It wasn’t exactly the roaring, adoring, campaign-style crowd President Barack Obama is accustomed to.
On Tuesday, the president spoke to the American Legion’s national convention, facing a crowd of veterans deeply concerned about widespread corruption at the Veterans Administration and the resultant deaths of some veterans awaiting health care.
So when Obama began by lecturing the veterans about cynicism and explaining his most recent foreign policy choices — instead of addressing the VA crisis — the audience clearly wasn’t pleased.
Fox News cameras captured a sea of blank or frowning faces looking silently back at the president as he paused for failed applause line after failed applause line.
Obama’s assertion of the indispensability of American leadership worldwide failed to merit a single clap. And when he outlined the “progress” made in Afghanistan, the president resolutely paused for several agonizing seconds until the veterans provided their tepid support.
He didn’t fare much better once he finally reached the VA scandal, with halfhearted applause accompanying his promises to make things right at the corruption-plagued agency.
“We need to make the system work!” the president declared, as the camera caught one veteran turn skeptically to another, open his mouth as if to speak, then turn back and continue to listen, uninterested.