The president of the United States is “heartbroken” over the tragic murder of nine parishioners at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C. So much so, in fact, that he could only bring himself to attend two fundraisers in San Francisco the day after the massacre.
The fundraisers, one hosted by venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar with 30 people donating $33,400 to the Democratic National Committee (and closed to press), the other hosted by oil billionaire turned “green energy” advocate Tom Steyer, featuring 50 people paying a minimum of $10,000, are the latest example of Barack Obama burying his “heartbreak” in non-work activities.
Within minutes of saying, “We will be vigilant and we will be relentless” about pursuing the ISIS terrorists who beheaded American journalist James Foley, the president went golfing with friends. The juxtaposition of a somberly read condemnation and promise of action with a Martha’s Vineyard outing yucking it up with buddies was too much for many. So much so that the president himself had to acknowledge it.
“It is always a challenge when you’re supposed to be on vacation,” he told the “Meet the Press” audience. “There’s no doubt that, after having talked to the families, where it was hard for me to hold back tears listening to the pain that they were going through, after the statement that I made, that you know, I should’ve anticipated the optics.”
But he didn’t. Nor did he anticipate the optics well after the attack in Benghazi that left four Americans dead.
The attack that took the lives of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others on Sept. 11, 2012, was followed by a Rose Garden statement on the morning of Sept. 12 and an interview with “60 Minutes” host Steve Croft. Then, immediately following taping the interview, the president flew to Las Vegas for a campaign rally.
When the bodies of those four Americans returned to the country, the president was at Joint Base Andrews to greet them at 2:15 p.m. At 7 p.m. that same day, President Obama attended a “campaign event” at a private residence in D.C.
After the tragic events in Charleston and the president’s San Francisco fundraising, he will spend his Father’s Day weekend in Palm Springs without his family, playing golf.