghanistan won’t wipe away the image created of a president rendered impotent — this time not by a rabbit or a pair of socks, but by the International Olympic Committee.

Now that’s an Olympic-sized political accomplishment.

Jeffrey Lord
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Jeffrey Lord, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is a former aide to Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. An author and former CNN commentator, he writes from Pennsylvania at jlpa1@aol.com. His new book, Swamp Wars: Donald Trump and The New American Populism vs. The Old Order, is now out from Bombardier Books.
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