I’ve been keeping my senses tuned to what is going on here in the US of A, particularly as it pertains to our 44th president, Barack Obama. With great fanfare he was inaugurated, ushered into the White House, and basked in all the adulation sent his way.
In some ways his election was a statement maker, proving to America as well as to the world that just about anyone can become president. In countries where deep racial division has been going on for centuries, America offers hope that they, too, can overcome.
Neither Presidential Candidate Was Particularly Strong
But, we’ve also witnessed one of the worst presidential races in the history of our country. The Republican candidate, John McCain, was clearly not a conservative, rather an admired war hero who managed to win his party’s nomination through determination and tenacity belying his age.
The Democratic candidate was, of course, Barack Obama who stole victory out of the jaws of defeat by knocking off the champion — the unbeatable Hillary Clinton — while gaining plenty of help from mainstream media types who hyped his candidacy while refusing to properly vet him.
Never mind that the public was enamored with his smooth, silky baritone voice, a major oratorical improvement over the standing president, George W. Bush. Add in years of racial guilt, an ultra liberal agenda and disgust with “D.C. politics as usual” and Obama’s ascendancy was all but assured.
Is Obama In Over His Head?
As I observe what has transpired since inauguration day, I have gradually come to the conclusion that President Obama is in over his head. I’m not saying that he isn’t fit to be president (okay, he is a novice), but his worldview is getting in the way with him getting things done.
When he campaigned, Obama promised Americans that it would not be business as usual when it came to politics. That promise gradually lost its glow as one after another Clinton appointee was chosen by The One. And, some of those appointments have been real doozies.
Fab Five? I Don’t Think So!
There have been quite a number of people appointed by the president to various cabinet, staff and ancillary positions. Out of all of these people considered, I found five who seem to be poor fits particularly based on Obama’s promise to change things in Washington, DC:
Bill Richardson, the governor of New Mexico, was appointed as Commerce Secretary in early December, a post he had to back down from one month later due to a personal revelation about some improper business dealings in his home state.
Timothy Geithner, who was recently confirmed by the Senate (what were they thinking?!) as head of the U.S. Treasury, failed to pay medicaid and income taxes for many years. Outrageously, he is now in charge of the very same taxing authority, the I.R.S., whose duty is to enforce our federal taxation system.
Eric Holder was recently confirmed as the Attorney General and has a history that is, well, a bit far to the left. He was grilled (not too thoroughly) by the Senate over his last minute Clinton administration pardons of a tax cheat, Marc Rich, and 16 Puerto Rican terrorists. Never mind his views on the Patriot Act, Gitmo and the so-called “torture” of people who would do us much harm if given the chance.
Nancy Killefer was a nominee for the all-new position of Chief Performance Officer, a job where the incumbent is tasked with overseeing federal budget and government reform. Unfortunately for her, Killefer’s own finances needed a lot of reform when “unspecified tax issues” scuttled her bid.
Tom Daschle, who was targeted and tossed by Republicans in his 2004 U.S. Senate seat for obstructing Bush policies, was appointed as Secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services, but had to back down when revelation of his own tax problems began to surface. Obama admitted that the Daschle appointment was a mistake, taking full responsibility for his choice.
I’ve only listed five of the controversial Obama appointments, two of whom are now serving in their confirmed positions. There are other people in the president’s administration who give credence to the statement, “…when it comes to Washington politics, it is busy as usual for President Obama.”
Should We Be Surprised?
Not one of these choices (and subsequent appointments or retractions) should come as a surprise to anyone as just like the president himself, many were not properly vetted.
Add in the ongoing financial crisis besetting our country and the pork-filled “stimulus” bill about to be approved by Congress and signed into law by the president (against growing discomfort from Americans of all political stripes) and what we’re witnessing is a president who just doesn’t seem to be moving with confidence through his first few weeks in office.