UPDATE at 1:08pm: Just watched Gibbs’ press briefing, and the WH press corps asked him ONE question in 31 minutes about the town hall event yesterday. The question and answer took all of 40 seconds. No grilling, no follow-up from yesterday. Just a question in the 18th minute about whether or not the WH is going to help the woman (who happened to be an Obama volunteer and a DNC plant) who has cancer.
UPDATE at 9:57am on 7/2/09: It just gets better.
From the Washington Post:
The president called randomly on three audience members. All turned out to be members of groups with close ties to his administration: the Service Employees International Union, Health Care for America Now, and Organizing for America, which is a part of the Democratic National Committee. White House officials said that was a coincidence.
Obama, Gibbs, and co. must all think we’re fools. The WH press corps knew this was going to happen, called Gibbs on it, and Gibbsy brushed their criticism aside like it was completely unfounded. I can’t imagine today’s press briefing is going to go well.
(HT: Michael Goldfarb)
Give me a break.
From the AP:
President Barack Obama wanted to put a human face on his plans to overhaul health care, and a Virginia supporter did just that Wednesday. Fighting back tears, Debby Smith, 53, told Obama of her kidney cancer and her inability to obtain health insurance or hold a job.
But wait, there’s more…
The president hugged her – she’s a volunteer for his political operation – and called her “exhibit A” in an unsustainable system that is too expensive and complex for millions of Americans.
Wait for it….wait for it……
Smith, of Appalachia, Va., is a volunteer for Organizing for America, Obama’s political operation within the Democratic National Committee. She obtained her ticket through the White House.
And the truth shall set you free!
Why Republicans would DARE accuse Obama of staging this entire event is beyond me! No wonder Gibbs got smacked around today (by Helen Thomas of all people), over worries that this whole thing was a sham. More from Hot Air on Helen Thomas going nuclear here.