Sunday, October 25, 2009

Obama The Campaigner In Chief

Oh-oh, people are starting to notice Obama’s lack of governing skills. First up we have the Huffington Post who puts out an article today titled; Leaderless: Senate Pushes For Public Option Without Obama's Support. Huffington Post laments how Obama is not stepping up to the plate to fight for a strong public option in the final Senate bill.  Why should they be surprised now? This is a man who has dumped every major initiative into the hands of Pelosi and Reid, while he ran around on Air Force One to speechify the nation about whatever Nancy and Harry cooked up.

Next we come to Clarence Page writing in the Chicago Tribune about how he sees Obama as more of a campaigner than a chief executive.

Surely President Barack Obama and his advisers don't really think that their feud with Fox News will do anything but enhance the cable network's viewership. A deeper problem is what the flap reveals about Team Obama, which seems to be more comfortable with campaigning than governing.
I'm not happy about that. It does not fill me with glee to see Fox News star Sean Hannity joyfully replaying Obama's 2004 come-together speech about how we're "not red states or blues states" but "the United States of America" and asking where is Obama's promise now?
I don't agree with Hannity on much. He's only a tad more serious-minded as a news clown, in my grumpy view, than his colleague Glenn Beck. But, as much as my wife might run from the house when she hears me say it, Hannity's right on this one. 

If Clarence Page, who certainly isn’t one known for being a regular critic of Obama, is starting to notice that Obama has yet to leave campaign mode, then Obama’s lack of governing skills must be catching the attention of the left.

Toby Harden from the UK Telegraph doesn’t mince words about Obama’s lack of chief executive skills: 
Perhaps we should not be surprised that the land of the permanent campaign has produced a president like Barack Obama. During his White House bid, Mr Obama's staff argued that his masterful oversight of the machinery that ultimately got him elected was his highest achievement.
 In many respects this was true, though Mr Obama was more chairman than CEO. Even Republican political operatives acknowledge that the Obama '08 campaign was a thing of beauty.
Essentially, however, Mr Obama won because of his persona – post-racial, healing, cool, articulate and inspirational. In a sense, therefore, his greatest achievement in life is being Barack Obama. Or the campaign version, at least.
Therein lies the problem. While campaigning could centre around soaring rhetoric, governing is altogether messier. It involves tough, unpopular choices and cutting deals with opponents. It requires doing things rather than talking about them, let alone just being.
Mr Obama is showing little appetite for this. Instead of being the commander-in-chief, he is the campaigner-in-chief. 
Harden closes with this killer line: 
Beyond the grand announcements, fine speeches and his eager acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize, Mr Obama has yet to achieve anything of substance. It is time for the campaign to end. 
Yes it is time for campaigning to end. However, we elected a man who has done absolutely nothing but promote himself. From his two memoirs to racing through senate seats, Obama left no major accomplishments behind him that benefited the people he was suppose to represent. Why should anyone expect anything now?

William Jacobson from Le·gal In·ser·rec·tion asks the question many of use need to start coming to grips with: 

What if Obama is incapable -- psychologically, philosophically, intellectually -- of stopping the campaign? There seems to be no desire or ability to govern in the traditional sense described by Harnden. Why would we expect the One seeking revolutionary societal change to fall back on traditional methods of governance?
When it comes to governance, what if the One who campaigned on the theme of "yes we can," just can't?

America faces some of the most serious challenges in decades, two wars, a teetering economy, alarmingly high debt and a culture war about to go nuclear. What if we are left with a complete fool for a leader? Someone who cannot or will not take control of the wayward ship?

In the last election out of the two presidential candidates and two vice presidential candidates, there was only one person with real executive experience and that was Sarah Palin. Yet the media did everything in their power to convince a majority of Americans that her experience was inadequate and that the nation would be far better off electing the smooth talking black man who had no executive experience at all. Well that little bit of folly is coming back to bite us all in the ass now.  

Hopefully, 2010 will bring a more serious and responsible Congress, one that will force Obama to finally get off the campaign trail and get on the road to handling the nation’s business.

Via: Le·gal In·ser·rec·tion


Ron B said...

I've been saying it since he was pushing for the Stimulus package. This guy thinks he is still campaigning for the office that HE WON! Remember when he said, "I won" within the first weeks of his presidency. I think he forgot....naw the curtain has been pulled back on the great wizard and now Dorothy, The Heartless Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion and brainless Scarecrow all see who the wizard really M.C.; master campaigner.

It is a shame that the press is slow to write about his governance or lack thereof.

The Conservative Lady said...

Excellent post.

It's all true. Just the fact that Obama has left our Troops hanging out to dry while he "decides" what to do is unconscionable. It shows weakness and the world knows it.

OldSouth said...

And, sadly, this phenomenon is not new.

There is a wonderful Doonesbury strip from 1977, depicting Hamilton Jordan(if I remember correctly) testifying to a Senate committee, repeating all the lines of the previous year's campaign.

'Off-camera', a senatorial voice proclaims, 'Mr. Jordan, you've already won the election!'

To which Jordan replies words to the effect of 'It's amazing, isn't it!'

We know how that turned out, now don't we?

Only Obama is even less experienced, less well advised, and times are much more dangerous.

Heaven help us all.

You might wish to check out Robert Reich's blog, which has turned sharply critical of this administration, which he helped birth as a member of the transition team last year.

Chris W said...

By the looks of it Obama is campaigning his way out of the presidency in 2012.

Janelle said...

Clifton, what is your opinion of J.C, Watts, Harold Ford, Jr., to name a few? Or Alan Keyes.... I'm just stymied by the loss of some excellent potential leaders. What the sam hill went wrong?

Bob Belvedere said...


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