Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Obama "Failed to Lead"

Exactly what makes a person a leader is difficult to define. Some people have it, some don’t. But one thing all leaders have is the ability to chart a course and persuade people to follow them on that course. Barack Obama is not a leader. . . and people are starting to notice. People like Sen. Joe Manchin and Sen. John Kerry.

In February, Democratic Senator John Kerry publicly worried that Obama’s Afghanistan policy was failing. His reasoning? At the core of his argument is a lack of leadership. Said Kerry:

“What I don’t want is to be party to a policy that continues simply because it is there and in place. . . that is what I’m determined to try to prevent.”
Translation: there has been no leadership here. Obama is just doing what everybody else has done, and he doesn't have the leadership ability to change course.

But at least he's done something, which is itself unusual. Indeed, compare this to Egypt, where Obama had no idea what to say, so he said nothing, before he said something, before he said something else. At the same time, his “team” was busy contradicting him in every direction. Finally, when the outcome was clear, Obama tried to pretend that this was his plan all along.

Interestingly, his non-leadership on Egypt continues. This week, British Prime Minster Cameron is in Egypt, to meet with the new government and offer support. Obama was golfing.

Or look at Libya, where Obama didn’t say a word for over a week. When he did finally speak, he told us he had to be briefed first. While he was busy arranging a meeting with his staff, the British went to the UN and started working on sanctions against Libya. Then the British, Chinese and others evacuated their people, as Obama issued statements on Wisconsin. Now the British and NATO are working on imposing a no fly zone and/or aiding the Libyan rebels. Obama went golfing.

Now we have West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin ripping apart Obama’s budget proposal. He calls Obama’s budget a failure of leadership:
“Why are we doing all this when the most powerful person in these negotiations — our president — has failed to lead this debate or offer a serious proposal for spending and cuts that he would be willing to fight for?”
Oh Joe, you poor deluded hillbilly. Obama doesn’t lead from the front, he never has. When he came to power, he didn't outline a clear agenda like other Presidents, he spoke vaguely of giving health care to everyone, saving the world from global warming, fixing China, producing millions of jobs, and about two dozen other quasi-policy platitudes. And when the Democrats asked, “what do we work on first?” He said, “that’s up to you.” When they plowed into healthcare and the cracks emerged between moderate and liberal Democrats, and they asked him “help us decide who is right,” he said “hey, I’m not going to decide for you.” When they asked him to decide how to pay for ObamaCare and whether a single payer should be used, he got angry and told them to do the right thing. Then he went golfing.

Immigration reform and cap and trade died because he refused to get involved.

Financial reform? “Go ahead Sen. Dodd, I’ll sign whatever you and countrywide send me.”

Stimulus spending? “Sure, send it on over, I’ll sign it. . . whatever it is.”

You don’t want to approve my appointments? “Ok, whatever.”

When BP tried to destroy the Gulf of Mexico, Obama went golfing. He waited weeks before he even said the words "BP." Then he whined that his handlers hadn’t told him yet “whose ass to kick.” Leaders usually know those kinds of details.

He failed to respond to a terrorist attempt to blow up an airplane over Detroit, because he was on vacation. He failed to respond to Haiti until others showed him the way. The Chinese and other BRIC countries blew him off in Copenhagen because they saw him as irrelevant. The pirates in Somalia see him as a joke. He had to send Bill Clinton to save some journalists in North Korea, and he was nowhere to be seen when the North fired artillery shells at the South. He hasn’t even been able to find the American border with Mexico.

When the Republicans took over the House and a budget war started, he sold out the Democrats before the negotiations even began. Heck, even his State of the Union speech was just a list of things prior Presidents have done and a whiny request that everybody try harder. . . at stuff.

Obama is not a leader. He lacks the brain power to have an ideology, i.e. he has no ideas what he wants. He lacks the savvy to persuade people. And he lacks the willpower to stand in a fight.

So poor Joe Manchin better get ready for a lot more disappointment.

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