It was noted that President Obama bounced in and out of talks with the leaders in Congress trying to hash out a solution to the whole debt ceiling debacle. His latest camera ready speechifying happened Friday as he spoke and yes, actually told the American people to contact their member of Congress again. Once a community organizer, always a community organizer, even when you sit in the Oval Office. He did, however, abandon his usual class warfare talk of millionaires and billionaires and corporate jets as he insisted on tax increases until the bitter end.
By default, then, it looks as though the Reid plan, or some modified version of it, is going to be the means by which the standoff is resolved--a compromise that meets the most important demands of both the president (borrowing authority through 2013) and the Republicans (no tax increase).
Columnist and former presidential speech writer Peggy Noonan wrote in her current piece for The Wall Street Journal that President Obama is a loser, as it pertains to his handling of the debt ceiling debate. And, that it is a pattern for him in political debates.
And so his failures in the debt ceiling fight. He wasn't serious, he was only shrewd—and shrewdness wasn't enough. He demagogued the issue—no Social Security checks—until he was called out, and then went on the hustings spouting inanities. He left conservatives scratching their heads: They could have made a better, more moving case for the liberal ideal as translated into the modern moment, than he did. He never offered a plan. In a crisis he was merely sly. And no one likes sly, no one respects it.
So he is losing a battle in which he had superior forces—the presidency, the U.S. Senate. In the process he revealed that his foes have given him too much mystique. He is not a devil, an alien, a socialist. He is a loser. And this is America, where nobody loves a loser.
Barack Obama is good at speeches and has mastered the skills necessary to use a teleprompter. Though, I would argue that in recent months his speech making skills have declined considerably, he still speaks and people listen. He is, however, not a good politician. He has close to zero governing skills and shows no progress in learning that art as we approach his third year in the White House.
Barack Obama is a cold and detached President. He doesn't engage and work on solutions - he tosses it to his Democratic leadership in Congress. He allowed his premier legislation and legacy maker - Obamacare - to be voted into law with only Democratic yes votes. Never before has a huge new entitlement program been passed with only the support of one party.
Noonan rightly pointed out in her article that no one steps up and claims to love Barack Obama. As with both Clinton and George W. Bush, when times got rough and public support plummeted, there were still core groups who proclaimed a love for their guy. I know this to be true. It happened to me with George W. Even when the darkest days were upon us, I still stated my love for the guy. I still do.
Barack Obama's polling numbers have never been lower. They have continued to fall during this debt ceiling debate. It would appear that the American public has begun to notice what a weak leader he is for the country at times of decision making. While that may be good for his opposition on election day 2012, it is not at all a good thing for our country.
When push comes to shove, Barack Obama votes present.
We deserve better.