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Obama Not Regretting His Backtracking Clarification

President Obama told reporters in Ohio today that he does not regret wading into the mosque/Ground Zero debate. Here’s Time magazine’s Mark Halperin’s take:

Really??!! Another presidential comment on this sensitive matter made on the fly in response to a press question? The political and substantive damage will continue until Obama explains his position in detail and (in a dignified and uplifting way) explains why his critics are wrong. This is a classic case of a politician losing control of his public image on a key issue — only in this instance, it has implications for the whole world.

Politics is an inherently messy profession; even the best practitioners of it slip up from time to time. But the depth of ineptitude on this issue that we’re seeing from the president and his White House, as well as the speaker of the House, is jaw-dropping. It is as if they were consciously thinking of ways to keep this story alive, to stoke the embers, and to further upset the public.


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