Obama in a bubble of his own making

Obama in a bubble of his own making



temptation when you work in the White House as president is to close yourself
in, shutting out the world beyond the gates, with the hubristic belief in your
own perfection. After all, you made it all the way to the White House – what
does the rest of the world know that can help you?

Good presidents always have one or
two aides that will disabuse him of his own brilliance. They try to cut through
the staff sycophants and yes men in order to present the real world to the
president – warts and all. But apparently, Obama’s arrogance extends to his
inner circle as well.

John Hielermann:

perceptions were more widely shared or loudly voiced around Washington than that
the Obamans were huffing their own fumes. “You know the cliché about our
strengths being our weaknesses? It’s true for them as well,” says a top
political strategist in a previous White House. “I think they felt like if they
had listened to conventional wisdom in 2007, they never would have run. When
they hear criticism, they say, ‘Been there, done that, we’re gonna stay the
course.’ There’s almost a Zen-like quality about how they’ve been in their own
universe and their own bubble.”

The more
pointed variant of this critique was directed specifically at Obama. Unlike
42-who loved to stay up late, jabbing at the speed dial, spending countless
hours gabbing with local pols and businesspeople around the country to gauge the
political wind and weather-44 not only eschewed reaching out to governors,
mayors, or CEOs, but he rarely consulted outside the tiny charmed circle
surrounding him in the White House. “What you had was really three or four
people running the entire government,” says the former White House strategist.
“I thought they put a pretty good Cabinet together, but most of those guys might
as well be in the witness-protection program.”
A funny line,
no doubt, but an overstatement, surely? Well, maybe not. “I happen to know most
of the Cabinet pretty well, and I get together with them individually for
lunch,” says one of the most respected Democratic bigwigs in Washington. “I’ve
had half a dozen Cabinet members say that in the first two years, they never had
one call-not one call-from the president.”
(H/T: Hot
Cabinet members have been reduced
to glorified PR people for their departments over the years so I am not
concerned that the president hasn’t talked with the Secretary of Commerce or the
Secretary of Veterans Affairs. They don’t run those departments anyway – their
assistant secretaries do the job.
What is much more troubling is the
president’s failure to reach out and discover what the rest of the country
really thinks of his policies. That kind of myopia leads to bad government –
which is what we have now. And Obama shows no signs of changing.
The State of the Union speech
tonight will probably sound strange to most of us because of this

Printed from:

at January 26, 2011 – 11:19:03 AM CST

// <![CDATA[//  

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: