President Obama can add another job title to his resume: Samsung shill.
It turns out that the “spontaneous” selfie that the president took with Red Sox player David Ortiz at the White House on Tuesday was actually an orchestrated social-media move by the baseball star.
After Ortiz tweeted the picture of him and the president on the South Lawn, it got a social-media boost from Samsung on Twitter. Ortiz, as a newly signed social-media insider for the tech company, used one of their devices for the shot. Then Samsung’s social-media team went to work tweeting out the photo and confirming it was taken with a Samsung Galaxy Note 3.
“When we heard about the visit to the White House, we worked with David and the team on how to share images with fans,” Samsung said in a statement to The Boston Globe. “We didn’t know if or what he would be able to capture using his Note 3 device.”
This mirrors the Samsung-orchestrated selfie, and now most tweeted photo ever, that Ellen DeGeneres took at the Oscars last month.
The president was obviously duped into helping Samsung sell more phones. “POTUS did not know,” Red Sox fan and White House press secretary Jay Carney told BusinessWeek.
But how could the president have known?
Unless he was explicitly told, he really couldn’t have. This will, however, make the White House press team and the president think twice before Obama takes another selfie with athletes or other celebrities.
And it’s too bad, really. The president taking a selfie was an easy social-media win for him. It makes Obama look down-to-earth and human.
The political selfie is no longer just a rare bit of innocent Washington levity. Now, with the help of Samsung, it’s just another conduit for corporate messaging.
What We're Following See More »
"Even if House Republicans manage to get enough members of their party on board with the latest version of their health care bill, they will face another battle in the Senate: whether the bill complies with the chamber’s arcane ... Byrd rule, which stipulates all provisions in a reconciliation bill must affect federal spending and revenues in a way that is not merely incidental." Democrats should have the advantage in that fight, "unless the Senate pulls another 'nuclear option.'”
The House has passed a one-week spending bill that will avert a government shutdown which was set to begin at midnight. Lawmakers now have an extra week to come to a longer agreement which is expected to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year in September. The legislation now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to pass before President Trump signs it.
President Trump’s portrayal of an effort to funnel more Medicaid dollars to Puerto Rico as a "bailout" is complicating negotiations over a continuing resolution on the budget. "House Democrats are now requiring such assistance as a condition for supporting the continuing resolution," a position that the GOP leadership is amenable to. "But Mr. Trump’s apparent skepticism aligns him with conservative House Republicans inclined to view its request as a bailout, leaving the deal a narrow path to passage in Congress."
Democrats in the House are threatening to shut down the government if Republicans expedite a vote on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, said Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer Thursday. Lawmakers have introduced a one-week spending bill to give themselves an extra week to reach a long-term funding deal, which seemed poised to pass easily. However, the White House is pressuring House Republicans to take a vote on their Obamacare replacement Friday to give Trump a legislative victory, though it is still not clear that they have the necessary votes to pass the health care bill. This could go down to the wire.