WASHINGTON – On the flight home from the European Summit today, Barack Obama stopped in the press cabin of Air Force One and joked that he was stopping the plane in South America to see Hugo Chavez.
That according to CNN's Ed Henry, who Tweeted the message to anyone who might be paying attention, editorializing that the president appeared to be "a little punchy."
Chavez is known as a leading anti-American socialist leader in Venezuela.
Within minutes the blogosphere was aflame with concerns not only about the propriety of the remark but about Obama's state of mind.
The flippant remark wasn't the only trigger for such concerns:
- Shortly after his meeting with European Union leaders, Obama offhandedly remarked: "This summit was not as exciting as other summits."
- Some observe he seems distant from the nation's economic challenges, the rising tide of anger sweeping the country over enhanced airport security checks and the secrecy over what top military officials characterize as an unexplained missile launch over Southern California Nov. 8.
- Pundits and talk-show hosts, including Rush Limbaugh and top-rated Sean Hannity, have cited White House sources as saying the president is "unhinged," "detached," "bored," "losing it" and obsessed with critics.
"There are some Democrats that cue me into things," said Hannity on his show Thursday. "The feeling among some people in the White House is that this president is unhinged, that he's detached, that he's losing it, he's obsessed with critics, very specifically obsessed with Fox News, he can't stand [Vice President Joe] Biden, he hates the Clintons, the Clintons hate him. Infighting, apparently, and finger pointing is at an all-time high; if the president is brought bad news on the economy, he has a meltdown every time he hears it. And this is what people – and I'm telling you, my sources are reliable – are telling me."
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Hannity's comments can be heard below:
Before Air Force 1 landed, American bloggers were weighing in through cyberspace with their opinions of the latest remark from Obama:
- "Is he finally losing it? I think that people who joke and laugh about inappropriate things, or at inappropriate times are having trouble dealing with something."
- "The guy is certifiable."
- "He must be bored again."
- "If CNN is noticing Obama is mentally ill, that's a big deal. CNN has to be careful or get their press card pulled. They are being as open as they can be."
- "He's cracking. By spring he'll be a complete mess."
- "'Punchy' is an interesting choice of words. It usually means drunk to the point of being stupid. That seems to fit the context."
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