Here’s the scenario the Obama administration wants to avoid at all costs on Saturday: It declares the Obamacare website fixed, a bunch of cable news network anchors try to log on again on live TV, and they get more error messages.
And suddenly, everyone’s showing that clip of George W. Bush standing on the USS Abraham Lincoln in front of the “Mission Accomplished” banner.
— “Obama’s goal: Avoid ‘Mission Accomplished’ moment,” de facto Obama house organ the Politico, Friday.
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The problem for the administration is that they moved the goalposts so often over the previous five weeks that they have already lost the messaging war.
One is reminded of the “Mission Accomplished” gaffe which many pundits now see as the PR snafu which began the unraveling of the Bush administration: Shortly after the successful 2003 invasion of Iraq, Bush appeared on an aircraft carrier to give a speech to the troops, and behind him was a banner declaring “Mission Accomplished.” In truth, the specific mission of invading Iraq, overthrowing the government and occupying the country had been accomplished — but over the subsequent months it became clear that quelling the Iraqi insurgency was far from accomplished, and that the war had just begun. Thus the moment became an iconic symbol of a broken presidential promise.
And so today’s declaration of victory over rebellious html code will come back to haunt Obama for the rest of his term.
I list five reasons on the next page.
— “MissionAccomplished.gov,” from Zombie at the PJ Tatler.
— Caleb Bonham (@CalebBonham) December 1, 2013
(Cartoon atop post by Michael Ramirez of Investor’s Business Daily, from the original Obama Mission Accomplished moment, back in 2009.)