Like good chess players, those accomplished at the games of billiards and politics are always thinking several moves ahead. That includes not only the player's own moves, but those of his or her opponents as well. Is that what Sarah Palin was doing Wednesday when she tweeted
"Media: admit it, Trump forced the issue. Now, don't let the WH distract you w/the birth crt from what Bernanke says today. Stay focused, eh?"Before you answer that question, consider this item published Thursday by The DC's Matthew Boyle:
"...indirectly, Obama is benefiting from giving in to Trump as the mainstream media’s focus isn’t on the major story lines that would usually dominate the headlines, like the Federal Reserve press conference, unfavorable economic numbers and all-time-lows for Obama in polling results."Sarah called Obama's shot: Bernake in the side pocket while all eyes were on the shiny birth certificate object. And the media, despite Gov. Palin's admonition not to allow themselves to be distracted, went for the shiny object.
Former deputy White House press secretary Scott Stanzel told The Daily Caller that the document’s release and Obama’s appearance in the White House briefing room to talk about it only elevated the story. His appearance on Oprah shortly thereafter made the story even bigger, and then he joked about the conspiracy theory at 2012 campaign fundraisers Wednesday night.
“President Obama said he’d made this decision a couple weeks ago,” Stanzel said. “I don’t understand why it takes two weeks to produce the document. In my view, the White House generally doesn’t try to release news in a haphazard way. Having the president of the United States show up in the press briefing room like this, they had to know it would be front page news.”
New York Times pollster Nate Silver said, too, that the White House probably isn’t complaining about the boom in birther coverage since it has shielded Obama from other, more important issues. “Lots of mediocre polling and economic numbers for Obama today,” Silver tweeted. “I don’t think he’d protest if media devoted another 72 hrs to birther crap.”
If that was the White House strategy, it appears to be working. A quick sweep of the front-page headlines of major U.S. newspapers Thursday revealed little coverage of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s first-ever press conference. Also, the birth certificate release topped the Fed presser in many newspapers that gave front-page attention to it.
Never get into a game of pocket billiards with Gov. Palin. She will clean your clock.