EDITOR’S NOTEBOOK: Hello, Mr. President, can you hear me now?

by Ross Reily

Published: May 24,2013

Tags: Associated Press, Barack Obama, Bill Waller, IRS, Justice Department, Politics, Ross Reily

Associated Press/Charles Dharapak

Associated Press/Charles Dharapak

My kids, all three of them, are really big fans of President Obama.

It has nothing to do with their political affiliation, mind you, considering they are all 8 and under.

My 7- and 8-year-olds got to meet him and shake his hand when he was running for president back in ’08, and, from then on, he could do no wrong.

I get it.

When I was a kid, former Mississippi Gov. Bill Waller was really nice to me and even let me get into the helicopter he had been riding in. He would’ve taken me for a ride had my mother not stepped in.

As far as I was concerned, Gov. Waller was the coolest guy on the planet, regardless of his politics.

Having said all of that, President Obama hasn’t had a very good few weeks.

I’m sure you’ve seen or heard about the laundry list of issues.

There’s last year’s attack on a diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, in which nearly half of Americans, according to a recent poll, say President Obama’s administration is trying to cover up the facts of the attack.

Then there’s the IRS scandal in which the agency has admitted it targeted conservative and tea-party groups during last year’s election because of their politics. It turns out the IRS targeted 40 groups, of which 17 were considered conservative.

And finally, The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative’s top executive called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather the news.

Well, that obviously gets into my way of doing business.

In one editorial I read, it rightfully stated, “Democrats and Republicans, small-government proponents and civil liberties groups — rarely on the same page on most issues — are rightfully up in arms. Secretly obtaining reporters’ notes and launching a phishing expedition against the lone entity responsible for keeping governments in check flies in direct conflict with this country’s founding.”

This will break my kids’ hearts

OK, so how am I supposed to break this to my kids?

President Obama hung the moon. Michelle Obama, in their eyes, is part of the family and Sasha and Malia might as well be their sisters, too.

They have an idealistic view of their country, their government and their president, which isn’t a bad thing.

You don’t want to shatter their world.

But a decisive move has to be made, and I have taken action.

Once an hour, every hour — as dependable as Old Faithful — I have picked the phone in my office and started talking.

“Mr. President, Mr. President, this is Ross at the Mississippi Business Journal down in Jackson. My kids really love you, and one of them has a birthday coming up. Any chance you and your family could come down and visit for the afternoon?

“They would really love it, and there will be cake and ice cream if Michelle doesn’t mind.”

I sure hope he is listening.

Contact Mississippi Business Journal editor Ross Reily at ross.reily@msbusiness.com or (601) 364-1018

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