Saturday, December 27, 2008

A MAN WHO KNOWS HIS LIMITATIONS.

Obama, as the darling of a biased and dishonest media and the product of a corrupt Democratic primary and convention, was elected President as the beneficiary of Republican incompetence over the last 8 years. But he still comes to office as the most underqualified person to ever be elected President.

But with the naming of his cabinet appointees, (with the exception of Gates at Defense and Schapiro to head the SEC), his choices have been good ones and a huge improvement over the farce that was the Bush Administration. His choices also reflect that he is listening to his advisors in making these choices, most notably Biden. But even more than that, Obama's choices seems to reflect that, in the words of Dirty Harry, he knows his limitations.

Anyone with even a casual look at his background can see that his primary interest has always been his own ambitions. And he comes out of the morass of corrupt Chicago and Illinois politics, the same morass that produced Blagojevich. And like Nixon before him, the swamp of Illinois politics that produced him may eventually catch up with him.

But for now his cabinet appointees reflect his knowledge that this isn't going to be a four year book signing tour. His choices for his cabinet are highly opinionated and accomplished people who are capable of not only implementing policy but in formulating it. And that is probably what is going to happen.

The Obama Administration seems to be shaping up as a multiheaded Executive Branch with Obama playing the part he plays best -- the front man, making speeches and playing the part of President while the real work is done behind the scenes by people who actually know what they're doing. The public will get to see Obama taking the credit ( unless the Democrats screw up royally which is not beyond the realm of possibility) and listen to him make the same nonsensical speeches that sent a thrill up Chris Matthews leg.

In the last few days we have heard Obama tell us that "we are going to take a 21st century approach to agriculture" and that "we are going to take a 21st century approach to the economic crisis". Given that we are actually living in the 21st century that doesn't exactly sound like the product of a lot of brain power. Its exactly the kind of nonsense that made the news media act like a bunch of 13 year olds at a Hannah Montana concert.

It still remains to be seen what the Democrats will do once Obama is sworn in. Unfortunately,its been the Republicans so far, Shelby and Corker to be specific, who sound like they make the most sense when it comes to a bailout of Detroit.

But Obama has a lot of expertise close at hand. With Hillary Clinton Secretary of State can Bill as an off the record advisor be far behind?

Obama has always given every indication that he is not so interested in governing as he is in being President. His cabinet picks shows he knows and understands this and his limitations.That doesn't mean Democratic policies are going to work. The $700 billion bailout Pelosi rammed through the House and agreed to by the Senate has so far failed. It was supposed to stop the bleeding and restore confidence in the US economy. So far it hasn't worked. The Dow is down more than 1,000 points since the TARP was created and half of it has already been spent. So far its done nothing but outrage taxpayers.

But with Obama choosing people who have their own agendas, whether its Gates at Defense, Clinton at State or Daschle overseeing health care reform, Obama is essentially stepping aside and letting others run the show behind the scenes. And as long as he continues to do that there is the likelihood of success since Obama has a cabinet that can make his day.

21 comments:

sue said...

So, that is the one good thing we can say about Obama, he knows his limitations. I am curious how if the rest of the American public will see such limitations or will continue to be seduced by the empty rhetoric that rolls off his tongue (i.e., his 21st century remarks... where is the media when he makes these type of moronic statements? You can just imagine what they would have done to Palin had she muttered the same thing.

thanks for the post Marc.

Cordelia said...

Great, another Chief Executive who just wants to be President, but not actually govern. Worked out so well with Bush, didn't it? I vaguely recall others wrote pretty much the same thing about Bush, that while not exactly very smart, he would surround himself with smart people... And, yes, Bush did recognize his own limitations too by deciding to outsource the running of the executive branch to Cheney.

If there is anything that history has taught us about presidential politics, it's that there has to be a strong, consistent leadership emanating from the president. Otherwise you get a colossal mess, as every department and agency essentially does its own thing and ends up working at cross-purposes. Bush, of course, had Cheney who provided that type of leadership (ideology aside, there is little question that Cheney is a highly capable administrator). So, who's going to be Obama's Cheney?

myiq2xu said...

I have said this before and I'll say it again:

For the next four years, Obama will be the only President we have.

As a patriot I'm obligated to hope he succeeds.

As a blogger I'm dedicated to bitching about him every step of the way.

Anonymous said...

What do you think about Vilsack for Secretary of Agriculture? A lot of environmentalists are disappointed about the pick.

Anonymous said...

I'm of the opinion that no matter how good the cabinet is, what matters is the leader. Bureaucrats cannot make decisions that go beyond the generic variety. When Andy Card told GW that the first plane had hit a tower on 9/11, Andy did his job, but Andy could not make GW a leader. I echo Cordelia's post. On 9/11 Cheney took the leadership role, and look where that got us (Iraq, torture, loss of world stature). On the economic front, Paulson is a very capable person, but one can see there's no leadership coming from the WH. What counts when the 3 AM call comes is the leadership from the president.

Anonymous said...

I think Clinton will be Obama's main advisor, the one he will turn to if other advisors are in disagreement. If he allows himself to be led entirely by her, without jealousy, then he will do well. BUT it will be interesting to see if he will be able to cope if she advises him badly OR is 'unavailable' to advise, OR begins to outshine him, OR if the other advisors increasingly look to her to lead instead of Obama OR his sexist team covince him her advice is not worthy.
He feels insecure around Clinton because he knows he has treated her badly. To offset his guilt he seems to focus on her even more, suggesting he thinks that the reason he treated her badly was because she made him (I think this is similar to his own mother/child relationship).
Whether he can govern without these demons colouring his judgement, or questioning the motives of his other advisors (all who have their own complex relationship with Clinton) remains to be seen.

Thinker said...

Hillary will be the one answering any 3am phone calls. Obama won't even know how to answer the phone, lol.

Anonymous said...

Roberta thinks......

If it were not for the economy you might be correct. But it will be the economy over shadowing everything else. If the economy improves, (not likely) Obama may look good. If the economy tanks further (very likely) then Obama will be the one Americans will blame no matter how good is team is.

Nola said...

Why can't you leve it alone Baby Cakes?

Libby said...

I once worked for a woman exec who is very much like Obama in personality. If the similarities hold, heads will roll for the next year as he tries to separate himself from every goof that occurs in his name...he will be magically not associated with the "guilty" person's errors.

He will shuttle responsibilities, cause nervous break-downs and generally cause chaos, but never take responsibility for any of it.

Bush has been a much better president that Obama can even think of being.

Edgeoforever said...

I remember this argument was made for W too: "he might not know much but has experienced people to help" It was Clark who cleared this one for me: "A leader needs to decide which of the options...". remember W's factions in the leading up to the war? The generals, the neocons, Dick et al were duking it out for years. Expect this to go on with Jr.jr

susan h said...

If we're lucky, Hillary and Bill will be running the show behind the scenes. Obama is talking to everyone he can get his hands on to copy their ideas and find out what to do. He even has asked John McCain for ideas. Obama knows he is in way over his head. What did he think would happen if he became President? Just sitting around with a teleprompter and parroting Hope and Change?

With new attacks in the middle east, I fear both sides are taunting Obama to see how he will handle it and he will need to define himself very early in the game, something which may be hard for Obama to do. He seems to want everyone to just "fall in line" just because he says so and isn't he wonderful kind of thing. That's not going to happen. Obama can't run off to Hawaii everytime things get bad, or can he???

DancingOpossum said...

Like Bush running off to clear brush in Crawford every time things got a little sticky? 'Cuz prezidentin' is hard work, 'member?!

Eesh. The similarities continue to grow--and not in a good way. But take comfort from the fact that while Bush's advisers were either (a) evil and incompetent or (b) evil and competent, at least Obama's choices seem to be both competent and not quite so evil ("the diet coke of evil," to quote the great Dr. E himself).

Masha said...

Obama's role is to bask in the adulation of the obots and the MSM. Until things go wrong... then we'll see.

Sarah Ferguson said...

I think it is inevitable that heads will roll and Hillary's, I believe, will be one of the first. I also think she knows this. She's on her way to inhabiting the neverland of the global elite, where her husband resides. Secretary of State is a stepping stone.

emca said...

I won't belabor the point too much, but the only record of Obama's leadership qualities is from his stint as chairman of CAC. With such little to show besides failure, I'm not optimistic he can overcome his limitations and govern effectively. As to any type of (personal) change, we have his "one-president-at-a-time", his "no comment" and less than forthright revelations of his, his staff's or any their or his surrogates involvement in the Blagojevich negotiations, all which would lead one to judge, we still have the same evasive, vague Obama we've come to know and love. Maybe Marc is right and others (Hillary, Biden, Rahm etc.) will run the show and do clean-up, but I'm afraid Libby's comments above will be closer to fact.

navyvet48 said...

Obama has made extremely disastrous choice for his cabinet Arne Duncan. He lacks qualifications to teach in a classroom let alone be a substitute teacher. He holds no advanced degrees...an honorary law degree. He hasn't done much to improve Chicago school.

IL schools have fallen from a 24 among smartest schools to a low of 35 smartest schools in the Nation. When the Smartest schools watch began Illinois was 33.

When you visit greatschools,net Chicago falls very low in satisfaction. On a scale of 10 to 1, with 10 being the best and 1 being the worst, most Chicago schools fall below 5.

Duncan's so called improvement in standardized test score do not hold water either. Recent media coverage highlights that.

Duncan is pro No Child Left Behind. He refuses to take a stand on a failed policy!

As for some of his other picks....Vilsack for Agriculture....I will hold judgment there. If he stands against the cattle farting tax (see this post: http://msplaceddemocrat.com/http:/msplaceddemocrat.com/a-cattle-farting-tax/), then Vilsack will be okay!

Daschle I have my doubts about because of his ties to lobbyists, namely his wife...."the best lobbyist in DC". If the federal government models universal health care after Massachusetts or Hawaii it is doomed to failure. Hawaii disbanded universal health care for children because of abuses in the system, no safeguards and budget shortfalls. MassCare is experiencing the same budget shortfalls. It seem that someone didn't account for cost overruns or the increase need for insurance with the downturn in the economy!

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bornagaindem said...

Cordelia beat me to it. I couldn't agree more Obama is the most unprepared president we have ever had and is just Bush in democrat's clothing.

It will make no difference that he picked some good people to run things- things get done in the huge ship called the federal government because the president makes sure that happens. Bill Clinton knew how to do this- Obambi hasn't got a clue.

This is exactly how the media fawned over Bush's choices in 2000. How brilliant he was to pick such an experienced team with Cheney and Rumsfeld etc. It was an unmitigated disaster.

Progressives in this country are going to be deeply disappointed and with a milquetoast like Daschle leading healthcare reform we can expect the health insurance industry to get every thing they want and we will get squat.

I expect the State department to be a big bright spot because Hillary is there. If she has a free hand we will see great things happen. Too bad the idiot will get the credit.

sue said...

Any musings on Richardson's w/drawl from commerce?
W/ Blagojovich and now Richardson and the potential for a contested senate seat in Minnesota- the democrats have clearly not improved their behavior nor their reputation much...

Anonymous said...

So much for CHANGE...CHANGE...CHANGE!! Turns out Obama's CHANGE is no more than the recycling of most of th old Clinton Administration has-beens and the wonderful idea of keeping the Republican GATES at the head of one of the most critical Departments as well as loading the Administration with a bunch of war hawks.

I still can't understand why Clinton wanted to be associated with Obama and this wretched Administration. Methinks she must be suffering from Stockholm Syndrome....or is it the "Abused Wife Syndrome"????