Today on the New York Daily News's Web site appear a picture and story of President Obama having trouble getting back into the White House. The article begins:
It looks like President Obama hasn't gotten acquainted to his White House surroundings. On the way back to the Oval Office Tuesday, the President approached a paned window, instead of the actual door -- located a few feet to his right.
Doors didn't open automatically for Obama’s predecessor either. While making a hasty exit from a 2005 press conference in Beijing, former President George W. Bush tugged on the handles of a door, only to find it locked.
Bush laughed off the blunder, but the pictures still live on as part of Bush's lame duck legacy. However, there was little note taken of Obama's rookie mistake.
The Bush incident in Beijing received widespread media coverage. David Letterman used it to develop a Top Ten list. Good Morning America's Charles Gibson intoned over the video of Bush struggling with the door:
"No way out. President Bush tries the wrong door on his trip to Asia and has fun for the cameras. But the big question now: Does he have an exit strategy for Iraq?"
Such symbolism was noted in columns written by the Washington Post's Peter Baker and Eugene Robinson. The New York Times printed a November 21, 2005 letter from author Bernard Goldberg that said in part:
On Nov. 21, The Times published a four-panel picture on Page 1 that extended over two columns and ran some 12 inches from the masthead more than halfway down the page showing President Bush trying to exit a meeting with reporters in Beijing -- through a locked door.
Get it? The guy can't even figure out how to get out of a room. What a dunce!
So will we see similar prominent coverage, editorial comment and jests aimed at the current president's embarrassment? That would indeed be change from the Obama obsession of the mainstream media, but I don't see much hope for that happening.