Free Markets, Free People

The gang who couldn’t shoot straight

Politico takes a look at the White House team in light of the recent revelations of a job offer to Joe Sestak to pull out of the PA Senate primary and now the emerging story about jobs that may have been offered to a Democratic candidate in Colorado to keep him out of a primary. Politico wonders how the crew which so deftly managed such a successful presidential campaign has lost their "golden touch".

Perhaps there never was a golden touch. Perhaps the inevitability of the win had little to do with their deft management. Perhaps it had more to do with historical timing and a historic first. That and an attractive candidate whose huge faults and thin resume were something people were obviously willing to overlook for the feel-good euphoria they got from him and his rhetoric.

Perhaps, as the Politico calls them, they always were always “one part Dick Daley, one part Barney Fife.”

It would explain their developing reputation as nothing more than machine Chicago pols. And their inability to spin and manage the multiple crisis enveloping the White House and the Obama presidency. It seems each and every day, events and actions by this group conspire to put the administrion in a bad light.

They undercut the Obama’s reputation on two fronts. Trying to put the fix in to deny Democratic voters the chance to choose for themselves who their Senate nominees should be is hardly consistent with the idea of “Yes we can” grassroots empowerment that is central to Obama’s brand. And bungling that fix is at odds with the Obama team’s image — built around the likes of Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod, David Plouffe and Obama himself — as shrewd political operatives who know the game and always win it.

Democrats are now apparently complaining. They are of the opinion that the White House is unable to handle more than one major challenge at a time. And any student of the presidency knows that multiple challenges on a daily basis are the norm. Additionally, Obama’s recent forays into state races in support of Democratic candidates has been almost universally unsuccessful. Asks one Democrat:

“How one group of people can be so good at campaigning and so bad at politics?”

Answer? Experience. Campaigning, while it has multiple tasks, has only one goal. Obama has been campaigning his whole life. He knows how to do that. Governing has not only multiple tasks, but multiple challenges and goals. Obama has never run anything or governed anything. This is his first real job. That is the reason most rational people demand that those seeking high executive office have some experience somewhere in their life with the duties and responsibilities of an executive.

We’re now suffering the results of irrational thinking when it comes to electing a president. Timing and “historical moments”, coupled with good campaign theater should never replace the careful consideration of the bona fides of any candidate for office – even at the lowest level. But all too often it does, and, such as in this case, we suffer the consequences. The question, of course, is will we do what is necessary, as soon as possible, to correct the mistake? Or will we again be swept away by the hype and spin and glitz of the one thing this group seems to be able to manage?



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42 Responses to The gang who couldn’t shoot straight

  • The more things an administration attempts to do, the less likely it will do some things well. This rule applies to any large organization. To borrow a concept from Clausewitz, friction is an under appreciated element. The combined forces of nature and humanity can defeat any brilliant plan. When considering politics, there is an additional factor: expectations.
    Many of the problems experienced by the administration result because unlike a campaign, governance is about choices and results. Some decisions you make are going to disappoint people. Some policies you implement are going to have poor results. Maybe for a time you can blame your predecessor. But at some point you own the results of your decisions.
    I think what we may be seeing is a dramatic “undoing” of the administration. The President and the Democrats are learning that there is a reason “Under promise, over deliver” is sound advice.

  • Idk.  I don’t believe this administration ever had a golden touch.  And there was nothing in its member’s resumes that would make you believe it would have had one. 

    But the operation of the campaign itself was extremely well managed.  Vailed illusions to socialism that only the correct people would get.  Staying away from the toxic TARP issue contrasting to the no-win position McCain put himself in.  etc. 

    I think the campaign itself was well run.
    McCain’s was poorly run.
    And there was a desire to backlash against Bush. 

    Given the above Obama didn’t do very well actually.  Its only the media that was enamoured with Obama.  And its only them that’s falling out of love with him. 

  • Before the inaugural Emmaculation, I started writing about “Operation Over-reach”.  It was no great feat of prescience to know that THE ONE could not possibly do what he was pretending he would, on the one hand, and that his pathologies and radical collectivism would drive him to do a great deal of harm, on the other hand.  All of that has been realized, in spades.
    Unhappily, Operation Over-Reach has been a smashing success, and our nation may be severely damaged before Obama is out of office.

  • Obama and company tried to employ the very processes they had in place during their campaign in order to govern and First and foremost is control. 

    Control is the purpose of all the Czars that are running around.  Tight, specific chores that are only answerable to the Chief and his staff.  Foreign Policy is another example.  Hillary should be running the State department and all that responsibility but Obama has so many Special Envoys, Hillary finds herself pushed off to Rhuwanda watching school children sing of raising sheep rather that facing the FP issues of the day – Israel, NoKo, etc. 

    The result is micro-management of the like unseeen since the Carter years.  And we all know the results of those four years.  It took two years for the world to see Carter was swamped and then they took advantage of that fact – USSR invaded Afghanistan, Ayatolla and company took the Iranian Embassy staff hostage, Cuba began openly exporting their brand of communism into Central America and Africa. 

    Obama has not yet hit the two year mark and he is already swamped.  A perceptive enemy would be wise to take advantage of that and I believe you will see, bit by bit, thst very thing happening all over the world.  The US is, as shown by its leader, to be a hollow force – one that can be had. 

    Look out folks! 

    • I think this is what is behind the embolden blockade runners and Turkey speaking out against one of it’s NATO allies’ (really the leader of NATO) allies.  Not good… A weak US of A makes for a more dangerous world, not less.

  • {chuckle} {eyes rolling} You guys doth protest too much. I’ve been telling you since November of 2008 that Obama thinks like me, is going to cut spending, has a Christlike visage, and was much, much more qualified than Sarah Palin with her full lips and ample bosom, despite never having held an executive position bigger than a charity committee chairmanship.

    None of this is Obama’s fault. It’s a combination of greedy businessmen who didn’t maintain the oil rig, and Nazi-like, inbred, sterile dense righties who oppose Obama at every step, sabotaging his every move, because they just don’t understand the holy principles of post-modern leftism. Even though I don’t buy post-modernism. Except when I do. Which isn’t a contradiction. I decree it.

    I suspect you guys are going to be surprised this fall. The tea parties are meaningless and ineffectual. There are only a few thousand people involved, and don’t start up with aerial photographs or any of the rest of your so-called “evidence.” Besides, they’re all code-word racists because they oppose illegal immigration. I have decreed it, and a random Austrian student agrees with me, and we all know how enlightened Austrians are.

    My analysis {analysis, analysis, analysis} shows that Obama is going to succeed, and the right wing is going to fade into bitter ineffectiveness because they wouldn’t sit down and negotiate and compromise and come to a consensus with we enlightened leftists on the fact that healthcare is a moral right which the government must guarantee everyone.

    Aren’t you glad I’m back from my vacation? I know you were just breathlessly awaiting my return so that you could hear a logical view that explains why everything you believe is wrong. That’s why I come here, to educate you on the fine points of enlightened leftist policies, such as how the Palestinians are the aggrieved party and the Israelis are nasty righties like the ex-military basket cases that post around here. Also, of course, because I’m doing research for my book “Righties in the Mist: An analysis of dense righties in their natural blog habitats.”

    It’s certainly not because I am obsessed with coming here to find someone to feel superior to. Nope. And the fact that I interupted the vacation of a lifetime to lecture you guys on how racist you are is beside the point. Really. I’m not obsessed with coming here. I can stop any time. I’ve done it before, and I wasn’t either lying when I said I was going to stop commenting here, so stop saying that.

    [Editor’s note: For new readers, be aware that almost everything Ott Scerb says is a minor variation on something previously said by the pompous idiot being satirized.]

  • As far as I’m concerned this whole Obama phenomena was an early,  Democrat version of the teaparty.  Throw the bums out.    We were offered a pretty neat package, and even though I ultimately voted for the guy,  I always had the feeling that we were being taken.    I knew I’d be disappointed,   Liberals have no spine,  that’s one thing that the Right gets right.
    It stills feels like the right call given the choices, and that’s pretty sad.  McCain was too unstable.  And his health was suspect so once he picked that completely unqualified idiot for his running mate it was game over.

    • “And his health was suspect so once he picked that completely unqualified idiot for his running mate it was game over.”

      Let’s see if I’ve got this straight. You were scared of a *hypothetical* that a person who had served as a state governor (and thus had some executive experience) might end up as president, but you were fine with the *certainty* that a guy with zero executive experience would end up as president.

      Do you not see the obvious contradiction in that line of reasoning? Is there some logic lobe missing from liberals’ brains?

      Or would you prefer to just come right out and say that it had *nothing* to do with the candidates, and everything to do with your ideology?

      • Who said anything about “certainity”?  That’s the problem with “you people”.  You make shit up.

        • He didn’t make anything up.  This was your argument, you were fine voting for the PRESIDENTIAL candidate that you were pretty sure was unqualified b/c you knew that the BACK-UP to the other candidate was unqualified.

          • I never said Obama was unqualified, only that he’d disappoint me.  Because he’s turned out to be another Republican.  A moderate one , at least.  But a Republican all the same.  He’s done a poor job with the BP crisis,   and overall not very effective.   Not quite the same as totally inept and incompetent.  Nothing “Governor” Palin has done since the elections has convinced me that putting her a heartbeat away would have been the better choice.   She’s a simpleton.  She’s a quitter.  She’s great at saying no to the status quo.  I’m all for that.  But she has nothing else to offer.

          • We need to report pedro to ICE. Mentally deficient illegals must be deported.

            Obama the moderate Republican. The real moderates are McCain, Bush 41 and Bush 43. Obama is a raging leftist. His only good point is his incompetence (it is good for laughs, at least).

    • His “completly unqualified idiot” running mate had a MUCH better resume than Obama. While it may be true that “liberals have no spine”, it seems to me that they have no common sense when it comes to voting.—-CONEBREAD

      • Much better resume?  That’s HIGHLY debateable.
        Education:  Harvard Law Degree vs BS in Communications.  Edge Obama
        Professional Experience:
        Obama: Director of the Developing Communities Project, Senior Lecturer, in Constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School, Worked as an associate attorney with Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland
        S: broadcasting as a sports reporter for local Anchorage television stations, commercial fishing
        Edge: Obama
        Public Office:
        Public office experience:
        Illinois Senate 1996-2004, chairman, Health and Human Services Committee
        United States Senate 2004-8
        Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Chairman, Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs, Member, Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Member, Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Member, Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
        City Council member (1992-1996)
        Mayor of Wasilla, AK (1996-2006); President of Alaska Conference of Mayors
        Governor for 2 years
        Edge:  Obama. Unless you think 2 years of governing a tiny state (48th) the size of a medium sized City is something special.
        Then there’s the obvious differences in the way they communicate.  One talks like an adult, the other like a school girl.  One at least tries to bring people together,  the other intentionally tries to drive them apart.
        Sorry, there’s no way I’d want that hot-head McCain, one crisis from blowing the gasket and handing things over to the Idiot from Alaska.   What were her qualifications again?  I’m not saying Obama was especially qualified either,  but the comparison between the two choices was no contest.

        • Palin had real buisness experience and real executive experience in office.

          Obama had neither. He’s just a lawyer and a community agitator with a padded resume and the help of Chicago political goons. His educational records are sealed, and much of his actual experience isn’t mentioned or investigated by the MSM. What we do know about him indicates corruption, radical leftist ideology, and incompetence.

        • I think that the selection of Palin was a mistake, for a number of reasons.  Among those was her youth and lack of experience.  But she was being tapped for the VP position.  And that position is often filled by someone who won’t be a threat to upstage the President, someone who can be pushed out of the spotlight.  (Obama chose Biden, after all).  I think that Obama shares a number of traits with Palin that made them a bad choice for high office in my opinion.  But Obama was running for President, and Palin for VP.  Her slip-ups would have been what Biden’s are, mostly an embarrassing sideshow.  Obama’s poor performance is happening on center stage.

          • Palin actually has more executive experience than the top three Democratic presidential candidates combined. And you can throw Biden in there as well.

            For that matter, she has more executive experience than McCain.

            Palin’s problem is that the left and most of the middle judge by superficials. Her voice, appearance, and gender are what they judge competence by.

            Now, don’t get me wrong, I think she’s light on experience to be at the top of the ticket. But she’s significantly more qualified than Obama, who’s just a lawyer with the right looks and sound and teleprompter skills.

        • Obama claimed to draw people together. In practice he has not. He can’t even calm people down within his own domain. He threw fuel on the Arizona issue when it would have been the easiest thing in the world to call for people to calm down and respect the result of the democracy of others, and that’s just one characteristic example.

          You want to know why liberals have no spine in practice? It’s because they so easily mistake words for facts. Liberals don’t think they have to do anything because they just say things, and they’ve done all they need to do. Obama says he’s a uniter, and he never actually has to do any uniting, and in fact he can be incredibly divisive and dismissive of anyone the slightest bit opposed to him, and after a year and a half of this liberals are still snowed about his “unitedness”, because he says he’s a uniter.
          Man, does he have your number.

          • actually this is the main reason his popularity numbers are down.  he hasn’t delivered.   he has ticked off some of the special interest groups that supported him.  if the republicans can spit out a viable candidate he can easily be beat.  i  have my doubts that they can do that though.   need to ditch that winner take all for starters, it’s not really their friend.  and they have to stop listening to their lunatic fringe, that’s suicide right there.

          • The main reason Obama’s numbers are down is that he’s a leftist. This is clear in the polling: he lost the independents and Republican crossovers who pushed him to victory in 2008.

            Obama is overspending on idiotic things, nationalizing private companies, pushing insane healthcare takeovers, etc.

            He may be losing his base as well, but that is a more recent and more minor effect on his overall numbers. The actual leftist base is small. Obama’s base is a mix of young people who are clueless, minorities, and leftists.

        • Senate Committee experience should count against him, not for.  Their is no valuable experience he gained from his 3 years (2008 does not count he was campaigning not serving) occasionally sitting as a Junior Keep Your Mouth Shut member on those committees.

    • I think you got the “poor choices” part right, and qualified or unqualified who ever votes for the President based on the VP choice.
      The Republicans have got to get over this “next in line” attitude that gave us Bob Dole and John McCain.  Both seemed like nice guys to be your “odd uncle” but really …  we can always hope the Democrats start using this silly idea … Reid/Pelosi for President ..  it’s enough to make God choke.

  • How good was Obama really at campaigning?  Does being black and turning off the credit card security system on your web site really count as being “good”?  As a matter of fact,  Baracky made several gaffes during the campaign including “bitter clingers” and allowing his racist minister to become a factor.

    He won because the economy tanked, and because of racial guilt.

    • Also b/c McCain ran a spectacularly bad campaign.

      • That we can agree on.   I would have voted for the 2000 version of McCain.   Among other things the 2000 version never would have given the ninny from Wasilla the time of day,  let alone the second spot on the ticket.

  • He wasn’t particularly GOOD, the press was busy stepping and fetching for him and doing a hatchet job on his opposition.  All he had to do was wander around looking good.

    The only reason it’s finally going to hell is because even the press can’t cover this up any more.

  • McQPolitico wonders how the crew which so deftly managed such a successful presidential campaign has lost their “golden touch”.

    Good heavens, this is like the execs of a large corporation wondering why, after a tremendously successful ad campaign, a product they rushed to market with little or no development or testing flops in the marketplace.  Hint: you can’t trick people into buying crap over and over again.

    MiniTru played a key role in building the legend of Imeme and his “golden touch” with a combination of several tactics:

    1.  Refusing to cover in any but the most perfunctory manner his thin resume, questionable associations, and problematic history.  I can’t remember who in MiniTru said it, but early on, it was remarked that even MiniTru didn’t know who the REAL Obama is

    2.  Attacking / denigrating any criticism of Imeme as racist

    3.  Playing up problems with McCain (not hard to do!) and Palin.  Though Imeme has an arguably thinner resume than Palin (who, admittedly, was NOT a good pick by Yosemite Sam), MiniTru ran a highly effective, ongoing propaganda campaign such that she is STILL widely regarded as an ignorant moron.  The race became NOT Imeme vs.  Yosemite Sam, but rather Imeme vs. a caricature of Sarah Palin

    4.  All of this was predicated on an eight-year campaign against George Bush, during which every bad event was portrayed as SOLELY his fault (Imeme is actually paying a price for that because he’s being held to the same ridiculously high standard).  Moe, Larry or Curley would look like giants of intellect and competence compared to the George Bush that was relentlessly presented to us all through his presidency.

    In short, it’s very easy to look like you have a “golden touch” when the deck is stacked in your favor.  Even now, MiniTru does its best to carry water for Imeme.  The problem is that even they can’t hide that oil spill, his lack of action, and his palpable lack of concern.

    As an aside, I was somewhat amused this morning listening to al-AP on the radio.  The announcer bemoaned how the spill is tarnishing Imeme’s reputation, but noted that Imeme has promised that he and his aides are spending “every waking moment” working to solve the problem.  A couple of stories later, it was about how Paul McCartney serenaded Michelle at a gala event.

    That’s Imeme for you: working tirelessly (snort!) to solve the country’s problems but still taking time to have rock stars come to sing to him and his wife.  When he’s not jetting to Chicago for a little mini-vacation.  Or hitting the links.  Or… well… doing whatever it is that he does.

    Imagine it if were Bush…

    • The announcer bemoaned how the spill is tarnishing Imeme’s reputation, but noted that Imeme has promised that he and his aides are spending “every waking moment” working to solve the problem.  A couple of stories later, it was about how Paul McCartney serenaded Michelle at a gala event.

      Another small example of what I mean. Obama knows he can say he’s spending every waking moment on the oil spill and he just knows that very few liberals will even begin to put together the necessary pieces of reality to figure out that the words have no correspondence to reality, even when slapped all but right next to each other on the radio. And if a non-liberal points this out, it’s just “political”. This is exactly how he got elected; pointing out reality is dismissed as “just being political”, but you can’t seal away reality forever.

      • Spike Lee wants to see some Presidential rage abut the Gulf oil spill, because nothing says “Presidential” like anger combined with powerlessness.

        Ugh.  Following Lee’s advise will spell the end of any chances for re-election.  I mean, sure .. go ahead and act like the stereotypical “angry black male” .. those “bitter clingers” and the AARPers will run for the hills.

        • I laughed out loud when Gibbs was asked about “presidential rage” and he answered saying he’d seen him clench his jaw before.

        • It’s not just the “angry black male” thing: by now, people have gotten Imeme’s number and will rightly suspect that any “presidential rage” is only for show.

          Well, I should say most people: there are plenty of lefties who want emotion from Imeme (they think it makes him more authentic or something) that a “clenched jaw” would send them into transports of delight.  “Yeah, man!  Like, he’s gonna stick it to those pigs at Exxon, man!”

          “Um, that’s BP, you pothead moron.”

          “Whatever, man… Like, Obama… Like… He TOTALLY gets it, man!  Look at that TOTALLY righteous anger!  Like, that’s why I voted for him!”

  • Perhaps there never was a golden touch. Perhaps the inevitability of the win had little to do with their deft management.

    I’ve been waiting a long time for someone else to notice this. Obama benefited primarily from what you listed and a media that was more than willing to bury his flaws and overpromote any perceived strengths.

    And the GOP threw up a lousy candidate. There was no brilliant campaign, and he didn’t do much beyond the basic obvious stuff in terms of internet marketing.

    • Between the bizarre stuff regarding political job offers and now Kagan, it seems that al Qaeda must be putting LSD or such in the White House water supply … or simply, it’s time for a new White House Counsel.

  • As long as the average voter is as smart as Paul McCartney BO’s all set.