Obama staff order F-22 snubbing at Alaska appearance

Foreign Policy journal’s blog, The Cable, reported earlier this hour about a PR fiasco last month involving POTUS, the F-22 and the backdrop for the TV cameras in an Elmendorf AFB hangar.

When President Obama spoke to troops at Alaska’s ElmendorfAir Force Base last month, the unit there parked a shiny new F-22 fighter planein the hanger. But according to multiple sources, White House aides demanded theplane be changed to an older F-15 fighter because they didn’t want Obamaspeaking in front of the F-22, a controversial program he fought hard to end.

“White House aides actually made them remove the F-22-saidthey would not allow POTUS to be pictured with the F-22 in any way, shape, orform,” one source close to the unit relayed.

Stephen Lee, a publicaffairs officer at Elmendorf, confirmed to The Cable that the F-22 wasparked in the hanger and then was replaced by an F-15 at the White House’sbehest.

The airmen there took offense to the Obama aides’ demand,sources told The Cable, seeing it as a slight to the folks who areoperating the F-22 proudly every day. They also expressed bewilderment that theWhite House staff would even care so much as to make an issue out of the factthat the F-22 was placed in the hanger with the president.


11 Responses to Obama staff order F-22 snubbing at Alaska appearance

  1. bobbymike 2 December, 2009 at 10:36 pm #

    Everything is political with Marxists. Everything is symbolism over substance. The Dear Leader is more important than the nation.

  2. Matthew G. Saroff 3 December, 2009 at 4:47 am #

    Not at all.

    Someone at the Pentagon wanted that picture of Obama standing in front of the F-22, and someone got wise to it, and put a stop to it.

    It reminds me of Truman and MacArthur, they were to hold a meeting, and MacArthur was “detained”, so his plane got there late, and Truman kept orbiting to make sure that MacArthur greeted him as he got off the plane (the mark of a subordinate).

  3. ELP 3 December, 2009 at 5:21 am #

    Stupid is, as stupid does.

  4. aeroeric 3 December, 2009 at 10:58 am #

    This is a none-event, the staffer is an idiot. The F22 represents the epitome of American technology, why the hell would we not want the president to stand in front of the airplane, and I am an Obama supporter.

  5. Royce 3 December, 2009 at 2:19 pm #

    If he had gone with the F-22 in the picture, the right wing would have been screaming about him standing in the picture with a program he forced Congress to cut. So he doesn’t pose with the F-22, and all of a sudden he’s insulting the USAF. It’s just politics.

  6. BDF 3 December, 2009 at 3:25 pm #

    Not only is it “just politics” the right are far from innocent from exploiting “imagery” for political gain either. Remember Bush’s famous “Mission Accomplished” stunt on the LINCOLN? We all know how well that turned out.

    I do agree that it was stupid and I’m not sure it was a contrived move by the POTUS himself but you never know.

  7. Obamanite 3 December, 2009 at 10:59 pm #

    My first reaction was, well, that was dumb. Then I thought about it and it seems to me Matthew has it about right. Someone at the Pentagon may have wanted to get Obama in front of that plane so later the Right could scream that he wanted it canceled (actually, concluded, as per his predecessor) and yet there he was, hypocritically standing in front of it. Then again, I don’t think the folks at Elmendorf thought about it at all. They simply put their prized fighter of which they are rightly proud on display. However, it is the job of the POTUS’ handlers to beware of potentially damaging symbolism at these sorts of events, and they rightly saw a potential political danger in having Obama stand in front of an F-22. Unfortunately, Elmendorf, through no fault of their own, got caught in the middle of an unsavory political game.

    It’s a little like being at a party where you run into your ex, with whom you’re still friends. Pictures are taken, and the last thing you want is to have one taken with your arm around her. It’s not that you have anything still going on with her, or that you now refuse to acknowledge her existence, but do you really want to have to go through the trouble of explaining to your current wife/girlfriend what’s up with that picture? Sometimes, a picture speaks a thousand misleading and lying words.

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  10. J Ritchey 13 December, 2010 at 9:55 pm #

    Well consider this for a moment. Now that a plane went down in Alaska, maybe there is more to this hatred by the DEMS to get rid of the program.

    Rumors on the web say the crash site was staged and that the wreckage is actually an F18.

    Where oh where would this plane have gone? Hmmm, Hillary is sure cozy with China and we did lose a super secret spy plane to China along with a hard drive out of Las Alomos while hubby Bill was in power.

    Look, we know exactly who these people work for and it isn’t you.

  11. Stephen Trimble 13 December, 2010 at 10:02 pm #

    I don’t care what your politics are. That is the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard. Was the air force pilot who was killed also staged by the Democrats? Why don’t you go ask the dead pilot’s wife and kids, you low-life creep.

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