If this were a normal week in Washington, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs would not have been reading alerts about an attempted car bombing in Times Square during the White House Correspondents Association Dinner. (The president only found out after his comedy act was finished.) President Obama would not have spent his Sunday in a helicopter fighting high winds to try to see a massive oil slick headed for the nation’s southern coast. And the White House briefing today would have focused on financial regulatory reform and the coming Supreme Court nomination.
But alas, this is not a normal week, if there ever was a normal week, so instead Robert Gibbs spent much of his Tuesday briefing trying to explain that it should be seen as a victory that Faisal Shahzad, who was on a no-fly list, never took off Monday night from a New York airport. It was less important, Gibbs said, that Shahzad had been allowed to board the plane in the first place. Shahzad’s name, he said, had been flagged by customs and border patrol, not the airline. “The system is set up to provide the type of redundency, which any good system would be able to do,” he said.
That’s the kind of week it has been.