February 12, 2009


Is Obama Tanking Already? (Richard L. Connor, 2/12/09, CQ)

Obama’s leadership may be harder to evaluate.

So far, it’s all just talk.

And sometimes, it’s double talk, or close to it. He is talking about doubling our forces in Afghanistan, for instance, and will not commit to when they will be withdrawn.

The press is starting to point out his inconsistencies, and if you watched Obama’s first prime-time news conference, you probably spotted them, too.

Go back through the transcript and pay attention to how many questions he ducked.

He didn’t have a straight answer on whether he would end the Bush administration’s policy of refusing to allow photographs of flag-draped coffins being ceremoniously returned to America. Look at his candor in offering details of new rules for the big banks with a hand out for taxpayer bailouts.

The more he dodges questions, the faster his image with it will fade.

As I said, throw this guy a lifeline.

Obama is headed for a one-term presidency (Mark Tapscott, 2/12/09, DC Examiner)
FDR at least had nearly a decade for his Sisyphean labors. Obama won’t get a chance to end the current recession because, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the recovery will have long since started before most of the gargantuan $1 trillion stimulus bill’s spending crosses the Potomac.

But that’s not the main reason Obama’s prospects for gaining a second term in 2012 are already fading faster than a Maine RINO can forget what being a Republican means. Obama is making himself the symbol of what’s wrong with Washington rather than being the agent of change in Washington.

Democratic pols like Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York think voters don’t care about pork in the stimulus bill, but lots of now-former Republican members of Congress know better.

Earmarks are indeed, in Sen. Tom Coburn’s evocative term, “the gateway drug to federal spending addiction” and the basic ingredient of the culture of corruption in Washington that has driven the approval rating of Congress into the single digits.

Growing public awareness of the deeply porkified content of the stimulus package is the chief driver behind the plunge in a mere two weeks from modestly strong initial approval to only a third of those surveyed continuing to support passage.

Why Obama’s new Tarp will fail to rescue the banks (Martin Wolf, February 10 2009, Financial Times)
Has Barack Obama’s presidency already failed?

Where Are We Heading? (Peter Wehner , 2/12/09, Commentary)
What is surprising is how many mishaps have taken place and how many damaging developments have accrued. One of the key pillars of Obama’s campaign and his popularity was his commitment to bipartisanship. But that promise, like Jeremiah Wright, Tom Daschle, and others, has been tossed under the Obama bus. President Obama essentially admitted as much at his press conference earlier this week, when he said that bipartisanship would have to take a back-seat to passage of the economic legislation he wanted.

It’s not simply that Obama gained no Republican votes in the House for his plan, and got only three in the Senate. It is that Obama himself never made a serious play at bipartisan cooperation. What he did was allow Nancy Pelosi and liberal House Democrats to write the legislation. Republicans were shut out. And once the legislation emerged, Republicans were asked to come on board. They politely but emphatically declined. It turns out spending a few hours with the GOP caucus and hosting a Super Bowl party does not constitute authentic bipartisanship.

The next pillar to crumble was the promise of “new politics.” We saw it with the announcement of new ethics rules barring lobbyists from working in the Obama Administration on issues that fell under their lobbying bailiwick – followed by waivers for lobbyists working on issues that fell under their lobbying bailiwick. In defense, press secretary Robert Gibbs defended the standard, as if violating the standard was of secondary importance. President Obama has also taken to lacerating Republicans for their opposition to his so-called stimulus plan, arguing that their opposition isn’t based on different convictions but on narrow partisanship. A friend of mine who voted for Obama told me he was taken aback by the “gratuitous” nature of Obama’s attacks. This was hardly the “turn-the-page-on-the-politics-of-the-past” that we had been told to expect.

More importantly, we have seen a surprising sloppiness from Team Obama.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Posted by Orrin Judd at February 12, 2009 8:31 AM
blog comments powered by Disqus