Guest post by Kristinn Taylor
David Remnick, author of the new nearly 17,000 word profile of President Barack Obama in the New Yorker, revealed in a podcast interview this week that a dispirited Obama told him that he misread the “moment in political history” and was shocked he could not get gun control measures passed in the wake of the December 2012 Newtown, Ct., Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in which a lone gunman killed twenty children and six adults.
Remnick left this revelation out of his 18 page article which was based on numerous in depth interviews with Obama. Remnick did not devote anything of substance in the article to Obama’s gun control failure except to note he couldn’t get it done. This is curious because the way Remnick describes it, this was an enormous political failure that took a toll on Obama . Remnick should have explored this further and reported on it.
Remnick spoke about Obama’s reaction to his failure on gun control in a New Yorker podcast interview about the article with Executive Editor Dorothy Wickenden and Washington correspondent Ryan Lizza that was taped on Monday.
In describing Obama’s reaction, Remnick sounds just as shocked as he says Obama is about the failure to pass gun control after Newtown. Remnick made his comments while speaking about Obama’s ambitious second term agenda, including gun control, that he laid out in his Inaugural address one year ago this month.
Remnick: “Well look at gun control. You had the ruthless slaughter of school children played out in front of the American public in Connecticut. If ever there was a moment emotionally and politically that serious gun control would take hold of Congress it was then. Eighty-three percent of the public was for at least some minimal gun control. The NRA was a mockery in a lot of quarters and who won? The NRA and the right.
“I think this sh.., I know this shocked Obama. He said along this trip that I followed him on that one moment in political history where he really misread what would happen was on gun control. It was a terrible failure. And I think really dispiriting.”
Obama made an angry speech in the Rose Garden after he was defeated in the Senate last April. He called it a “shameful day for Washington.”
Given the impact he says this political miscalculation had on Obama, it is curious Remnick chose not to include it his profile but instead buried it in a podcast.