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What is President Obama trying to say about social media's role in foreign policy?

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Although it’s tempting to present the following quote from President Obama without comment, letting the curiousness of his remark to speak for itself, I would like to pose a few questions.

First, according to a White House pool report, this is what Obama told a room full of donors Friday evening at a fundraiser in New York: “The world’s always been messy … we’re just noticing now in part because of social media.”

The remarks were made during a broader point about how the challenges currently facing the U.S. are not exactly “unprecedented.”

Yes, the Middle East is engulfed in turmoil, the president conceded at an event that charged an admission fee of roughly $15,000 per couple, “but it has been challenging for quite a while.”

“If you watch the nightly news, it feels like the world is falling apart,” he said, adding later "[we] will get through these challenging times just like we have in the past.”

But let’s revisit that part about social media.

What, exactly, is the president trying to say? Is this some sort of appeal to the idea that “ignorance is bliss”? Is he blaming criticism for his administration’s handling of foreign policy issues on Twitter and Facebook? Or is it merely an off-the-cuff remark, one that slipped before it was fully formed?

Either way, it appears that the president’s supporters will have to march to the front lines again to defend yet another questionable and eyebrow-raising comment. This appears to be happening with more frequency these days, the president letting loose with a regrettable or careless remark. Perhaps the president is losing his touch. Or maybe he never really had it and we're only noticing now thanks to social media.

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