On May 9, 1970, President Nixon made an impromptu pre-dawn visit to anti-war protestors camped at the Lincoln Memorial. It left many people scratching their heads at the time, and suggested Nixon’s inner turmoil about the war over which he presided.
Today’s 17-minute-long, rambling statement by President Obama on the Zimmerman verdict is just as odd as Nixon’s visit, though of course the trappings of the White House press room make it less obviously so. The president’s comments were clearly unrehearsed, not at all logical, and seemed to be a sort of default to his days as a community organizer.
The backdrop of revolution in Egypt, slaughter in Syria, Snowden in Russia, the Castro brothers shipping missile technology to the Norks, the exploding IRS scandal and a still struggling economy make the detachment of the president from presidential duties even more stark. Cynics will say he just wants to make himself relevant again as his hold over the Beltway diminsihes in an almost visible fashion, but it was much stranger than a mere lurch to be significant.
Race may be the only issue on which the president feels competent to talk. Which puts the country in a pretty difficult place for the next three plus years.