January 25, 2010

"I'd rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president."

Those aren't generally the alternatives... but it's a lovely sentiment, from a man of sentiments... mediocre sentiments.

59 comments:

Angst said...

As Mort Kondracke said tonight,

"How about a mediocre one term Presidency."

Peter V. Bella said...

Guy is starting to sound like Forrest Gump.

holdfast said...

Can we all agree to pretend that he was really good if he leaves after one term? Hell, I'll call him wicked awesome if he'll leave tomorrow.

Paul said...

If he doesn't get reelected it will merely convince him that he was a really good one-term president. Too good for us, in fact.

There is nothing that could conceivably convince him he is mediocre, so no worries there.

jaed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
avwh said...

Since he's so good at talking, let's make him a deal. After he retires, he can tell somebody all the great things he did, and nobody disputes the legacy he is in his own mind, as long as he steps down in 2012 (after all, you don't speak ill of the departed).

In return, to earn being this legacy in his own mind, he gives up all the half-baked, warmed-over socialist crap he wanted to shove down our throats, and we call it even (we won't even say he was worse than Carter).

jaed said...

Hell, I'll call him wicked awesome if he'll leave tomorrow.

Compared to his replacement if he leaves tomorrow, you'd be right!

Kev said...

(the other kev)

I guess we should be happy he didn't suggest President-for-Life . . .

Greg Toombs said...

I think there's a very good chance Obama has been mediocre all through his life up to the point he was elected President.

Except for his 'gift', of course.

Ralph L said...

But what about years 8-10? Will he be awesome or total crap?

SteveR said...

I'm pretty sure his definition of "pretty good" would involve a lot of things I'd rather not contemplate. Some of the Kamikaze pilots thought they were pretty good too.

Henry said...

What if your only chance at a really good term is a second term?

john said...

What can he do?

Back to "senior lecturer" at U of Chicago.

Go on speaking tour, supporting his wife's bid for Senator from Illinois.

Elected/appointed/selected Sec-General of UN.

President of the World Bank.

Member of Nobel Peace Prize Committee.

Become Secretary of State under President Clinton.

Pogo said...

He and John Edwards could make a movie.

Freeman Hunt said...

This is out of context. I'm sure he added, "And I'd rather be an epic failure of a one-term president than either of those, so I'd say I'm right on track."

Mark said...

Pogo wins.

JAL said...

I guess we should be happy he didn't suggest President-for-Life

Don't think he didn't think of it ---except then he found out that being POTUS is pretty restictive. And disappointing. Not everyone thinks he's the best thing since slived bread.

JAL said...

Mediocre Wonder Bread.

OldGrouchy Doug Wright said...

Obama will fail in both categories! Hooray!

Methadras said...

Peter V. Bella said...

Guy is starting to sound like Forrest Gump.


My momma said, "A presidency is like a box of choc-lits. You nevah know what your gonna get.

My grandma said something like that too, but I just threw her undah the bus."

Obama in Army Basic training:

Rahm Emmanuel: Obama! What's your sole purpose in this Presidency?

Obama Gump: To do whatever you tell me and never pass up on a crisis, Drill Sargeant Emmanuel!

Rahm Emmanuel: God damn it, Obama! You're a god damn genius! This is the most outstanding answer I have ever heard. You must have a goddamn I.Q. of 60. You are goddamn gifted, Obama Gump. Listen up, people...

Obama Gump: [narrates] Now for some reason I fit in the army like one of them round pegs. It's not really hard. You just make your bed real neat and remember to stand up straight and always answer every question with "I'm very sorry for what America has done to world."

Rahm Emmanuel: ...Is that clear?

Obama Gump: Yes, drill sergeant!

Methadras said...

[Obama Gump has finished assembling his Federal 2011 Budget]
Obama Gump: DONE, DRILL SERGEANT EMMANUEL!
Drill Sergeant Emmanuel: GUUUUUUMP! Why did you put that budget together so quickly, Gump?
Obama Gump: [confused] You told me to, Drill Sergeant?
Drill Sergeant: Jesus H. Christ!
[looks at stopwatch]
Drill Sergeant Emmanuel: This is a new government record! If it wouldn't be such a waste of a damn-fine college professor and ACORN ex-counsel I'd recommend you for HPO (High Political Office)! You are gonna be a President someday, Gump, now disassemble your apologies and continue!

Rialby said...

Mark my words. Barack Obama will not appear on the 2012 ballot either because he pulls an LBJ or because some moderate Democrat runs hard against him.

I have no idea who that moderate Democrat is. And don't say Hillary.

John Lynch said...

James K. Polk. There's your awesome one term President.

victoria said...

Lets see what kind of Republican candidate they field in 2012. Got to have a good one and I see nothing but a sea of nothing in front of me. Please, don't say Palin, Huckabee or Romney. Can't win. And don't say the savior is Scott Brown. Mark my word, he will do nothing in office. Attractive, semi-well spoken, nothing there.

Vicki from Pasadena

Mick said...

How about escourted out of the WH after Quo Warramto finds him ineligible, since his father was never a citizen?

BJM said...

A slight digression to revisit an earlier post.

Revenant said...

Would someone like to explain to me why the crazies think having a non-citizen father disqualifies someone from being President? I don't speak "Birther".

jaed said...

My understanding is that the crazies in question define "natural-born citizen" as "two citizen parents plus born in US territory". Something about not being born with an allegiance to any foreign power (since hypothetically Obama could have claimed Kenyan or British citizenship, based on his father's citizenship).

I'm not totally sure where they're getting this strict definition, though. My understanding of "natural-born citizen" was always that it was the opposite of a naturalized citizen - that is, someone who was a citizen at birth - and Obama certainly falls in that category.

(Given that his mother was a citizen, he'd still be one if he was born on Mars, so I'm also not sure why the birth certificate thing matters.)

OldGrouchy Doug Wright said...

There used to be a difference between granting natural born citizenship status to a person born overseas to an American mother, non-citizen father, and one born overseas to an American father, non-citizen mother. That seems to have been changed by law near or around Obama's birth. And, it used to make a difference.

But, the whole "birther" argument also centers around whether Obama was born in the USA or in Kenya. The question of when Obama's mother returned to the USA would be the key to that; she was in Kenya before his birth; plus what was her age at his birth. Age of the American parent used to make a difference, coupled with country where the child was born.

Don't have the answer to these questions, but the questions that seem to be in disputed here are NOT those that bear of Obama's birth status.

Obama's father was a Kenyan and that doesn't really bears on Obama's birth status. And, I doubt if the parents' martial status per se factors in at all.

The Crack Emcee said...

Hello, Mr. President!

Mark said...

VickiMoby is in the house!

My guy last time was Rudy. Eh, Rino, whatever.

Your side shot it's wad with The Won.

Sorry, next time the Media Consensus will be a lot less influential. Personally, I'd volunteer for Palin, Jindal, or Jeb (yes, another Bush).

If you're paying attention, those three are pretty damned disparate in their political philosophies. But then, Democrats don't have a good track record when it comes to paying attention.

rhhardin said...

That's an unfair shot at Polk, who was not actively bad.

rhhardin said...

I'd rather be a sparrow than a snail YouTube

rhhardin said...

The plan would be to get Biden's resignation, and then appoint a grown-up to the VP slot.

That prepares the way for Obama to spend more time with his family and be remembered positively in history as a trivia question.

Ralph L said...

And, I doubt if the parents' martial status per se factors in at all.
Considering how long the marriage lasted, I'd say they were often at war.

WV - ovyke - the egg donor of a lesbian couple.

AllenS said...

Obama will be neither.

Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said...

Actually, the parents' marital status does count, and for quite a lot.

Obama was, of course, born in Hawai'i. (I'm not a birther!)

But hypothetically, if a child in his place were not, there are these scenarios:

1. Parents were legally married. Since the mother was not 19 by the time of his birth, she could not fulfill the pre-1986 (post-1952) requirement that the citizen parent (married to an alien) have resided in the United States for ten years, five of which were after the age of 14.

In that case, the child (who isn't Obama) wouldn't be a citizen.

[This is how I became a US citizen, incidentally -- born abroad to a US citizen mom who married a foreigner.]

2. If the parents were not legally married, then the law about illegitimate children of US citizen mothers comes into play, which just has a requirement of one year's residence Stateside.

In that case, the child would be a citizen.

[More citizenship law fun here.]

If, hypothetically, Obama were born in Kenya (which he wasn't), his parents' marital status would have mattered.

My read would be this: since Barack H. Obama Sr. married Ann Dunham bigamously (read "Dreams from my Father" closely), their marriage was legally invalid, therefore Barack H. Obama II would have been a United States citizen no matter where he was born. And b/c he was a citizen at birth, not naturalized, he therefore qualifies as a "natural-born" citizen.

Anyway. He was born in Hawai'i, and he's our president. End of very silly story. (And if he wasn't, then scenario two governs, and he's a natural-born citizen and our president.) And if you want to blame anyone for his left-winged-ness, the fault lies entirely within the borders of the US of A -- Obama is 100% American. American liberal, which is our home-grown problem. :p

Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said...

Oh, but about Althouse's actual post...

Arguably, that was George H.W. Bush's fate, no?

Or was he just mediocre?

tjl said...

Hillary is activating her minions even as we speak.

SMGalbraith said...

We'll never learn, will we?

A candidate who runs a great campaign doesn't mean they will run a great administration or will govern effectively. Different set of "skills" needed.

Let's face it, he doesn't know how to run things. How to deal with those Congressional bulls like an LBJ did.

Robin said...

Attractive, semi-well spoken, nothing there.

Yeah, someone like that could NEVER be elected President.

Henry said...

That's an unfair shot at Polk, who was not actively bad.

I assume John Lynch is sincere. Polk did about as much in one term as a president can do.

Maybe Obama's model is GWHB.

Michael said...

Great. When asked give him an A+.

Robert Cook said...

As with most politicians, Obama's remark was mere posturing. He obviously didn't mean it as he's governing so gingerly, with so little daring or any attempt to actually accomplish anything. He obviously wants to win a second term, though I think he may not if he keeps on as he has. (Like Clinton before him, he's a Republican in Democrat's clothing.)

If he really didn't care, he would have taken on the entrenched special interests in Washington--the war profiteers and military lobby, the insurance and pharmaceutical interests, Wall Street, etc.--and attempted to destroy their deathgrip on America...and it is a deathgrip.

As it is, Obama's vainly trying to ameliorate our bad feelings as we're choked to death by these corporate assassins of our country.

David said...

Robert Cook:

It's amazing to me that you and others like you haven't noticed by now that the Democrats are the establishment party, and have been at least since the Clinton presidency.

Opus One Media said...

I don't get it. Bush was beyond mediocre and there are a certain number of fools on here who still love him and miss him.

MikeDC said...

That should be a frightening statement. It suggests he's willing to "get tough" in ways that sensible politicians are not, and so truly believes his (unpopular) views will end up being vindicated that he's willing to lose in order to cram them down our throat.

Big Mike said...

@Opus, you're wrong about Bush. And, yeah, right about now I'd much rather have him than the guy we've got in there, or the current Secretary of State, or her husband.

Robert Cook said...

"Robert Cook:

It's amazing to me that you and others like you haven't noticed by now that the Democrats are the establishment party, and have been at least since the Clinton presidency."


Who says I don't see the Dems as part of the establishment? They are simply the slightly less brutish, bellicose wing of the Republicrats Party. As Noam Chomsky and others before me have said, the Repubs and the Dems are simply one party, both serving the same masters. They pander to different segments of the American public, but they both serve the same interests on Wall Street and among the big-money lobbies (military, pharmaceuticals, oil, etc.)...that is to say, those who really run this country.

I won't say there's no difference between them, but practically speaking there isn't.

ricpic said...

What a wonderful liar is The Won.

holdfast said...

Ben:

Very interesting. I cannot help but wonder if Obama's caginess regarding his birth cert has something to do with his mother's age and/or his father's bigamous status. It's not like any of that rather sketchy conduct is his fault, but he and the media are rather good at glossing over it. I am personally more interested in his red-diaper upbringing.

Tibore said...

"I'd rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president."

What's depressing is the possibility that we'll get the worst of two worlds.

John Lynch said...

Darn right I'm sincere about Polk. I'd be living in Mexico.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I would like you to be a good President too. Why not get to work on it Barry?

exhelodrvr1 said...

Opus,
" Bush was beyond mediocre "

Absolutely. He did a decent job as president.

Beaverdam said...

I miss George.

The Crack Emcee said...

If it were possible, I'd vote for George W. Bush, today - for two more terms - no problem. I don't think, in my lifetime, I've ever seen a better president.

Just a great guy.

Robert Cook said...

"If it were possible, I'd vote for George W. Bush, today - for two more terms - no problem. I don't think, in my lifetime, I've ever seen a better president.

Just a great guy."


Oy! You obviously weren't looking.

Deborah said...

Is he laying the groundwork for not running in 2012, or faking us out, or is this just more Obama phoniness? Or did Rahm advise him to say something humble?

wv: Ducer.