President Obama’s reliance on the bully pulpit to bump up ObamaCare’s enrollment and hammer Republicans in an election year is facing a serious challenge with the crisis in Ukraine.
The worst U.S.-Russia crisis since the Cold War is taking up a significant amount of the administration’s oxygen, complicating the president’s efforts to get his message out.
On Thursday, Obama sought to put the spotlight on higher pay for women, an election-year issue Democrats believe they can turn to their advantage in November.
But his event in Orlando was largely overshadowed by his announcement earlier in the day of new sanctions on Moscow, part of a showdown with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The administration isn’t giving up its efforts even as Obama seeks to contain Russia, and the cross-currents have led to some odd juxtapositions.
On Thursday, the day began with the release of a video of Obama joking with talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres over her selfie at the Oscars, which broke Obama’s record for re-tweets. Obama’s appearance on “Ellen” was meant to promote the healthcare law.