Fox News digital politics editor Chris Stirewalt reacted to the news that President Barack Obama had authorized a prisoner swap with Cuba by comparing the commander-in-chief to child reality star Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson.
Alan Gross, a contractor who was imprisoned by the Cuban government without charges since 2009, was released on Wednesday. At the same time, the U.S. agreed to release three Cubans. The moves were thought to be part of confidence-building measures to mark the start of normalizing diplomatic relations.
"While surely across Washington, there is a great deal of support for a family that will be reunited, and a man who has been wrongly imprisoned, etc., etc.," Stirewalt told Fox News host Martha MacCallum on Wednesday. "This case looks like that might be the political cover or the means -- the sugar to help the medicine go down -- for the White House to make the focus on one wrongly imprisoned man while they embark on an enormous change in U.S. policy."
According to Stirewalt, the embargo on Cuba had been maintained because it was "deemed necessary for U.S. credibility."
"I think part of it is sort of entering this sort of Honey Boo Boo phase of the Obama presidency in which he does what he wants," he added. "And he's not going to be constrained by elections, he's not going to be constrained by voters."
MacCallum said that she could not fathom why the president would choose to focus on Cuba now.
"You look at the Taliban massacre of children that occurred in Peshawar yesterday morning, you look at what's going on with Iran, you look at that discussion -- we have serious, serious foreign policy issues on the table," MacCallum opined. "And I think other than the release of Alan Gross -- which as you point out, everyone is happy about -- you know, the question once again for this presidency becomes 'What? Why this now? Why?'"
"And I think it is because he can," Stirewalt replied. "And because this is a president looking for a legacy, this is a president who has a very short period of time before the 2016 stakes take over and Hillary Clinton assumes full control of the Democratic Party, which will happen shortly after the president's State of the Union Address."