President Obama made his second public speaking appearance yesterday afternoon since the attempted bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas day. Was it the flack the administration has been receiving from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s “the system worked” comment that lead to the second appearance? CNN’s Ed Henry said the second statement was “unexpected” and asked if it was because Obama was “feeling heat from critics.”
Napolitano has since clarified that she meant the system worked only after the failed bomb attempt by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was known. Who approved this administration stance? Rightly so, the American people are not as concerned about what happened after the attempted bombing, but with the fact that we did not catch the bomber before he boarded the flight.
Obama’s messaging yesterday was clearly aimed to address Napolitano’s comment, as he used the words “systemic failure” to describe the event. The question now is if his second statement will be enough, or if the administration will have to go even further.