March 8, 2009

Is Obama "overwhelmed" and "too tired"?

The British are going after Obama. He hurt their feelings.
British officials ... admit that the White House and US State Department staff were utterly bemused by complaints that the Prime Minister should have been granted full-blown press conference and a formal dinner, as has been customary. They concede that Obama aides seemed unfamiliar with the expectations that surround a major visit by a British prime minister.

But Washington figures with access to Mr Obama's inner circle explained the slight by saying that those high up in the administration have had little time to deal with international matters, let alone the diplomatic niceties of the special relationship.

Allies of Mr Obama say his weary appearance in the Oval Office with Mr Brown illustrates the strain he is now under, and the president's surprise at the sheer volume of business that crosses his desk.
Ha ha. Yes, I have this picture of President Obama sitting in the White House, thinking I hate my job. He was all about running for President. What did he really know about being President?

145 comments:

downtownlad said...

Well - at least he's working. I doubt Obama would have ignored a memo that says "Bin Laden determined to strike US".

But - on the other hand - he didn't hold a huge dinner for Brown. Therefore Obama is incompetent.

I don't follow it. I guess I need a wingnut to explain it to me.

mcg said...

DTL's off his meds again, I see.

Honestly though, as much as I'd love to beleieve this article, because it does fit the external data, I'm not inclined to give a thinly and anonymously sourced article from the UK Telegraph any significant weight.

Mark said...

DTL, considering you thought him the Worst. President. Ever., saying Obama is at least better than Bush is faint praise indeed.

Have you, too, lost that loving feeling?

fcai said...

Poor little Bambi, no one to tell him what to do or say. He is out of his depth, and that's not going to change any time soon.

Until then, all we can do is sit back and watch the meltdown and be thankful we are out of the stock market. Need more gold, however, to fight the upcoming hyperinflation.

Ann Althouse said...

"Well - at least he's working. I doubt Obama would have ignored a memo that says "Bin Laden determined to strike US"."

That's right. Obama would reach out a sympathetic hand to the moderate Qaeda.

ark said...

Obama seems to me like a dog that has been chasing after a car for a long time, has finally caught it, and now hasn't the foggiest idea about what to do with it.

garage mahal said...

You're down,
We think we're up
You really do suck!
We fight,
We're right We're right We're right
That's right, we really shut you up,
Gooooooooo Al Qaeda!!

/wingnut cheer

Skyler said...

I don't think Obama is so idiotic to not know that the Prime Minister of the UK should be treated with a bit of respect. I don't think incompetence can explain this.

This was, and can only be regarded as an intended insult. There is no other rational explanation.

This actually gives great credence to his wife's inadvertent admission that they have never felt pride for our nation. Their intent, very thinly disguised, is to wreck the status quo. Oh, wait, that was their stated goal -- change.

They never articulated exactly what the change would be. But supporters didn't care.

The problem with electing someone without a background or a stated position, is that people write onto the blank slate whatever they wish to see. Kind of like with Sarah Palin.

We have elected a hard core marxist to the executive branch. We can probably expect to see more of this policy of insulting and ignoring our traditional allies.

The man wrote in his books that his greatest philosophical influences were marxists. In years past, this would not have been ignored by the media or anyone else.

We're doomed.

john said...

DTL said - Well - at least he's working. I doubt Obama would have ignored a memo that says "Bin Laden determined to strike US".

I agree DTL, and he was so wrought with guilt that to make amends he had his wife give up her senate seat to work alongside the new president.

steve said...

I always think of the movie "The Candidate". At the end of the movie, the Robert Redford character wins the Senate seat he wasn't really supposed to win. He looks at his campaign manager and asks him, "what do we do now?"

Lari said...

Only 202 weeks to go.....

Beta Conservative said...

Wouldn't the Senior Dragons of State, the people who've been there forever, know all about the protocols and expectations?

I think the answer is yes, so we must conclude that what took place was exactly what the President wanted.

The more interesting question is why. Let the speculation run amock.

Bill said...

Remember this?

www.hulu.com/watch/11933/saturday-night-live-3am-phone-call

SMGalbraith said...

Well, Rumsfeld talke about "old Europe" and "new Europe" and the need, implicitly, to work with the latter and distance ourselves from the former.

Obama as a Rumsfeldian geostrategist?

Actually, this appears to be a known known as opposed to an unknown known.

To wit, it's deliberate and not a foulup.

rhhardin said...

I'd recommend a good hobby to focus on.

jdeeripper said...

Are people implying that Obama has NEVER actually run ANY organization EVER?

You people who voted for him elected someone who can't make a speech without reading a teleprompter full of words written by other people.

You elected someone who has never so much as managed a small town McDonalds.

You picked someone to perform open heart surgery on your country who at best merely played a doctor on a prime time TV show for a year and a half.

Congratulations. Yes, you did it.

Jason (the commenter) said...

I thought this would happen when I saw all the advisers he was taking on before he was elected. Often someone with no management experience makes this kind of mistake. They take on too much responsibility and don't delegate away enough authority. They try to control everything and end up being able to control nothing.

It's not just is management style, it's his entire political philosophy. Everything needs to be regulated, but no one has the ability to check the regulations, so only bad regulations get put in place.

Big Mike said...

Skyler starts off being correct. The treatment of Brown has to have been a calculated insult, and the British are correct to interpret it that way.

The cover story, that Barak Obama is simply "overwhelmed" is ineptitude, at multiple levels. As Jason says, get good people and trust your people to take care of the small stuff, like figuring out appropriate presents to exchange with the British PM and setting up a state dinner and you won't be quite so overwhelmed.

And never, ever, let them see you sweat.

I disagree with Skyler's final piece of hyperbole. We survived 4 years of Carter and 13 years of FDR. We'll survive Barack Obama, too. Somehow.

Maguro said...

Agree it was an intentional slight. Perhaps O is peeved at the Brits for supporting Bush's foreign policy?

From further down in the article:

The (State Dept) official dismissed any notion of the special relationship, saying: "There's nothing special about Britain. You're just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn't expect special treatment."

Nothing dumber in diplomacy than pissing on your friends and kissing up to your enemies, but that appears to be the plan.

john said...

Bg Mike -

Maybe so, but at least FDR knew how to throw a party.

JSF said...

The "special relationship," between the UK and the US is the strongest one we have.

In the first month, President Obama returned a bust of Churchill given by Blair and then snubbed PM Brown.

I remeber Bush getting slammed for taking his first vacation during easter. President Obama took two during January.

I thought President Obama wanted the job to "heal a nation," not take a vacation.

john said...

Dang, I didn't notice that guitar at first. Maybe if Brown could have done something like that.....

But it's probably that Michelle didn't want to get out the good place settings for just two people.

Skyler said...

Big Mike wrote: I disagree with Skyler's final piece of hyperbole. We survived 4 years of Carter and 13 years of FDR. We'll survive Barack Obama, too. Somehow.

I hope you're right, but most of FDR's damage has never been undone.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

I wonder if Obama is baffled at all of this criticism. He may actually have thought that GWB deserved being called everything but a child of God whenever he made a real or perceived blunder.

Curtiss said...

I don't buy it. Being ungracious to Brown is not part of some grand Obama plan. If it is then are all the gaffes of the last two months part of some overarching plan that just hasn't been revealed to us yet?

It's just a screw-up due to the hubris and ineptitude of people around Obama.

Campaigning for President is not the same as being President.

Clyde said...

Gosh, who would have thought that being POTUS was a hard job? That ignoramus Bush did it for eight years, how hard could it be? And who would think you'd need to get your rest on a stressful job like that? Hey, you're the Big Numero Uno now, you can party like it's 1999, unlike that lightweight Bush, who was in bed by 9 p.m. almost every night.

Funny thing, though. Every day, as the stock market tanks and our freedoms start to disappear, more and more Americans are going to be saying, "I miss W." You'll know that we're totally screwed if they start missing Jimmy Carter.

MayBee said...

I want to know what Obama got the Japanese prime minister.
He too was treated to a sit down Q&A rather than a press conference.
He got no dinner or entertainment. Instead, he was rushed out the door so Obama could have his first prime time press conference that night.
Did Obama praise him even there? No,he only mentioned that Japan must not be allowed to beat us in battery technology.

Remember Bush bringing Koizumi to Graceland?

Japan and Britain are two of our greatest allies and they were treated like the Emir of Whateverstan.

Who is Obama finally going to treat well?

TitusIsReadyForTheDayLetsBegin said...

I was at a party last night with hardcore liberals. Many of these liberals have buyers remourse in electing Obama. Also, on the way to the party you could usually see Obama signs on cars and windows but they are all gone.

What have you heard?

Pogo said...

So this is what happens when the student council from Che Guevera High School actually takes over.

TitusIsReadyForTheDayLetsBegin said...

The liberals I spoke to were even sick of Michelle Obama's biceps. You know it's gotten bad.

JSF said...

And the Daily Show, Anderson Cooper and Andrew Sullivan will go after the "Enemy of the State" on Monday -- after all, President Obama is too tired.

TitusIsReadyForTheDayLetsBegin said...

I have never been so ashamed to be an American.

TitusIsReadyForTheDayLetsBegin said...

We are doomed.

Lari said...

"Who is Obama finally going to treat well?"

My money is on Hugo.

TitusIsReadyForTheDayLetsBegin said...

I can't wait to hear what Rush has to say about this.

Oligonicella said...

Althouse --

"What did he really know about being President?"

Ain't this a little late for those who voted for him to ask?

Pogo said...

Intrade shows better than an even chance the DOW goes under 6000 and the unemployment rate nears 10% by the end of the year.

This must be the tough love part of socialism.

john said...

Next month the White House will host a major state visit by the president of France, Nicholas Sarkosy, and his lovely wife Carla Bruni.

In preparation for this historic visit, the National Park Service has nearly completed unbolting la Liberté from its stone base, and will package the parts so the French contingent may return with it. "After 122 years on display in New York Harbor", the White House press release concluded, "it is fitting that it be returned its place of origin."

The base, which was not part of the orginal loan, will remain empty until the White House determines a suitable replacement. A top consideration is the statue of the horse-mounted Pancho Villa, a gift from Mexico that now sits unnoticed in an obscure city park in southern Arizona.

garage mahal said...

In the Majority one day perhaps,
We must root for the stock market's collapse.

RETREAT DEFEAT DEFEAT!

Medev! Brown! they're our men,
If they can't do it, nobody can!

RETREAT [AND GOD SAVE THE QUEEN INSTEAD]!

Hope and pray for a terrorist attack,
Stick a needle in Obama's back.

ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK!

David said...

I have wondered for some time whether Obama has an undisclosed health issue. His very limited release of health records does not reassure.

Everyone gets overwhelmed and tired now and then, even the President. But it's no excuse. A first rate set of assistants and advisors will pick up the slack. Obama lacks this. I suspect also that he is not very good at delegating. Hope he learns how fast.

Hey. Whatever happened to Paul Volker, for example?

Synova said...

I agree whoever said that the State Department should know better and most of the State Department are career people who have done this before.

Bemused? Or just trying to defend something they didn't have control over? Who hasn't worked with at least one boss who seemed to think "it's your job" to make the customer happy had nothing to do with how that customer was treated by the boss. The magic of diplomacy and soothing ruffled feathers... it's your job! What are the chances that Obama told State to "take care of it" and "let me know where I need to be and when." Zero? This is not something that should have overwhelmed Obama... this is something that other people should have taken care of and Obama shown up for.

I still think that those the most pissed off were the press.

Synova said...

And we were told that the "executive experience" of running his campaign staff was adequate for President.

Synova said...

garage, I really doubt that a refrain of "He's doing great, everyone is going to love him, he's going to solve our problems just by being elected," is going to make it so.

Ann Althouse said...

For the 100th time, I wasn't in love with Obama. I merely preferred him over McCain. Do you seriously not think McCain would be screwing up right now too?

Methadras said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Methadras said...

You know what Ann? I was going to give you a hard time about voting for Mr. Barely, but then I thought to myself, why should I do that anymore since his display of incompetence and disappointment speak for themselves and you couldn't have possibly known the depths that they went to.

Dogwood said...

Do you seriously not think McCain would be screwing up right now too?

Of course he would be, but McCain wouldn't be snubbing our allies while kissing the asses of our enemies.

McCain would not be perceived as weak by those who wish to do us harm. Does anyone believe Iran, North Korea, Russia, al Qaeda, Hamas, or others of such ilk are afraid of Obama?

The One is a pushover, ala Carter, and that makes the world a much more dangerous place than it was just a few months ago.

Jason (the commenter) said...

David : I have wondered for some time whether Obama has an undisclosed health issue. His very limited release of health records does not reassure.

Actually Obama is confined to a wheelchair. The press has been covering for him just like they did with FDR. A double is used for most of the appearances where he is seen standing or walking. This is why you always see "Obama" with a teleprompter. The actor playing him needs it to know what words to limp sinc. This is also why there were problems at the inauguration. The man being sworn in was the double, the Chief Justice purposely did the oath wrong so the double wouldn't be sworn in and as an excuse to hold the real swearing in behind closed doors.

Pogo said...

Bad, yes, but not this badly, no. He wouldn't be negotiating with the Taliban. He wouldn't have shown disresepect to Britain. I doubt we'd be gearing up for nationalized health care. I think the stimulus would have been a bit more modest. But the RINO McCain would have screwed up the economy the same way otherwise.

Not that any of this matters now.

Jason (the commenter) said...

I can't wait for Andrew Sullivan to report this as news on his blog.

Paul said...

"For the 100th time, I wasn't in love with Obama. I merely preferred him over McCain. Do you seriously not think McCain would be screwing up right now too?"

Too this degree? No way!!!!

For starters he ain't a Marxist, and he loves this country. You can extrapolate from there. Jeez....

And then there was always the hope that he wouldn't live for the whole term and we'd have someone with actual executive experience on the job. She's still my choice for president in 2012.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

"Do you seriously not think McCain would be screwing up right now too?"

No.

There are those professional problem-spotters who would have found something to dislike, of course. But I think he understands protocol and such. Remember how he carefully laid the flower on the 9/11 monument, while Obama kind of tossed his. McCain has had his moments, as anyone who has been in the public eye as long as he has would have had, but in general I think he knows how to act. Also, how to delegate - I think they do that in the military. Obama wouldn't know, of course.

Maguro said...

This is not something that should have overwhelmed Obama... this is something that other people should have taken care of and Obama shown up for.

You're right. For all its faults, the State Department does know how to organize a proper tea party. I have to believe that if the career protocol people at State had been directed to give Brown "the usual", it would have gone off without a hitch regardless of how disinterested Obama may have been.

But someone (probably not Obama himself) decided to send a message that bilateral relations with the Brits are not as important as they used to be. It will be fascinating to see what happens when Netanyahu shows up for his state visit.

Synova said...

True enough we had a choice between McCain and Obama. It makes little sense to figure that McCain wouldn't be making mistakes (primarily that the economic stuff would probably be identical.)

It would have been better to have had better choices... there's no profit in looking back, we're better off to look forward.

Rose said...

The reason he will cozy up to his enemies is that he knows he doesn't measure up in the adult's estimation (The Brits and others) and rather than be uncomfortable with being found wanting, he will go with the bad seeds where he can be big man on campus, not knowing that they will get him into a dark alley and knife him in the back.

This is a child-man, not a full-grown man who has been elected. And because he will surround himself with sycophants, and because he is directed by activists who have other agendas than taking care of the country's defense and economic needs, he is headed for disaster.

Unless he can push that RESET button.

Paul said...

The other thing is McCain would have had better advisers. Anybody would be better than the clown posse in there now. I suspect he would have had financial advisers that would walk him back from some of his foolish economic notions as well.

Synova said...

Are Obama's advisers so bad or does he just not know what to do with the advice?

Methadras said...

Synova said...

Are Obama's advisers so bad or does he just not know what to do with the advice?


It's both. When you have bad advisers giving you bad advise you only have two choices. To either take that advise and act on it or to discard them completely or cherry pick what you think will work and synthesize your own solution. The problem with the latter is that Mr. Barely is simply to incompetent or overwhelmed to adequately deal with these issues. To say he is in over his head would be a disservice to the phrase. The man is in the deep and he doesn't know how to swim. His little cadre of politico's may have helped him gain footholds in the Chicago mean streets of politics, but when you come to the big show, that doesn't mean shit. Not to mention the complete and utter lack of experience in doing anything politically courageous only leaves one thinking he was elected for one reason and one reason only and it wasn't for hope and change. This should be an abject generational lesson in how not to elect those that paint pretty prose, but only to find history will repeat itself.

Look at the typical Mr. Barely voter and you will see why he represents the incompetent. After all, they elected one of their kind.

Paul said...

Hard to sift through all the layers of incompetency, not too mention malignancy, to know for sure. Probably both.

AJ Lynch said...

Synova said:
"And we were told that the "executive experience" of running his campaign staff was adequate for President."

Very good memory Synova. That will surely go down in history as one of the Top Ten reasons the media believed Obama was qualified.

thirdresponder said...

Ha ha. Yes, I have this picture of President Obama sitting in the White House, thinking I hate my job. He was all about running for President. What did he really know about being President?

Why in hell's bells did you vote for him then?

dick said...

Althouse,

I understand that you did not fall in love with Obama. What I don't understand and have never understood about your positions was your belief that Obama would be such a pragmatist as president. I have seen no indication at all that he would be. The other point I really never understood was your belief that Obama was right to stay away from the discussion on how to deal with the economic problem. It seems to me that a huge part of the job would be implementing anything that was decided and that he would therefore be better served by at least having some input as to what he would have to implement. That is what McCain was there for IMNSHO and rightly so.

I think we have seen in the short time he has been president that there are few things he could have done worse than he has. He boasted about the questionnaire to ensure that he would have good people and so far he has picked more crooks that even I thought Chicago could come up with. This vaunted vetting that was to be done surely did not accomplish much to give us clean, law-abiding candidates for the positions. His foreign policy ventures so far seem to be that he meets the leaders and then gets rid of them as fast as possible, exit stage left. He tells us we need to be green and then keeps the heat up because he grew up in Hawaii. No mention that he lived in Chicago for 20+ years.

Just never understood your reasoning to begin with and still don't.

AJ Lynch said...

And Pogo is right about McCain.

He would not be wasting precious time holding health care summits and green energy summits and middle class summits (without actually inviting any real live members of the middle class btw).

Someone said the other day Obama is watering his lawn while his house is on fire.

AJ Lynch said...

This is my big beef with elected officials.

They never ever fix even a single thing! Not a single hot button issue ever goes away.

madawaskan said...

Oops! I put this on another thread but it belongs here.
I
via Tom Maguire at Just One Minute here's what he noticed from the same article-

The Telegraph is quoting an official from the US State Department here-

There's nothing special about Britain. You're just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn't expect special treatment.

Elsewhere in the article which Maguire missed but one of his commenter's noticed-

The Sunday Telegraph understands that one of Mr Obama's most prominent African American backers, whose endorsement he spent two years cultivating, has told friends that he detects a weakness in Mr Obama's character.

"The one real serious flaw I see in Barack Obama is that he thinks he can manage all this," the well-known figure told a Washington official, who spoke to this newspaper.


I'm going to guess it is Colin Powell, could be Oprah... but they say "he" .

AJ Lynch said...

In 2012, I wonder if Charles Krauthammer will still say Obama has a 1st class temperament and a 1st class intellect?

Methadras said...

Synova said...

Are Obama's advisers so bad or does he just not know what to do with the advice?


It's both. When you have bad advisers giving you bad advise you only have two choices. To either take that advise and act on it or to discard them completely or cherry pick what you think will work and synthesize your own solution. The problem with the latter is that Mr. Barely is simply to incompetent or overwhelmed to adequately deal with these issues. To say he is in over his head would be a disservice to the phrase. The man is in the deep and he doesn't know how to swim. His little cadre of politico's may have helped him gain footholds in the Chicago mean streets of politics, but when you come to the big show, that doesn't mean shit. Not to mention the complete and utter lack of experience in doing anything politically courageous only leaves one thinking he was elected for one reason and one reason only and it wasn't for hope and change. This should be an abject generational lesson in how not to elect those that paint pretty prose, but only to find history will repeat itself.

Look at the typical Mr. Barely voter and you will see why he represents the incompetent. After all, they elected one of their kind.

TitusIsReadyForTheDayLetsBegin said...

I went to a gun shop this weekend and it was crazy busy. Lot of people there were stocking up. The owner said business has never been this good. Sign of the times I guess.

paul a'barge said...

To those of you who voted for Obama ... we told you so; and no thanks for nothing.

madawaskan said...

If McCain was Obama right now what would the difference be?

The media would be spinning everything negative for all they were worth.

The comedian-newsheads would be lambasting McCain 24/7.

Hollywood would use every televison appearance to lecture us.

Code Pink would be naked in the aisles or something...

Jana said...

"For the 100th time, I wasn't in love with Obama. I merely preferred him over McCain. Do you seriously not think McCain would be screwing up right now too?"

McCain would be fumbling and bumbling on the economy just as artlessly as is Obama and his team, were he President. As others have mentioned, he would not bumbling on matters of foreign policy, which would be some kind of comfort. McCain would not allow his people to cite exhaustion as an excuse for a bungled visit with the Bristish PM. With Obama, we seem to be guaranteed fumbling and bumbling on all fronts.

I say all this as a deeply critical observer of McCain.

madawaskan said...

Oh the retired light bird I'm watching the game with today-who's on his way to a hell hole overseas shortly [contract] would like me to add-

The McCain Administration would not be as full of as many whiny bitches.

TitusIsReadyForTheDayLetsBegin said...

I read Obama has even lost his popularity in Kenya.

How long can he go when he loses Kenya?

TitusIsReadyForTheDayLetsBegin said...

Mccains admin would be way better. Light years above the mess we are in now. We will be diggging out of this disaster for generations.

Paul Snively said...

Althouse: Do you seriously not think McCain would be screwing up right now too?

I do think he'd be screwing up, just not in this way or at this magnitude. In particular, McCain would never have signed the porkulus bill, and the DJIA wouldn't be flirting with 6,000.

mcg said...

Of course McCain would be doing better at this juncture. He might not have done much by now, but doing nothing is better than what has been done thus far.

Ah Pooh said...

I think this past presidential election was a difficult one for many. Given our history, to have an Afro-American president is a good thing. The problem was that this Afro-American individual does not appear to have the qualifications, experience to lead at this time. But to not elect him was to open the door to charges of racism.

SMGalbraith said...

Difference between someone screwing up going 100 miles an hour behind the wheel and another guy screwing up going 35 with his left turn signal on.

The magnitude of the changes that Obama is promoting is stunning.

So much for getting rid of Bush and restoring "normalcy" to the state of our affairs.

Synova said...

McCain would never have signed the porkulus bill, and the DJIA wouldn't be flirting with 6,000.

Maybe, maybe not, assuming the same congress. I don't think there was much of a party divide at the initial "we got to throw money at this" stage of it all. I don't see why that would have changed if McCain was elected. He might have played it more up-beat and he might have made a show of keeping pork and pet projects out of the bill (show, not success or even major attempt assuming a Dem congress, but a show) and that might have helped more people believe that someone was trying to be responsible about it all.

He certainly wouldn't have been having to make a show of this "new game in town" foreign policy, war policy, Gitmo/terror policy thing, which might have kept that somewhat off the radar and McCain less "overwhelmed" and "too tired."

blake said...

I still think Althouse was right on this one.

Yes, internationally, we'd be doing fine. Nobody was gonna mess with McCain.

And in one domestic respect, we might be doing better. To wit, the market responds really poorly to "maybe". As in "maybe I'll nationalize all the banks" or "maybe I'll nationalize health care". As erratic as McCain was portrayed as being, one suspects that whatever disastrous moves he made, he would make them quickly, clearly and decisively, and move on.

But small-government conservatism would end up even worse off. We've just been through eight years of a liberal President whose agenda tarnished conservative philosophy simply because he was a Republican.

Since Hoover, with the sole exception of a mildly successful Reagan, we've had nothing but Big State government Presidents.

So, yes, McCain would doubtless be doing better--but would he be doing enough better to justify the long term damage that he'd cause? And think back to the last eight years: everything W did well was ignored or made bad; everything he did badly was made worse; and it was all laid at the foot of "conservatism".

With Obama, there's no doubt: All illusions of moderation have been tossed aside; he's going full-bore on the big-state liberal agenda.

Yes, the partisan hacks here and elsewhere will blame all his failures not on their philosophy but on those "terrible conservatives sabotaging things". But if regular people can't figure it out from the firsthand evidence they see in the next few years, the Republic is pretty much doomed anyway.

So, once again, I have to back Althouse's reasoning here: She very clearly stated that she voted for Obama because McCain wasn't conservative enough. A lot of people didn't get it at the time, but it makes even more sense now.

The only thing I "miss" from a McCain Presidency is the possibility that he'd propose all these socialist schemes and the Congress would shut him down. That would've been entertaining, were it to happen. (More likely though, they'd just pass everything with tons of added pork, McCain's principles on the matter notwithstanding.)

Sweating Through fog said...

Perhaps he is overwhelmed - but at least he is showing up to events on time. That is no small accomplishment for him.

Darcy said...

Blake, I get all of that, and I quickly came to understand that as well post election. But, aside from the gamble of hoping the full-bore big state agenda is rejected by Americans somehow, the impact from the difference in this suggestion may loom larger:

Yes, internationally, we'd be doing fine. Nobody was gonna mess with McCain.

I'll pray it doesn't, but we've just so charmingly dissed one of our best allies...not looking good.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, yes, you made it clear repeatedly that you were not completely happy with either man but chose "hope."

Too bad you didn't realize that Barack Obama is only half about "hope" -- the real word is "hopeless."

In your words, Do you seriously not think McCain would be screwing up right now too?

I have no doubt that the press would be painting McCain's actions as screw-ups, not matter what the outcome. Just as they are trying to put positive spin on Obama's actions, no matter how feckless. I don't let the press make up my mind for me; I'm surprised that you evidently do.

On the off chance that you may find yourself in a voting booth in the future, may I suggest some qualities that you consider? I'd start by suggesting you look at the candidates' integrity. No one has ever seriously doubted McCain's integrity. The occurrences that made me suspicious of Obama's integrity are too numerous to go into here, but they were obvious, once you thought to look.

And then there's the experience factor, not merely in the ability of experience to shape one's own judgment but also to build up a Rolodex of people whose judgment you can rely on.

Already George W. Bush is shaping up as the best president of the 21st Century!

Peter V. Bella said...

Let's not dilly dally here. He treated the British Prime Minister like shit. He embarrassed the whole country. The has Bill's door mat embarrass us even more.

I guess if you want to mend fences with a world that allegedly hates us you treat their leaders like shit.

Henry Feinberg; venture capitalist and former CEO of Rand McNally and a man who has voted Democrat and Republican over the years and voted for Obama made the following comment to the Chicago Sun Times:

"Purity is not what you want to look for," he said. "What you want is judgment and people who are thoughtful."

This Administration has proven that it has no judgment and is thoughtless.

daredevil-66 said...

I'm not sure whats worse screwing up proticol because your green staff isn't up to speed or coming up with a lame excuse that "I'm tired" Poor baby, apparently that old, beaten up POW you beat in the election can run circles around your frail,tired 47 year old body. Pathetic.

Zach said...

"Purity is not what you want to look for," he said. "What you want is judgment and people who are thoughtful."

Come to think of it, "thoughtful" has been the missing adjective ever since the election.

Obama needs to start embracing the concepts of triage and delegation. He needs to put off a lot of his agenda until the economic crisis settles down. Until you know what the economic and budget situations will look like, most of that work is going to be superfluous or wasted. Working on issues like nationalized health care or carbon taxes will just inject uncertainty into the economy as people worry about drastically higher taxes, deficits, or both.

The other thing he needs to do is protect and conserve his own working day. There's a natural tendency for people to maximize their access and exposure to the President, and to insist that he give his personal feedback on whatever it is they personally are working on. That tendency will only get worse in a crisis. That's why White Houses have traditionally needed a powerful Chief of Staff to decide who gets to see the President. Even Eisenhower, himself a former chief of staff for MacArthur, had Sherm Adams be his chief of staff when he was President. If Obama is exhausted, Rahm Emmanuel is at least partly to blame.

Finally, Obama needs to lose the stinking Blackberry. The last thing a President needs is a nerd leash that allows anyone to reach him (interactively!) at any time of the day. The President is at the top of a huge staff apparatus. The worst thing he can possibly do is give the impression that people can get their way more effectively by going to him personally. Not only does he end up doing too much, it undercuts the people who should be making those decisions.

Skyler said...

Given our history, to have an Afro-American president is a good thing.

This type of racism has no place in our national politics.

Big Mike said...

@Zach, you nailed it.

JAL said...

Althouse Do you seriously not think McCain would be screwing up right now too?

No. Not that it wouldn't be difficult and messy, but screwing up like this guy is? No.

But the press would never, never, never let you know that.

Since this economic thing is such a mess and has a number of people in the know scambling, I would guess it would be messy. It will take a while, but that doesn't come under the "screwing up" label.

But I would like to think that John McCain has some sense that the businesses that Amercians designed, created, and work at and in are what counts in energizing
the economy of the United *States* of America.

Barack Obama's commitment from the first day has been to change the very fabric of American culture and business and replace it with a form of socialism that is truly offensive, not to mention distasteful. And he is doing it because he "won." Not because he loves America. America, you didn't notice, is not good enough for Barack Obama.

Me? I believe America is too good for Barack Obama.

Penny said...

Good leaders seem to be in short supply.

EXCELLENT commenters? Not so much.

JAL said...

Zach --

Amen to the BlackBerry -- but that's really the "I'm the One You've Been Waiting For" mentality at work still.

This is a man who blew off his birth certificate (the original), his academic records, his state senate records, his Federal Senate job ("present?" & "'sorry I'm 'tardy'"), his health records, and finally the limits of being the President of the United States -- for a trendy toy that is *his* right.

He needs to do One. Thing. At. A. Time. And with regard to the economy he needs to start reading the tea leaves -- all over the country. My guess is he thinks the tea parties are a joke, if he knows about them at all.

I have never seen anything like it and I have been voting since 1966. He is in trouble. These people are not the ones who gets paid to disrupt the G-8 conferences. And they are angry.

Trash the health stuff, trash the alternative green energy crap, trash the save America from the dirty capitalists crap and start working for the country, and defending her people.

That is his job. He needs to do it.

Oligonicella said...

Ann Althouse --

"For the 100th time, I wasn't in love with Obama. I merely preferred him over McCain. Do you seriously not think McCain would be screwing up right now too?"

It's a matter of proportion. Others have given many good reasons. I'll simply recap. Not nearly as friggin' much.

JAL -- "Me? I believe America is too good for Barack Obama."

Hear, hear.

SMGalbraith said...

He needs to do One. Thing. At. A. Time.

The argument (one I'm not yet completely agreeing with) is that he is engaged in, let's call it, supply side government. That is, create a program and a constituency for that program so that any future ability by Republicans to either reduce government or taxes will be impossible.

Instead of starving the funding for programs, an approach that Reagan in particular was accused of doing through tax cuts, create constituencies now for programs that you can't afford (use the economic crisis as cover) and then make it impossible to ratchet back down those initiatives later.

It would be political suicide to scale these program back, especially if the spending includes the broad middle class of the electorate.

So, President Obama is everywhere now, rushing to pass programs before his ability to get them through has diminished.

It's not the presidential gatekeeper Emanuel failing to husband the President's hours and time. It's the President aggressively using the current crisis to do as much as he can, as quickly as he can.

As the computer geeks say, it's not a bug, it's a feature.

Ah Pooh said...

Skyler is correct - to elect an Afro-American president as a symbol of our tolerance, apology, past transgressions etc. is racist, but I don't think this past election was post-racial for many people.

Penny said...

It seems that Obama was "tapped by check-off" to lead the majority, and now our great nation.

Democracies can suck sometimes.

Freeman Hunt said...

Do you seriously not think McCain would be screwing up right now too?

Like this? No. He would have spent too much, but not anywhere near this much, and he would have done cap and trade. But he wouldn't have stood for that ridiculous "stimulus" bill, he wouldn't be pursuing nationalized healthcare, he wouldn't be flubbing protocol with our allies, and he wouldn't be making us look weak through his foreign policy.

I didn't think I'd like an Obama presidency because I don't agree with the guy. But I did not think it would be this bad. This has been stunningly, jaw-droppingly bad.

Rose said...

Obama needs his Blackberry for the same reason he needs his teleprompters, and his attack corps. The Blackberry is for his daily pep talks from Bill Ayers.

It is a fun exercise to image just HOW DIFFERENT things would be right now if McCain and Palin had been elected....

The Congress would not have been ordered to spend mega-trillions of dollars in such a hurry that they never even read the stupid thing, and despite the huge hurry let it sit around on the Prez's desk, in an oh, well, it's not THAT important kind of way... nobody would have jumped in the plane to fly out for a Valentine's Day date, the President, a real one, would be reaching across the aisle for real... the treatment of every foreign leader would be gracious and welcoming, costs would have been cut wherever possible....

Just IMAGINE. We would have REAL HOPE instead of despair.

You think things are bad, wait until the real taxes start kicking on - and I don't mean the overt taxes, but the cap and trade hidden tax on the poor.

Shanna said...

I didn't think I'd like an Obama presidency because I don't agree with the guy. But I did not think it would be this bad. This has been stunningly, jaw-droppingly bad.

This is where I'm at. I almost don't blame the people who voted for him for thinking he would be competent, despite the lack of evidence or experience. He gave the impression that he wouldn't be THIS bad. But really, WTF?? Snubbing Britain? DVD Box sets and mistranslated Russian? This is insanity!

Obama has no f'ing clue what he's doing. Of course the scarrier idea is that he knows exactly what he's doing, but I'm not really to the point of believing that yet.

Penny said...

"the scarrier idea is that he knows exactly what he's doing"

It seems some majority ticked off his name on the ballot.

I thought we were all about democracy here in America?

Now THAT is scarey. Odd how it seems to work out in the end though.

Peter V. Bella said...

Obama trying to expalin the gaffes:

We um, ah er, tried, um, em ,ah ugn, er, never meant to um, ah, ugh, er, em, eh...

BJM said...

Do you seriously not think McCain would be screwing up right now too?

McCain wouldn't be trying to run this sort of flim-flam on us either.

MadisonMan said...

He needs to go on more vacations. Perhaps he can beat Bush's record.

Penny said...

McCain screwing up? NO WAY!

My former hero is way too happy being the senator with his hand across the aisle.

Palladian said...

"He needs to go on more vacations. Perhaps he can beat Bush's record."

When in doubt and desperation, choose a BUSH WUZ WORSER type comment.

This strategy should work, albeit barely, for another few weeks.

BJM said...

They told me that if John McCain were elected the government would secretly monitor the internet.

In a blunt letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Beckstrom complained about a shortage of money for the center and a clash over whether the National Security Agency should control cyber efforts. The role of the NSA in protecting domestic computer networks has triggered debate, particularly among privacy and civil liberties groups who oppose giving such control to a U.S. spy agency.

A shortage of funding?

However, not to worry my fellow intertoob travelers, Congress is on the hog odor problem like white on rice.

Paul said...

"He gave the impression that he wouldn't be THIS bad."

Sure if you took him at his word, in which case you were a fool. Better to have looked at his history...statements, associates, activities...and judged accordingly. In which case it was obvious that he was an anti-capitalist, anti-American, radical egalitarian Marxist whose design was to bring a top down socialist revolution to America.

The only surprising thing to me is the astounding level of ineptitude in executing his agenda, and the amateurishly naked transparency of his power grab. I never bought into the idea he was anymore than of average intelligence, but I thought he, and particularly his staff, would be far more cunning.

Paul said...

As an aside, I'm around liberals and black people almost exclusively in my field and they never talk about politics or Obama anymore. They know he's a disaster and that they fucked up. Big time. They are quietly waiting for a miracle, or some fortuitous chain of events to stop the crazy train from careening off the tracks.

Synova said...

And now Obama has thrown Eric Holder under the bus.

Or, at least he issued one of his statements that attempts to agree with absolutely everyone, as if that mealy mouthed crap works when you're talking about your own administration.

If Obama had *advised* Holder on the issue "we" would have used different terminology, blah, blah, although he had a point, blah, blah.

Is it any wonder he couldn't make Britain feel special? He can't even make his own appointees feel special, or competent.

Eric better run his "language" past the boss from now on or risk being gently scolded to the press.

Synova said...

And yes... *I* was highly critical of Eric Holder and his "cowards about race" remarks.

But Eric is a grown-up and can either learn from his mistakes or not.

JAL said...

Galbraith - It's not the presidential gatekeeper Emanuel failing to husband the President's hours and time. It's the President aggressively using the current crisis to do as much as he can, as quickly as he can.

As the computer geeks say, it's not a bug, it's a feature.


Yeah yeah I get that. Ram it all through. Poorly designed. Poorly funded. Poorly thought out. And it will be poorly executed. Just ram it through and buy your peons.

The end result is going to be absolutely terrible.

It will be unsustainable.

The countries other than America, and the millions of people around the world this will harm should hang on his neck also.

Why do I have one view of the future which would give Shakespeare a great plot?

MathMom said...

IMHO, it's not that Obama doesn't know how to delegate. It's that he doesn't know how to work. He's never written legislation, even in Chicago. The Powers-That-Be decided he should be elevated there, and they put his name on legislation that was about to be voted on, made it look like he'd done something. Heck - he's never held ,any job longer than three years.

This man has never done any heavy lifting in his life. And we're going to pay for that.

Allan said...

MathMom has it spot on.
Not only has Obama never done any work
so far as I can see
he's never even had a real job.

Certainly
being a 'community organiser'
and hustling for ACORN
is not a job.

Dave S. said...

Did IQ's suddenly drop while I was away? Are there people here who seriously believe that John McCain would be throwing trillions of dollars in the air like Pacman Jones in a strip club? Really, Ann? You completely ignored Obama's lifelong record of extreme leftism, and now you're implying that McCain is in the same ballpark as Obama when it comes to staggeringly profligate spending? Seriously? Did you research the background and voting records of either one of these men during the campaign? Or since?

But Blake takes the cake:

"Since Hoover, with the sole exception of a mildly successful Reagan, we've had nothing but Big State government Presidents...So, once again, I have to back Althouse's reasoning here: She very clearly stated that she voted for Obama because McCain wasn't conservative enough. A lot of people didn't get it at the time, but it makes even more sense now."

Yes, Blake, it makes perfect sense. If one candidate is 50% conservative, and the other is within spitting distance of Karl Marx, the only logical choice for a libertarian or conservative is to pick the quasi-Marxist. It is necessary to destroy the country in order to save it, when the next Herbert Hoover comes along.

Yes, that sounds perfectly reasonable. If I had a large iron spike in my skull.

Staggering. Utterly staggering.

All of you all-or-nothing libertarians and conservatives who stayed home or voted for Bob freakin' Barr - Obama is your boy. You helped elect him. Own it.

John Clifford said...

YOU SAY:

For the 100th time, I wasn't in love with Obama. I merely preferred him over McCain. Do you seriously not think McCain would be screwing up right now too

I SAY:

C'mon, Ann! Do you seriously not think that McCain would be doing a better job right now, too?

McCain wouldn't have urged an $850 billion porkulus bill, and would have vetoed it if the Congressional Dems had passed it.

McCain wouldn't be proposing a huge 2009 budget, and would veto it if the Congressional Dems passed it.

McCain wouldn't be kowtowing to Iran and Al Qaeda, and pissing off the Brits.

And, the stock market wouldn't be at a 12-year low, because investors wouldn't be worried about stupid tax hikes that will actually result in decreased revenues.

Ann, admit it. You were fooled, bamboozled, hoodwinked. You fell for it. Obama had you at "Hello."

Helen said...

" Ann Althouse said...
For the 100th time, I wasn't in love with Obama. I merely preferred him over McCain. Do you seriously not think McCain would be screwing up right now too."

Ann, you're being disingenuous here in your attempt to justify having voted for Clueless Luke. On what grounds did you prefer Obama over McCain? Patriotism? Economic experience? Executive experience? Foreign policy experience? Sarah Palin was the only one with all those. Was it Sarah Palin and her down home Alaska accent and U of Idaho degree you objected to?

On what basis was Obama a better candidate than McCain? Even before the election, we knew the boy used a teleprompter like a blankie, so his oratorical skills are essentially acting skills. Were you fooled by Obama's acting ability as opposed to McCain's earnestness?

Whatever it was, Ann, you got hornswoggled, fooled, used, and bamboozled. What makes it worse was that the evidence concerning Clueless Luke was always in plain sight.

Fen said...

Have to agree, Ann.

The affirmative action student is "overwhelmed" by the course load. A Tier 2 school would have served him better. You have direct experience with that pattern, yet you didn't see this coming?

I'm of a mind that your vote had more to do with Obama's skin colour than anything else.

Fen said...

Freeman: "But I did not think it would be this bad. This has been stunningly, jaw-droppingly bad."

Echo. Obama is making Bush look like a genius.

Neal said...

Obama is trying to get a lot done in a very short amount of time. It's not unreasonable to think he might get a bit tired.

On vacations: The vacations Obama took in January were BEFORE inauguration, so he wasn't technically on the job at that time. GWB took his vacations during his term.

On talking to al Qaeda in Afghanistan: This is exactly what Petraeus did in Iraq for the surge. He talked with some of the insurgents and put them on the US payroll, and they stopped fighting us.

Random Numbers said...

"Do you seriously not think McCain would be screwing up right now too?"

I doubt the screw-ups would be as bad and deep. Three off the top:


a. The likelihood of a TARP-II would be near zilch with the current hyper-partisain Democrat Congress.
b. Any "stimulus" package would be geared toward the private sector, not "saving" government jobs but creating productive ones by making it easier for a business to keep it's profits.
c. Businesses would not be making future plans (like hiring and layoffs) in anticipation of massive tax increases, greater regulation, cap-and-trade (which will close my high energy use company down), and a generally hostile climate for the concept of profit.

So, yes, McCain would likely have made some screw-ups. Those screw-ups would have been inflated to ALL CAPS RED LETTER STATUS by the lame-stream press. But I don't think we would be in nearly the pickle we are in thanks to Barack (Do as I say, not as I do.) Obama.

blake said...

This is the same McCain endorsed the mortgage bailout program, right? What else would McCain have done to undermine the economy? Nobody really knows.

Yes, Blake, it makes perfect sense. If one candidate is 50% conservative,

What the hell was so conservative about McCain? BCRA? McCain, like W, would enact big state policies but as a "conservative".

and the other is within spitting distance of Karl Marx, the only logical choice for a libertarian or conservative

Ann is neither libertarian nor conservative.

is to pick the quasi-Marxist. It is necessary to destroy the country in order to save it, when the next Herbert Hoover comes along.

I think, if the Republic is to survive, we need to adopt an attitude of government as being reducible. McCain wasn't going to go in there and make government smaller. He wasn't going to roll back Part D. He wasn't going to stop the War on Drugs. He was going to go in there and make it bigger in the name of "conservatism".

And who would be motivated to stop it? All the press coverage would be devoted to how he wasn't expanding it enough, or how he was expanding it in the wrong way. Would we be having tax revolts? (I don't know where those are going, but I take them as a good sign.)

That money hasn't been spent yet. The right thing to do is to focus on trying to stop it.

Pogo said...

"That money hasn't been spent yet. The right thing to do is to focus on trying to stop it."

Once the power is grabbed -and grabbing they are- it's too late, Blake. Hence the rapidity and breadth of this taking. Once installed, we become subjects of the realm, no longer citizens. Obama voters just handed away their self-ownership for a pin that says "At least I'm not racist."

Obama's handlers aren't at all overwhelmed and know exactly what to do. Their goal is an EU-style USA, Sweden of North America.

Businesses that generate lots of taxes and political donations and lobbying positions for retired Democrats and jobs for favored classes and serve as pork destinations will be tolerated and supported.

Everything and everyone else will be screwed. What will not be forbidden will be obligatory.

I agree with Milton Friedman: "Is it really true that political self-interest is somehow nobler than economic self-interest?"

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

On vacations: The vacations Obama took in January were BEFORE inauguration, so he wasn't technically on the job at that time. GWB took his vacations during his term.

Just be clear that Bush took working vacations in Crawford. The Left is dishonestly trying to imply he just took time off from it all.

And although I was one who bashed Bush for not challenging the liberal lies that cropped up during his term, I can now appreciate why he didn't invest time and energy launching a PR offensive against Soros or Moore. More important things to do.

Barak is not too "tired" to launch a political campaign against Rush Limbaugh.

A Jacksonian said...

Would McCain have been screwing up like this?

No.

Not on all fronts simultaneously, he would have prioritized his screw-ups so that cap'n'trade, auto bailouts, home mortgage bailouts, etc. would go from talked about to off the table. The man, no matter how much I disagree with his policies, knows that he has limited time, energy and attention and would concentrate on making sure our allies knew that we stood with them and showed it, and given short shrift to Syria, Iran and NoKo. He knows that, as a fighter pilot, you get overwhelmed with warnings and you start shutting down the least reliable, least immediate ones *first* and deal with the major problems while trying not to set a course for the ground at top speed.

President Obama doesn't know his strengths, weaknesses or limitations and is now paying the price for doing nothing well and screwing up completely on all fronts.

At least McCain would have limited his screw-ups... be fair to the man, no one would be so inexperienced as to try and do everything simultaneously like Barack Obama: that is a prescription for long term failure if the least thing goes wrong. Instead of building any confidence in himself or his abilities, he is squandering it all away to try and get anything right, and doing everything wrong. I do not want ill to befall the man, it is his policies I detest... yet the one doing the setting up for that is him, not me, nor anyone else outside his limited circle of friends and advisors. And they aren't helping him in the slightest. When he learns the fastest way to stop a headache is to stop pounding his head against a wall, then he will learn to prioritize and ditch the majority of what he wants to do. Of course he should have learned that in college... or high school... or as a child...

Robin said...

Mother of God.....

We can't give a pass to Obama because we think McCain would have been screwing up now too. Obama's best day so far was inauguration day. From the moment he flubbed the oath of office, he's been going downhill. Too overwhelmed and tired? It's only been 6 weeks. What a total puss. What did he think he was getting into? A big white house and parties every night? I miss W., alright. So will a lot of people before we wake up from this nightmare.

Peter V. Bella said...

I heard Obama is planning a State Dinner. He is pulling out all the stops to show he is really not an uminformed cheapskate and backwoods rube.

He will be feteting important allies and the protocol and decorum people are working overtime to get it right.

The allies to be feted; Olbermann, Huffington, Matthews, Striesand, Buffet, and others in media and celebrity. Each will get an expensive gift denoting their importance to the United States and international affairs.

AJ Lynch said...

I note there are some new faces among the commenters on this string and they seem to be energized women.

That's interesting.

MadisonMan said...

Hook, Line and Sinker.

On another topic, Helen, the reasons that the Professor voted against McCain have been noted often here. All of your questions have been answered.

Ann Althouse said...

@Robin I'm scarcely giving Obama a pass! I wasn't giving him a pass back during the campaign. I've always been critical. But I did vote for him and I still defend my choice. I suppose the day will come when I will do a big blog post about regretting my vote, but it hasn't come yet. Not that I'm happy about anything Obama has done.

Jim Howard said...

We elect a crackhead as President because he talks in a calm reassuring manner, and we're surprised he has the management skills of a crackhead?

TosaGuy said...

The Presidency consumes everyone who inhabits the office no matter a man's mettle. Some presidents are a seven course meal and Obama is an hor 'doeuvre.

knomad said...

Well - at least he's working. I doubt Obama would have ignored a memo that says "Bin Laden determined to strike US".

Anyone who needed a memo in 2001 to know this – after Bin Laden declared war on the US under the Clinton administration in 1996 – shouldn’t be the President. I knew it, and I’m not even in government.

Newsflash that you can use to save the country; Bin Laden is STILL determined to strike the US! Now that this news has been made available to you, you should be able to stop it. Go get ‘em!

M. Simon said...

The Austrian Corporal was tired in his final days. Suicide was his way out.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Poor Obama.

He's tired..... so tired.

He needs some rest.

Thor's Dad said...

Two comments:

1. This BO will be the most popular failure in the history of the presidency.

2. Pretty soon there will be enough unemployed to triple the size of the Tea Parties.

So BO's being overwhelmed has just begun - but at least he will feel good about himself!

Bruce Hayden said...

For the 100th time, I wasn't in love with Obama. I merely preferred him over McCain. Do you seriously not think McCain would be screwing up right now too?

A lot of the previous posters have answered this fairly well. But a couple of additions:

- McCain had a fair amount of executive training, starting at Annapolis, and extending up through being a Captain and being tapped for flag rank.

- This likely would have resulted in better appointees and better management of them. No lose cannons in State or Justice (or, apparently even in Interior). Subordinates who make their bosses look bad in the military don't last.

- His Navy career, esp. at the end of it as liaison with Congress, likely trained him as to the necessities of protocol. And, sorry, but Cindi seems more in tune with this than Michelle does.

- McCain has become increasingly sensitive to ethics issues, starting when his helping of his constituent and family friend Charles Keating ended up besmirching his honor. Obama has been totally clueless and insensitive to corruption in his appointees. I think part of that is from coming up in the Chicago machine, and partly that he had so little experience at the national level.

- Obama got rolled by Pelosi and Reid in the "Stimulus" bill and likely in the current appropriations bill. McCain has the experience to have minimized that. I attribute this to Obama's short term as a back bencher in the Senate. He never had to get anything done there, and so doesn't know how to do it. McCain has and does.

Bruce Hayden said...

I really do believe that Obama is overwhelmed. He has done nothing in his previous life to prepare himself for this, and I think that it shows.

Besides, I don't think he really has the temperament for this sort of work. He has never really been in a 24/7 high stress job before.

I also wonder whether that famous evidence of temperament where he sat back and McCain jumped in was more evidence of a fairly passive personality, instead of better and more considered judgment.

Which gets me to the issue that some have pointed out. Obama apparently cannot give a speech or even talk without a teleprompter. But who is really doing the speaking there? I don't think that it is Ayers. More likely Emanuel. He is looking more and more like a puppet. The problem is that we don't know who the puppet masters are.

And, I think that he maybe has been such a puppet all along. He has always done what his betters have expected him to do, throughout his political career.

The difference now is that the American people are expecting him to lead, and he has never been a leader before in his life, and doesn't seem to have it in his personality.

Synova said...

Subordinates who make their bosses look bad in the military don't last.

Probably, in Obama's case, it's even more important that (in the military) bosses who make their subordinates look bad don't last long either.

There's a certain necessity in function in making sure that a bad boss does minimal damage, but it's not about making the boss look good. It's self-preservation, considering the possible consequences of someone with military authority who is a certified screw-up. (Having had a certifiable screw-up of an NCO during a significant natural disaster, I do speak from experience.)

Still and all... as much as lower ranks are supposed to make their superiors look good, it's a very broad two-way street. It is trivially easy to make your superior look very *very* bad, and all while not (quite) doing anything that will get you in trouble if the case is that your superior is a total *ss.

The lesson there being... don't be an *ss.

Obama has done a few (small) things that have struck me as entirely bizarre. Making a joke of Biden was one of them. Gently correcting Holder is another. Little things that leave me baffled because I can't figure how Obama, as boss, plans to keep his subordinates doing their best to make him look good when he seems not to care about making *them* look good.

Orinoco said...

Don't blame me. I voted for Sarah.

SukieTawdry said...

I have no sympathy and much contempt for those experiencing "buyer's remorse." There was nothing in Obama's background nor in his associations to suggest that he would be even slightly moderate once he seized the reigns of power. He was inexperienced and unaccomplished. The "first-rate intellect and first-rate temperament" crap was mere myth perpetuated by his fellow "intellectuals." Everything you needed to know about Obama was there to know. There were none so blind as they who would not see.

blake said...

Once the power is grabbed -and grabbing they are- it's too late, Blake.

Only if we allow it, Pogo.

Fen said...

The British are going after Obama. He hurt their feelings.

I don't think you should be pillored over this statement, but you do spotlight the trivial and casual attitude Obama defenders have expressed. They would whitewash the incident instead of judging it with intellectual honesty:

1) This is the "smart" diplomacy Obama promised us.

2) In one sense, we're lucky Obama did this to our closest ally, instead of say, Pakistan or China. It may seem trivial, but this type of incident was responsible for pushing Russia into a treaty with Germany, resulting in the fall of Poland.

3) If Obama's Team can't pass a simple gift exchange, how will they get through more difficult and complex diplomatic hurdles? Should they even be allowed near diplomatic talks, where they will trade away all our gains for the promise of future negoitiations?


I suppose the day will come when I will do a big blog post about regretting my vote

I look forward to it. It will be interesting to have you blog about Rome burning down around your ears. Although I'd also like a firsthand account of what toons Obama is going to fiddle.

And Grey Tribe: The connections you made with military families over the last several years? Check the line. You're going to need good comms.

dick said...

Althouse,

Would love to see you do a positives and negatives type of spread sheet on Obama so far. Would also love to see just what it would take for you to finally admit that you made a mistake in supporting Obama last fall. Personally I have seen nothing positive that he has done so far.

He went to Columbus to talk about giving them money to pay for 25 officers. He did not mention that they will lose more than 25 due to retirements this year alone.

He goes to Elkhart to talk about jobs and his policies will pointedly take even more jobs away from Elkhart.

Can think of nothing else he has done that is even remotely positive.

Just find the thinking bizarre to support this novice who is in so far over his head that the Peter Principle took over before he even ran for the office.

Big Mike said...

Sukie's got it right. There were plenty of warnings that Obama lacks integrity, leadership, and any sense of ethics. Apparently some people regarded these as unimportant character traits in a President.

Peter said...

If he's this tired, why all the White House parties?

Personally I think that whole crowd should pee in the bottle just like a PFC or Major General has to.

Oh, and Ann? Look at the Dow and the unemployment rate in November of '06. The problems we are facing come directly from Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and, now, your Baracky.

Or just keep ignoring reality and screaming BOOSH!