ADDED: I almost feel sorry for Obama and the Democrats for their misfortune that this is the issue that has come to the fore at this time.
At least one Republican, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, seized on the confusion. “Mr. President, should they or should they not build a mosque steps away from where radical Islamists killed 3,000 people? Please tell us your position. We all know that they have the right to do it, but should they? And, no, this is not above your pay grade,” Palin wrote on Facebook....Almost. The Democrats would love to do the same thing to the Republicans. They wouldn't hesitate to exploit something that captures the public's attention and provides leverage for the political arguments they like to make. Remember the Mark Foley incident in 2006.
Democratic aides say that, at the very least, the president has again knocked his party's candidates off local messages and forced them to talk about a national issue that doesn't appear likely to play well with important swing voters.
These officials planned to spend this weekend talking about Social Security’s 75th anniversary....
"The main reaction is 'Why? Why now?’" said one House Democratic leadership aide. "It's just another day off message. There have been a lot of days off message.
The chief of staff to one politically vulnerable House Democrat said it "probably alienates a lot of independent voters" and "it's not a good issue to be talking about right now."
He said he suspects "there are a lot of (Democrats) who are spooked in tough districts today" and "a lot of Republicans licking their chops right now."