President Obama Friday took time out of his day to make a politically motivated call a Georgetown Law student who had been insulted by Rush Limbaugh, but he failed to utter a single public statement or make any calls – as far as we know – related to the tornadoes raging the same day across the Midwest.
The tornadoes have so far killed at least 39 people. The Georgetown Law student had her feelings hurt.
The student, a “reproductive rights” activist named Sandra Fluke, was called a slut and and a prostitute by Limbaugh over her support for forcing religious institutions to cover birth control.
By phoning Fluke, Obama was helping steer controversy over the Obamacare birth control coverage mandate away from a discussion damaging to the president about forcing leaders of religious institutions to violate their conscience, and instead toward a battle over women’s health rights.
But as he worked on his political objectives, Obama passed up several opportunities to mention the tornadoes, failing to appear at the White House and saying nothing about the storms during remarks Friday afternoon to a “conservation conference” at the Department of the Interior.
He didn’t even release a written statement, though he managed to put out a “Notice of Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to the Situation in Zimbabwe.”
In the Saturday morning weekly address, which he could easily have launched with a mention of the victims, Obama stuck to his script, which called for him to seize credit for the automakers’ return to profitability.
There is no report from the White House of any calls to victims of the tornadoes by the president, even as the White House publicized his call to the victim of some nasty words.
Other White House officials did no better.
Michelle Obama was off raising money at three fundraisers in North Carolina and failed to mention the storms once.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney didn’t bring the matter up during his briefing Friday.
The White House finally got around to referencing the tragedy Saturday, releasing details of work by FEMA and a short statement noting that Obama had made pro forma calls to the governors of Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio to offer “condolences to families” through them.