Barack “I actually wanna govern for a couple of years” Obama chose to close the White House tours as a symbolic way to dramatize the impact of the sequester cuts-in-the-rate-of-spending-growth. The White House press corps grilled spokesman Jay Carney about this choice Wednesday, with ABC’s Jonathan Karl leading the way.
Note the Mediaite headline on that clip — Carney “smacks down” a question. That’s not what I get out of that exchange at all. Carney is clearly on the defensive and has no serious explanation for the president’s choices — close the tours on the one hand, keep playing golf and taking lavish vacations on the other.
Because there is no rational explanation for it, other than the one Carney doesn’t want to outline: The president closed the tours for the symbolism and to hurt ordinary Americans, but has no intention of putting a hairshirt on his own back. The president has been traveling around the country in campaign mode to push for higher taxes. Each of those trips costs the US taxpayer more than a month of White House tours. The president slips out of the White House, which we can no longer tour, regularly for golf. Each of those golf outings costs the taxpayer more than the White House tours do.
The president could lead by example and cancel these perks of his job, but he’s like the reinstated head of the GSA: He likes spending our money, he just doesn’t want to be held accountable for any of it.