Friday, February 11, 2011
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak threw the world for a loop when he announced that, despite earlier speculation, he won't step down until after elections currently scheduled for September.
Besides turning the angry mobs in the streets of Cairo into angry, shoe-waving mobs, President Mubarak's declaration presented tough new challenges to Barack Obama who has labored mightily for the past 17 days to make authoritative statements without actually saying anything.
During the ongoing Egyptian crisis, Mr. Obama has alternately voiced strong support for Mubarak, the protestors, the Egyptian military and, deep in the fourth quarter, the Green Bay Packers. And believing that Mubarak was finally heading out the door, Obama had already declared that "we are witnessing history unfold," as well as adding the great insight that this time of change is "a moment of transformation."
Given the latest turn of events, Whitehouse spokesman Robert Gibbs says the president is adopting a new policy based on "the fierce urgency of waiting to see what happens," while his speechwriting staff looks up any additional synonyms for "time" and "transition" which will be sufficiently meaningless to cover events as they unfold.