What did we get after four long years of expertly staged Kabuki-theater-meets-Potemkin-village productions? Sixteen trillion dollars in debt, a pile of dead bodies, troops at increased risk and a gallery of tax-subsidized Kodachrome pictures creating the grand illusion of leadership.
On Monday night, as Hurricane Sandy bore down on the East Coast, Team Obama's image consultants released a photo showing POTUS purportedly in charge. The White House sent the picture out to 3.2 million Twitter followers with the message: "Photo: President Obama receives an update on the ongoing response to Hurricane #Sandy in the Situation Room."
On Tuesday morning, the White House sent out another Situation Room photo with Obama -- pen in hand, gilded coffee cup to the side, leaning intently toward a videoconference monitor -- getting a Sandy update.
A White House caption informs us that Obama was flanked by "John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; Tony Blinken, National Security Advisor to the Vice President; David Agnew, Director for Intergovernmental Affairs; Alyssa Mastromonaco, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations; and Chief of Staff Jack Lew."
In his halcyon days, the images would have prompted an avalanche of social media swooning. But with a tornado of unanswered questions and swirling lies in Washington surrounding the president's dereliction of duty during the 9/11/12 terrorist attack on our diplomatic staff and security personnel in Libya, informed Twitter users wanted to know only one thing:
What about Benghazi?
"Oh, so NOW the president is in the situation room?" conservative activist and blogger Melissa Clouthier responded. "But he went to bed during Benghazi." Conservative writer and blogger Elizabeth Scalia asked: "How DEAF is the (White House)? They release photo of Obama in Situation Room monitoring storm? Where is (the) pic of him in that room, monitoring BENGHAZI?" When CBS News reporter Mark Knoller shared one of the White House photos on his Twitter feed, North Carolina small-businessman Aaron LePrell asked: "(C)an you request a picture of the Benghazi situation room for us?"