Obama’s ego keeps getting in the way of politics

Obama’s ego keeps getting in the way of politics

Rick Moran


A trenchant piece of analysis in WaPo
by Michael Gerson this morning regarding President Obama’s monumental ego
where even a slam dunk like extending the Bush tax rates is

Gerson echoes what many on the right have been saying about
Obama for years; it doesn’t matter what the issue is, it’s all about

It is the president’s favorite rhetorical pose: the hectorer in
chief. He is alternately defiant, defensive, exasperated, resentful, harsh,
scolding, prickly. He is both the smartest kid in class and the schoolyard

There are many problems with this mode of presidential
communication, but mainly its supreme self-regard. The tax deal, in Obama’s
presentation, was not about the economy or the country. It was about him. It was
about the absurd concessions he was forced to make, the absurd opposition he was
forced to endure, the universally insufficient deference to his wisdom.

The administration further complicated its communications task by
presenting Obama as ideologically superior to his own agreement. The
upper-income tax rates and the estate tax provisions, in David Axelrod’s description, are “odious.” As a rule, staffers
should not use such a word to describe policies a president has agreed to
accept. It makes a president look compromised and weak. Instead of a leader
brokering a popular agreement, Obama appears to be a politician forced under
threat to violate his deepest convictions.

At this point in the Obama
presidency, even Democrats must be asking: Is he really this bad at politics?
The list of miscalculations grows longer. To pass the stimulus package, the
administration predicts 8
percent unemployment
– a prediction that became an indictment. It pledges
the closing of the Guantanamo Bay prisonwithout a realistic plan to do so. It sends the president
to secure the Chicago Olympics – and comes away empty-handed. It announces
a “summer of recovery” – which becomes a source of ridicule. It
unveils a Manhattan trial for Khalid Sheik Mohammed – which nearly every
New York official promptly turns against. Press secretary Robert Gibbs picks
fights with both conservative talk radio hosts and the “professional left” – which uniformly backfire. The president
seems to endorse the Ground Zero mosque – before retreating 24 hours later. He
suggests that Republicans are “enemies” of Latinos – apparently unable to
distinguish between hardball and trash talk.

Once you start
a list, and the evidence is right before your eyes, it is truly shocking to
realize how much of an incompetent politician Obama really is. Forget his
missteps as a statesman or as chief executive. This aspect of the Obama’s
failure is much more damning because it is directly linked to his ability to get
things done.

And in that department, he is found wanting.

Hat Tip:
Ed Lasky

Page Printed from:

at December 17, 2010 – 10:36:49 AM CST

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