According to President Obama, some pesky "young people" protesting for more global AIDS funding have been showing up "at every rally" and interrupting him. Today, in Connecticut to discuss the economy, Obama addressed these crazy young people, and ended up addressing AIDS funding in the process. The president put his planned remarks on hold and said:
"Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, young people? Let me just say this: You've been appearing at every rally we've been doing, and we're funding global AIDS, and the other side is not. So I don't know why you think this is a useful strategy to take. I think it would make a lot more sense for you guys to go to the folks who aren't interested in funding global AIDS, and go to that rally. We're trying to figure out how to finance the things that you want financed. You guys have made your point. Let's go."
Public speaking is hard enough as it is, and at least Obama didn't just crumple his speech up in a ball and throw it at a picket-sign-carrying protester or something. Regardless, his advice that AIDS funding advocates go bother "the other side," who aren't the president, and who are, according to him, somewhat dubiously, specifically not interested in AIDS funding, doesn't sound very effective.
Back in the eighties, AIDS activist Larry Kramer and his gang of supporters used to pull this stunt regularly, thereby changing AIDS funding forever. So, at least Obama wants AIDS activists to protest, even if it's at someone else's rally. But, you know, maybe the "young people" shouldn't just head to the not-president's rally if they want to make themselves and their issues known. Which we think is exactly what they just did, quite successfully.
President Obama Heckled at Connecticut Rally [Gawker TV]