Free Markets, Free People

Liked But Ineffective?

I saw this on CNN’s Political Ticker this morning about NY’s Gov. David Paterson:

A new poll suggests that nearly three out of four New York State voters like Gov. David Paterson — but don’t think he’s getting the job done.

The Siena College Research Institute survey released Tuesday morning also indicates that more than six out of 10 say Paterson doesn’t have the leadership skills to be governor and feel he’s not effectively dealing with the problems facing New York.

The irony is the guy who has told him he shouldn’t run for the governorship seems to be thought of in much the same vein, not that you’d ever read that here. But the Brits, even in left-wing papers like the Guardian, aren’t at all shy about making the charge:

Many leaders and supporters are beginning to wonder what is causing this growing gap between the Barack Obama that many people saw on the campaign trail, and the Obama they see in the White House? Beyond Obama’s oratorical skills, which excited not only American voters but people all over the world, he is mostly untested as a politician. His previous experience was only a few years in the US Senate and a few years more as a state senator. A sinking feeling is arising among many that President Obama may not be up to the task, that he may not possess the artful skills needed to accomplish even his own goals.

Suddenly the left discovers his lack of experience and realizes he has absolutely no leadership experience and has demonstrated no leadership skills since assuming office.  Wow, where have they been?

But the sparkling speeches have continued, haven’t they?

Of course, being a left-wing rag, the Guardian tries to make excuses for Obama by citing the Senate as a reason Obama has been able to move his agenda. Apparently the author is unaware that the Senate has been around since the creation of the government and other presidents have managed to get their agendas passed.

Yes, we’re back to the leadership question (or lack thereof).

But, back to the point, you have to appreciate the delicious irony of one liked but ineffective politician telling another liked but ineffective pol not to run for office. You can’t help but wonder, assuming things continue on the path they’re now on, if such a message will be conveyed by someone to Obama in 2012? Perhaps it will be delivered by Hillary Clinton when she throws her hat in the ring?



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10 Responses to Liked But Ineffective?

  • Wow, where have they been?

    Fellating The One, for all I can tell…

    And if “The Senate” is the reason Obama can’t move his agenda, I shudder to think what right-wing hate-mongering bills would get passed if the Dems didn’t have a filibuster-proof majority.

  • The irony is that Paterson is unpopular in large part due to the drastic fiscal situation the city is in, which he couldn’t do much about. Then again, it is thanks to his party and the political atmosphere here that we’re in such dire economic straits. But it has to sting that both the electorate which has enabled such economic irresponsibility and the party that has created this situation are the ones that are asking him to take a long walk off of a short pier.

    But the fact remains that he had a looming budget gap that he had to close and he had to find ways to close it, which usually means telling various groups that their funding is going to be reduced or cut, which leads to anger and protests. Then there are the increases in the costs of services, either via taxes or increased direct costs or both. These are usually packaged with cuts in the same services that we’re paying more for, which is a recipe for public outrage.

    And to top it all off, the Mayor of NYC is facing a similar budgetary fix, and he makes sure to blame as much of his own problems on the state as is possible. This is the “Republican” Mayor, who ran as a Republican because he could secure that nomination with little fuss, instead of facing off in a bruising Democrat primary that he may well have lost.

    I’d love to see Rudy sitting in the Governor’s mansion, but I don’t know if he can fix what is ailing the city and state at this point.

  • I saw Giuliani yesterday morning on CNBC and for the first time in a long time he was himself. Not the smiley-faced Mr. Happy he became running for president.

    He sounded like he’s running for governor of New York, even though he said he hasn’t made the decision.

    That could be a good thing.

    I doubt that Hillary would leave the State Department to run for governor in New York if there was a chance she would lose, so there’s a check in the plus column for Giuliani running.

    Patterson would lose to him. And if Cuomo is the candidate it would be a tight race, just because the Democrats are organized in New York and the Republicans are not. But Giuliani was elected mayor in NYC twice, the first time against a Democratic incumbent, so he could hold his own in the City and it’s anybody’s guess where the suburbs and upstate will be in the next election.

    But Giuliani’s biggest failing as a leader in New York is now his biggest problem: He did nothing to build the GOP in New York.

  • A sinking feeling is arising among many that President Obama may not be up to the task, that he may not possess the artful skills needed to accomplish even his own goals.

    This analysis falls short in that the assumption is that there is nothing wrong with TAO’s goals, and that the primary reason that he can’t get them accomplished is that he simply isn’t “slick enough”. Hill apparently believes that Americans actually WANT government-run health care, soaring debt, foreign embarrassment and appeasement, an emasculated national defense, defeat in A-stan and Iraq, selling out our allies, siding with thugs and despots, government corruption, and a cult of personality such as we’ve NEVER seen in our country before. TAO just can’t close the deal.

    Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    People didn’t go to Tea Parties and march on DC because TAO isn’t glib. His poll numbers aren’t sinking because he isn’t artful. His party isn’t in serious trouble in the mid-terms because he’s inexperienced.

    He’s in trouble because he managed (with MiniTru’s help) to hide his core philosophy and agenda from the American people during the campaign, but now that it’s becoming apparent who this arrogant man is and what he really wants, people are increasingly opposing him. It is indicative that he can’t even get his OWN PARTY to side with him; they shouldn’t need much “convincing”. That they do indicates just how radical his agenda is.

    • It’s very difficult to know what “the American people” are thinking. Polls indicate moods, not narratives. Most Americans have little time to assemble clear narratives about national politics and receive those narratives whole or in part from the media.

      How extensively the Tea Party movement has penetrated and how far it will eventually penetrate is an open question. There’s a massive counter-assault underway to tell people “don’t go there, they are all racists.”

      Remember that the alternative and new media, blogs like this one and the big network of alternative media it belongs to, should have stopped Obama’s campaign in its tracks as early as late 2007. That, according to the wild success in things like the Dan Rather national guard memos episode.

      But there Obama is in the White House.

      • Martin,

        I think several key things came together to enable Obama’s 2008 win.

        1) People were really, really fed up with Bush and McCain was too similar. While Bush had his share of failures, they were amplified by the hostile MSM, and by the fact that Bush’s moderate governance made him hated by the far right (the far left hated him from 2000).

        2) The financial crises hit on the eve of the election. Bush pushed TARP, and McCain made a panicked rush to vote for it. Prior to this, McCain and Obama were almost tied. After, McCain’s polling trended badly.

        3) Obama on the surface appeared reasonable and moderate. The MSM presented him as such. Only several commentors on Fox (and of course, many in the alternate media) claimed he was a radical. It became a matter of “who ya gonna trust, Hannity or your lying eyes?”.

        4) Aiding 3 above is the fact that overwrought rhetoric was used against Bush and Clinton. When you have a bunch of people claiming that Bush caused 9/11, it becomes easy to disregard claims that appear bizarre, like the Wright/Ayers connections. Or consider the fake Bush ANG memos. I think many people in the detached middle simply ignored some of the information on Obama that more involved (and conservative) viewers were alarmed by.

        • I think that your explanation is plausible.

          On the other hand, the degree to which very substantive things about Obama were ignored is now the stuff of legend.

          That could be pinned on the “aw, shucks, give the black guy a chance” attitude that seemed to roll over a lot of Americans in the center, but I hesitate to settle in with that as an explanation.

          There was a mighty big thumb on the scale during that election, and it isn’t clear to me that it was an American thumb.

    • docjim505: “His party isn’t in serious trouble in the mid-terms because he’s inexperienced.”

      Right. But in large part he failed to pass his agenda for that reason. Had he hit the ground running with the right game plan, he would most likely have already passed a version of health care (or insurance) “reform”.

      What he did was sit back and let Congress come up with the plan(s), which he tried to rush through before recess (when he wasn’t distracted by stupid cops). When that failed, and Congress got beat up over recess, he then showed some hint of (bad) leadership by giving them a speech about what he wanted in the plan (never mind he didn’t seem to care pre-recess), and what he wanted confliced with what Congress was working on.

      If he handed Congress at least an outline of the plan and the key goals at the beginning, then helped them work it through, he would have stood a good chance of getting it through. He wouldn’t get all his nutcase base wants, but he would have gotten the best he could deliver. Instead, he has been erratic and all over the map.

      It seems they learned the lesson from Clinton that handing Congress a technocrat plan the size of a phone book was stupid. They overshot a bit, offering nothing whatsoever, until way late in the game when it just mucked up the works and was a transparent effort at just pushing something–anything–through.

      Radical leftism doesn’t fly with Americans, and that’s a reality that would impact Obama’s agenda. But he complicated this (lucky for America) with very bad leadership skills.

      • Don[I]n large part [TAO] failed to pass his agenda for that reason. Had he hit the ground running with the right game plan, he would most likely have already passed a version of health care (or insurance) “reform”.

        I argue that he DID hit the ground running. Nationalized health care has been a democrat goal since at least ’93; he and his fellow libs in the Congress knew exactly what they wanted to do. I suspect that the legislation was essentially written years ago and has sat in a desk drawer waiting for the moment it was needed (sort of like a war plan).

        The problem TAO and the dem leadership has had is that the legislation is so irresponsible, so leftist, so radical, that members of their own party balked at it. The “blue dogs” don’t sit in safe-for-life democrat seats* like SanFran Nan, Pigface Waxman, Bawney Fwank, or Dingle-dangle; they have therefore a better understanding of how centrist (even center right) much of the country is and how many voters would react to nationalized health care.

        To the extent that TAO has “failed” here, it is that he has completely misunderstood the general political attitudes of the country and underestimated how savvy the American people are (an understandable mistake!). I think he also believes his own PR: having been told over and over and OVER again how intelligent and persuasive he is, he thought he could sell ANYTHING to us.

        Slick Willie was smart enough to change course for the center. I think that TAO is too vain, too ideological, and too stupid to do the same.


        (*) Which is to say: populated by welfare state leaches, union thugs, drugged-addicated ex-hippies, or else in the grip of a well-established and well-funded democrat machine.

  • I think I’m just going to die of surprise.