Obama Stumbles Out Of The Gate

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.

Barack ObamaIn 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.

Your thoughts?

Related Reading

Obama: “Government Is Our Only Hope” (Political Conservatives)

Obama’s Superbowl Performance (The Black Sphere)

The Impending Obama Meltdown (National Review Online)

The Stimulus Package That Isn’t (MyTake)

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Comments

  1. I believe this is a fair analysis of the first few days of the Obama Presidency. President Obama talks a lot about a new way of doing business in Washington, but it seems we have heard of a lot of his appointees before, from the Clinton administration.

    LarryJacksons last blog post..Lobbyists in the White House

  2. Thanks, Larry. I really did not stress the financial angle of the so-called stimulus package which is, to me, an even greater threat than poorly chosen appointees. We’re going to see government expanded, inflation rear its ugly head and we’ll be saddling future generations with the worst debt conceivable. Not looking good for the ‘ole red, white and blue!

  3. I agree with much of what you say, but I respectfully disagree with one statement in particular “a president who just doesn’t seem to be moving with confidence through his first few weeks in office.” What scares me is that I believe he is “too confident” and “too comfortable” with his current position. I like it when people are confident but arrogant? pompous? No! Too much power is never ever a good thing for just one man or one woman. I may disagree with Obama’s way of thinking, but I truly believe that “he” believes “his” way is the “only” way.

    That he has chosen “the wrong people” for his cabinet does not surprise me, for as Warren Buffet himself has said, “If you tell me who your heroes are, I can tell you how you will turn out in life.” I question many of his past associations-Yes it DOES matter who you “hang around with” just as I question all these former Clinton people he has appointed or repaid.

    Once Congress has its 2/3 majority, Obama will be “King” and not “President”, and the party of liberal ideas (unlimited abortion, gun control, welfare, higher taxes, open borders and so on) will RULE. The American people voted; this is what they wanted and this is what they will get. President Obama will simply serve as deliverer. These “questionable” selections and “questionable” decisions of the past few weeks are ONLY THE BEGINNING.

    I wonder why the markets and the average folks at home remain skeptical and worried about the economy. I wonder why consumer confidence worsens every day. Oh well it must continue to be George W’s fault …

    Good post.

    the fearless blogs last blog post..Confessions from a Crazed Crafter by Patti Cox-Charles

  4. Fearless, thank you for your thorough analysis to my article. Most certainly, I don’t want him to be confident in the sense that he will follow through on what we know he believes.

    What Obama believes will bring a disaster on our country, much worse than what his devotees would even imagine. Unfortunately, there are so many star-struck Americans out there that they think that every word that he utters is golden even while he snatches the gold from their bank accounts.

  5. Please give the man a chance. I do not have time to look at Bush nominations and appointees, but I know there were many more that did not pass vetting than these three. Out of the Bush appointees, I think that the position of head of FEMA as well as Attorney General were very poor choices.

    Arrogance was GWB’s middle name. Have you forgotten the “mission accomplished” or “I am the decider” speeches? Obama took full responsibility for his selections on TV with 5 different interviewers. Bush never apologized for or admitted to anything–ever.

    GWB said history will judge his presidency. Give Obama the same courtesy. Or, at least give him more than a month . . .

  6. Thank you for comment, CyberCelt.

    I think the mistake that we’re making with President Obama is comparing him to other presidents including his predecessor, George W. Bush. I know that both Bush and Clinton had some problems with their appointees, that I will not deny.

    However, Obama did promise us that he would put aside partisan politics and bring to Washington a new spirit of cooperation. The stimulus package passed by the House was anything but that as all Republicans voted against it. In addition, eleven Democrats sided with the Republicans against the bill, showing that there was bi-partisan opposition to the pork-laden project.

    I would love to give Obama all the time that he needs, but time is not on his side. He could have insisted with House speaker Nancy Pelosi that she come up with a bill that included Republican support but she chose to shut out the GOP. Where is change with that? Then, we have the leader of the Senate, Harry Reid, pushing aside GOP input too. Clearly, Obama needs to reign in his own party if his “change is coming to Washington” campaign slogan is to hold up.

    As a citizen, I am greatly concerned about who runs this country, whether they pay taxes or not, what sort of debt legacy they’ll be leaving, etc. I’m not confident that Obama will do the right thing as I hear him employing scare tactics telling Americans it will be a catastrophe if this bill isn’t passed.

    Obama has been given too many easy balls to hit over the past few years. He seems to be taking some ownership for his mistakes, but these are errors that should have been uncovered before the aforementioned appointees were nominated to their respective positions. Very sloppy work indeed.

  7. Meet the new Boss, same as the old Boss …………………………………………..

  8. ….we won’t get fooled again… Yes, business as usual in Washington, DC. The fear mongering that some said was a staple of G.W. Bush appears to have attached itself to Obama who said this about the pork bill, “Pass it now or we may never recover.” Sheesh.

  9. Hey Matt,
    You hit the nail on the head! Unfortunately the mess we are in was not created by Bush or Clinton. We are in this position now due to many years of “bad management” in Washington and it won’t be fixed in a short period of time. This “Stimulus” package is a joke! The only people it will help are the one’s that contributed to this mess in the first place. What will bike and walking trails do to help those of us out of work and struggling to make ends meet and why do people who do not pay income tax need an “earned income credit”??????? http://www.afa.net/pdfs/porkandpayoffs.pdf. Hold on cause this is gonna be a ROUGH ride!

  10. Thank you for your comment, Mary.

    I believe that there is shared blame for much of our current woes, transcending both major political parties. Clearly, Congress and the president have been on a spending spree and this current president believes that we will spend our way out of recession.

    The so-called stimulus package will probably provide some sort of relief, but what will we be left with? A larger national debt. I was reading this morning that the Senate is looking to approve a $780 billion package, which when added to the $700 billion TARP means that we’ve added about $1.5 trillion to our national debt since October. And, this won’t be the end of the spending spree.

    So far, the U.S. has managed to pay interest on its debt but hasn’t managed to reduce the capital by a penny. This means that our soon $11 trillion dollar debt will remain in place while the government attempts to service the debt through interest payments. I have to tell you that inflation is on its way and it won’t be pretty.

  11. I am an average Joe or Judette, not the plumber, if that’s the right spelling and I think bailouts and stimulus packages are a bunch of poop. All those stupid earmarks for the different states smell and the smell isn’t sweet. Dump them all, Obama is in over his head. The dream that all the Obama backer’s had will not materialize, but I really don’t think it would at this point for anyone. I really have no idea what would pull our country out because I’m not a financial expert, just a typical Judette.

  12. Jude, I think you epitomize the average American — someone who loves his/her country but isn’t quite sure that the direction our new president and Congress are taking it is where we should go.

    Even then, would it be entirely Obama’s fault if things unraveled further? I think not. Still, the opening salvo has been fired by Congressional allies who decided to keep the Republicans out of the discussion. Once it went over to the Senate, this bill has gotten rid of some pork, brought in fresh pork, while giving Americans what will likely be a trillion dollar addition to our already bloated debt.

    None of this bodes well with our elected officials nor does it seem like something America’s citizenry will be happy with.

  13. If we had a true conservative ala Ronald Regan who came in and was’nt afraid to act like a conservative, we’d have another landslide on our hands. I can’t tell the difference between republicans and democrats anymore.

  14. You got that right, Josh.

    I’m not casting blame entirely on Obama and the Democratic leadership, but Republicans share some of the responsibility too.

    My neighbor is mad at me when I pointed out the big tax bill our country is facing, saying that it was the Republicans that got us to this point. I didn’t argue with him, but I did tell him that trillions of dollars more is being added to our deficit thanks to TARP, the fake stimulus package, and whatever Geithner and others cook up down the road.

    Yes, I miss Ronald Reagan — we need true conservative leadership in this country again.

  15. One word for Timothy Geithner – hypocrite

  16. Senator Barack Obama this week managed to insult not only American troops, but one of America’s most dependable international allies.

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