|Morsi in Tahrir Today|
But what really makes me wonder if he has a spin doctor from the US or Europe or somewhere else that's been doing democratic politics longer than Egypt is the way he finessed a really sticky quandary today.
As I think I have mentioned, the President takes the oath in front of Parliament. But the Supreme Constitutional Court dissolved Parliament and then, to complicate things, SCAF said the oath would take place in front of the Court itself. But that would recognize the Court's dissolution of Parliament, which Morsi says he rejects. But if he didn't, he wouldn't be legitimately President. Yesterday it was announced that he would indeed take the oath tomorrow, in front of the Court. So it looked as if he had caved to SCAF and the Court.
But then, as part of his Tahrir appearance today (to call for, among other things, and end to military rule), he mingled with the crowds and then swore the Presidential oath "among the people." It's all window-dressing, of course, as he will take the oath in front of the Court tomorrow and that's the one that counts, but as a piece of PR spin it strikes me as brilliant. He takes the oath "among his people" in the Revolution's iconic spot, Tahrir Square; then tomorrow he takes the "real" oath as required.
Ever since Jimmy Carter walked in his inaugural parade 35 years ago, most US Presidents have gotten out of their car to walk a block or two. Of course they get back in the limo, and Morsi is still getting sworn in tomorrow by a body he claimed recently lacked authority to do so, so he's still dancing to SCAF's tune, but symbolically he's finessed things rather well. The empty but potent symbolism is so reminiscent of American politics I have to wonder who his spin doctor is.