March 31 was Cesar Chavez Day. It has been celebrated in California for some time. A few other states also recognize the holiday. But this year, for the first time, it was a national holiday.
The trouble is that nobody knew it at the time.
On April 2, the White House filed a Presidential Document declaring the holiday. It ran in the April 5 Federal Register, five days after the fact.
You’d think this would have been announced in advance. But Chavez remains a controversial figure. And the gesture will be seen by President Obama’s adversaries as yet more evidence of his capture by labor interests.
The president could rebut those charges directly. Instead he actively avoided confrontation, which is one way of admitting guilt.