Media Mostly MIA on Obama's 'America No Longer What It Once Was' Downer Delivered to 7 Year-Old

This doesn't qualify as any kind of surprise, but it should be noted nonetheless.

Thursday, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama gave a stunningly downbeat assessment of the nation's overall situation in a response to a seven year-old girl who asked him why he is running for president. Obama's media water-carriers have virtually ignored his very telling response, one that is reminiscent of Jimmy Carter's gloomiest, malaise-based assessments of America during his awful presidency.

Here is a rundown of what happened from Ed Morrissey of Hot Air (direct YouTube link to relevant video is here):

When presidential candidates answer questions from children about why they want the job, most will give an answer that uplifts the child and the candidate. Not Barack Obama. At a campaign stop in Elkhart, Indiana, a seven-year-old girl asked the Democrat why he wants to be President — and he told her that America has gone downhill:

"America is …, uh, is no longer, uh … what it could be, what it once was. And I say to myself, I don’t want that future for my children."

An August 7-9 Google News search I did at 10 a.m. on [Obama "it once was"] (typed exactly as indicated within brackets) returned 30 results "with all duplicates included" (when I did the search, the results header indicated that there were "about 85," but there were in fact only 30). Of those, 26 relate directly to Obama's statement.

Of those 26 results, only four could arguably be construed as coming from major media original reporting:

  • One is an ABC Political Punch blog item from Jake Tapper that linked over to the YouTube after a brief description.
  • The second is a Fox News transcript from its Thursday evening "Hannity and Colmes" (H&C) program, where Mike Huckabee commented on what Obama said ("We saw a candidate who's off the prompter. ..... This was a very, very serious tactical error, because it's that kind of comment that does come back to haunt a candidate.").
  • The third is at August 8's US News's Political Bulletin, where its final item of six refers to the H&C program.
  • The fourth, at Real Clear Politics, also references H&C.

Of the remainder:

  • Seven are from a group of California-based publications. An identical post by "Rational_Thinker" entitled "Barrack Obama Whiffs a pitch from a 7 year old girl" appears at each one.
  • Seven are from center-right blogs and online publications: The Hot Air entry above, Powerline, Townhall's Hugh Hewitt, two at WorldNetDaily (here and here), Wizbang, Stop the ACLU.
  • Six are from Rush Limbaugh's site (one of them is here; it will go behind Rush's subscription wall on Thursday evening).
  • One is at a center-left blog, the The Carpetbagger Report, where proprietor Steve Benen describes the situation as a "manufactured controversy."

That's a total of 25. The one remaining item is from an Old Media source, but not from original reporting. It is an Atlanta Journal-Constitution "Thinking Right" blog post by Jim Wooten, who effectively tells Benen why he's wrong:

Obama simply cannot stay on the “I love America” script, a threshold requirement. With him, it’s conditions and qualifiers, lawyered-up codicils to define precisely the America he embraces, lest his adoring acolytes on the Left think he includes all that Big Oil, God, guns and bigotry stuff, too. Middle America hears him and it jars. We don’t know what America he’s talking about, whether we and our values are in or out.

None of the above would include sites that are "only" blogs, meaning that they have not cleared Google News's definition of a news source or have not applied to be considered as a Google News source. The NewsBusters version of this post will most likely appear in Google News shortly after it goes up.


UPDATE, Aug. 10: The NewsBusters post is there is you change the scope of the [Obama "it once was"] search to August 7-10 from August 7-9, even though this post clearly went up on August 9. I can't explain that.


My take: At least Jimmy Carter was "smart" enough to fool the voters with his toothy grin and pleasant countenance during most of the long 1976 campaign season. Obama, and for that matter his wife Michelle ("for the first time in my adult life, I'm proud to be an American"), have clearly not done so. They have turned "America has problems, and we can fix them," which is of course a common theme and perfectly defensible, into "America as a nation has declined," which is much harder to defend, and certainly harder for a fundamentally optimistic nation to swallow, especially when that message is delivered to a 7 year-old girl.

This explains why Old Media is giving Obama's statement the near-silent treatment.

Cross-posted at

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