Now, there is simply no doubt that Obama's Friday evening speech, in the context in which it was delivered, was an endorsement of the Ground Zero project. It was certainly widely understood as such...But on Saturday, Obama said all those listeners were wrong, that they misunderstood him.
That's the whole thing...context. Of course he wanted his iftar guests to conclude he supported the mosque. Why else issue such a statement at such a time and place?
But now, he has the luxury of saying, "Wait! Wait! You misunderstood me," to everyone else.
Of course the Imam has a legal right to build there. Once again, that's not the issue. The issue is the sensitivity of it. I forget who said it but someone on television made a comparison to Pearl Harbor; nobody would consider building a monument to kamikaze pilots at Pearl Harbor. It's not so very different.
Drudge isn't shy about heading into this one:
And, now, it should come as no surprise to anyone that Obama's buddy, Charlie Crist, has come out in support of Obama's statement. You've got to just love this one. Crist, who was just nearly tanked by the photograph of him and Obama as he supported the stimulus, now comes out in support of the mosque:
"I think he's right - yeah," Crist, who was elected governor as a Republican but is now running for Senate as an independent candidate, told CNN. "We are a country in my view that stands for freedom of religion. You know, respect for others. I know there are sensitivities and I understand that, but I think Mayor Bloomberg is right and I think the President is right."
What a buffoon.
And on the same day we learn that Rubio has passed Crist in the polls. This one is still very tight, but Crist is doing himself no favors here. Keep on talkin', Charlie. Keep on talking. Maybe you'd like to go take a dip in the Atlantic with the Obamas while they're on yet another vacation, this time in your state.
It'll be good times watching Gibbs spin all this tomorrow. Can't wait.