We already know about the branded t-shirts that were available at the Tucson
Memorial Service Democratic Pep Rally, but it goes even beyond that. The White House (and their apologists) have been claiming that the University of Arizona is solely to blame for the shirts and the propaganda campaign. Even if that were true (and I didn’t believe it for a second), the White House still chose to join in and participate in this festival of bad taste. The President never ever just “shows up” anywhere; there are advance teams that get sent out to prepare the venue for the President long before his arrival, and to make sure that the appearance goes as scripted. So, even if one charitably assumes that the White House had no part whatsoever in planning the Wellstoning that occurred, there is no way whatsoever that they were ignorant of it, and no way whatsoever that they could not have stopped it if they had wanted to. They could have even chosen to appear somewhere more appropriate than a college in the first place. So regardless of the spin, there is no way to hold the White House blameless for the appalling celebration of exploitation and finger pointing in which they happily took center stage.
However, it turns out (“Surprise, surprise!”) that White House Press Secretary “Baghdad Bob” Gibbs was lying (his lips were moving, after all) when he said that they were surprised by all of the applause.
“…I read the speech several times and thought that there wouldn’t be a lot of applause if any. I think many of us thought that.”
One has to wonder, therefore, why they Jumbotron at the arena, preloaded with Obama’s speech, had calls for applause? (Yet another completely unsurprising thing happened when this picture started making the rounds on the internet, and the leftist who took the picture at the rally immediately took it down and started threatening to sue conservative blogs for displaying it. Fortunately, screen captures had been taken; because once you put something online, you can never be sure of taking it back down again everywhere and forever. (H/T: Gateway Pundit)