The Corner

Politics & Policy

Slain Hostage’s Father: ‘I’m Still Waiting for that Donation, Mr. President.’

It’s about as cringe-inducing a story as a White House could fear: Carl and Marsha Mueller, parents of slain ISIS hostage Kayla Mueller, telling the world that President Obama had promised to make a donation to a foundation they had established in her name… and then seemingly forgot about them.

He has yet to do so, the parents say, 17 months after he made his promise to them on March 13, 2015.

“I’m still waiting for that donation, Mr. President,” Carl Mueller said in an ABC News interview broadcast this morning on Good Morning America, as part of an hour long investigation to be aired tonight on 20/20.

A White House official confirmed to ABC News that the president had not made the donation but still intends to do so.

The official offered no guidance on why the president had failed to make the donation.

The most likely explanation is simple: Obama forgot about his promise. There are more malevolent sins, but this is an Obama habit that some of us spotted in Obama way back in 2007. “All of his promises come with an expiration date.” He means them at the time… and then in most cases, keeping his word becomes difficult, and he forgets about them.

Still, with the new hagiography of the Obamas, Southside With You, hitting theaters today – see Armond White’s review here – it’s worth remembering how so many Americans talked themselves into the idea that Obama was this perfect or near-perfect savior figure. You may recall the most egregious cases collected at the site, Is Obama The Messiah? No, Barack Obama is a politician, one who’s particularly skilled at telling people what they want to hear, and promising just the right thing at just the right moment. Like most other politicians, he’s much better at making promises than keeping them.