Sunday, September 12, 2010

Obama the Scholar Cramming for the Final Exam

Poor Obama. He wasted the first year and a half of his administration doing important things, but not job #1. As James Carville told Clinton back in the 1992 campaign: "It's the economy, stupid".

Here's Maureen Dowd's NY Times op-ed in which she notes Obama doing his student imitation of cramming for the final exam that comes this November:
The president is everywhere, trying to get more aggressive and recapture some of his “Yes we can” mojo in an effort to fend off the rebuke that’s barreling toward him from voters this fall.

He’s in his best buzzer-beating mode, knowing that if he loses even one house of Congress, he will be inundated by inane G.O.P. investigations that will consume the last two years of his term. House Republicans are already talking gleefully about a government shutdown.
Dowd is not impressed with Obama's political skills. For example:
Among independent voters in 2012, Obama strategists think they have a better chance with women than men because of the president’s abortion-rights support and health care legislation — hence the appearance by the commander in chief on “The View.” And they reckon that he can devote more time to courting the indie ladies after November.

The official Obama site for independent voters highlights his quote from the campaign about bringing “real change” to Washington. The sentiment was challenged by NBC’s Chuck Todd at the presidential press conference Friday.

“How have you changed Washington?” Todd asked.

The president answered that he is trying to help “ordinary families” and not special interests, before conceding that he, too, is frustrated by his inability to create “a greater spirit of cooperation in Washington.”

“You know, are there, you know, things that I might have done during the course of 18 months that would, you know, at the margins have improved some of the tone in Washington?” Obama asked. “Probably.” Uncharacteristically valley girl, the usually eloquent president must have, you know, had a hard time acknowledging that.
This bit where Dowd talks to a female Republican, Peggy, who crossed over in 2008 to vote for Obama spills her unhappiness with Obama:
Peggy thinks the president has done fine managing W.’s messes in Iraq and Afghanistan. And she lights up at the mention of his vice president, Joe Biden. But she thinks Obama has to get “a backbone” if he wants to lure her back to the fold. “He promised us everything, saying he would turn the country around, and he did nothing the first year,” Peggy says. “He piddled around when he had 60 votes. He could have pushed through the health care bill but spent months haggling on it because he wanted to bring some Republicans on board. He was trying too hard to compromise when he didn’t need the Republicans and they were never going to like him. Any idiot could see that.

“He could have gotten it through while Teddy Kennedy was still alive — he owed the Kennedys something — and then the bill was watered down.

“He hasn’t saved the economy, and now he’s admitting he’s made very little progress. You can’t for four years blame the person who used to be president. Obama tries to compromise too much, and he doesn’t look like a strong leader. I don’t watch him anymore. I’m turned off by him. I think he’s an elitist. He went down to the gulf, telling everyone to take a vacation down there, and then he goes to Martha’s Vineyard. He does what he wants but then he tells us to do other things.

“I want him in that White House acting like a president, not out on the campaign trail. Not when the country is going down the toilet.”
I think the above could be chiseled onto the gravestone of Obama's gravestone. He had a chance and he blew it. It is that simple. The US was in urgent need of a real stand-up leader, and Obama showed himself to be an "elitist" who would rather play at politics than get the country moving. Sad.

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