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“The Campaign’s Over, Obama; It’s Time To Lead”

Thus writes John Kass in the excellent article by the same name, The campaign’s over, Obama; it’s time to lead (Major h/t to my friend, SusanUnPC for the heads up on this article). No freakin’ kidding – Obama needs to stop with all of the damn press conferences (can you believe he is getting ready to have ANOTHER one? What is this, Number 349 post-Jan. 20??), and get to work already!! But even disregarding that, Kass writes:

In Europe, he chastised America for what he called our “arrogance.” In the Caribbean, he gave the dictator of Venezuela a warm smile and a handshake, and called him “amigo.” Before the Saudi king, he bowed low and long.

And just the other day, in a cynical nod to Turkish generals, the American president who campaigned for human rights quietly avoided the word “genocide” in a resolution marking the anniversary of the 1915 Ottoman Turkish slaughter of more than a million Armenian Orthodox Christians.

A few years after that slaughter, as he prepared to engage in his own genocide of the Jews, Adolf Hitler was credited with saying: “Who remembers the Armenians?” The United States may remember, but our president can’t call it genocide.


Ah, yes, his trip to Turkey. Our guide in Turkey mentioned Obama’s two days spent there in Istanbul. He lifted up his hands, and his eyes to the heavens, and said, “yes, people here think he is the new savior.” There was a tinge of irony in his voice, thankfully. I was glad he appeared not to have been sucked in by Obama’s rhetoric. And all I could think was, “He has benefited from a GREAT marketing campaign, that man.” I might add, there were VERY few responses to the guide’s having said this, but in particular, there were no enthusiastic affirmations. Perhaps after Obama’s unwillingness to call genocide what is is, there may be fewer Turks who see him as The Messiah.

Kass continues:

Still, President Barack Obama offers himself up to an adoring world — and the enraptured, Hopium-smoking American media that helped elect him — as a leader more flexible than his hopelessly rigid predecessor, George W. Bush.

And he’s proved it, charming nations and their leaders, remaining in campaign mode, where he’s most comfortable.

While in Egypt, at the Citadel and its two mosques, we were all on the bus getting ready to leave. One of the constant souvenir hawks kept talking to people on the bus, and said, “I love Barack Obama! He will change the world! I hate George Bush and Tony Blair!” Well, I couldn’t disagree with his last assessment, but one of the other women on the bus, when he said Obama would “change the world, ” muttered, “We’ll see.” Again, not an enthusiastic response from the people on the bus (different group, for the most part, too, by the way). But it is clear that the MSM, Plouffe, and Axelrod meme that Obama really is a change agent, in contradiction to his entire political history thus far, and his underhanded way of even getting into politics in the first place (getting everyone thrown off the ballot), has taken root abroad. People believe what they want to believe, facts notwithstanding. It’s one thing for people in other countries to buy this stuff – they can’t vote here. Quite another that people here bought it. But I digress.

Back to the USA and John Kass:

But last week, he bowed to his base in the hard political left by reversing himself, opening the door for the prosecution of Bush Justice Department officials who helped develop harsh interrogation policies for suspected terrorists.

Some call it torture and legitimately oppose it. Others say harsh interrogation — such as waterboarding — was necessary after the Sept. 11 attacks.

But what Obama accomplished by opening the possibility of political witch hunts was to offer up one of his own eyes to his political supporters. He needs both eyes to see a dangerous world.

The week began when Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s chief of staff, appeared on ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos to reiterate Obama’s pledge not to prosecute.

“He believes that people in good faith were operating with the guidance they were provided,” said Emanuel, no fool. “They shouldn’t be prosecuted. … It’s time for reflection. It’s not a time to use our energy in looking back in any sense of anger and retribution.”

Two days later, Obama abruptly changed course to please his anti-war base that demands a few severed political heads.

“With respect to those who formulated those legal decisions, I would say, that is going to be more of a decision for the attorney general,” he said. “I think there are a host of very complicated issues involved there.”

His critics used phrases such as “chilling effect” on intelligence gathering, but I call it the pucker factor. In all bureaucracies, it rolls down hill.

Of course, Obama caved. Anyone who thought he would do otherwise was sadly mistaken.

As for his releasing of the Torture memos, a number of my fellow writers at No Quarter have taken this on, including none other than Larry Johnson, American Girl In Italy, and SusanUnPC, to name a few. No need for me to get into that with such stellar writers already dealing with it, except to say – once again, Obama did not consider the implications and/or ramifications of doing so, including, as SusanUnPC pointed out, the impact on some of his more sychophantic supporters like Nancy Pelosi. (If you haven’t had a chance to read those, and others, I highly recommend that you do.)

Kass continues on the torture theme:

Reporters are kind of like intelligence gatherers. We don’t waterboard politicians, but we’re under pressure to get good information. So, let me tell you a story.

In 1985, I was a kid in the news business, and our gossip columnist, Mike Sneed — now at the Sun-Times — got the story of the year: “Reform” Mayor Harold Washington had been secretly taped pressuring a fellow to get out of the 3rd Ward aldermanic race. It sounded like raw politics. It didn’t sound anything like reform. And Washington was enraged.

Jim Squires, then our editor, decided to publish transcripts but tell readers the tapes were leaked by Washington’s white ethnic political opponents who wanted to embarrass him. Fair enough.

Then he ordered me and another young reporter to find Sneed’s source and walk back the cat. I didn’t want to do it, but he was the boss and Sneed understood, and after a few days, he dropped his harebrained scheme.

Yet for a long time afterward, sources worried they might be outed. Reporters were concerned their bosses might investigate their sources. And in the gathering of political intelligence, when sources start puckering up, they’re not going to kiss you. You get scooped.

And some editors shriek, “How did you get scooped?!” even when they knew that the boss made a decision that sent spasms through everything. More spasms ensue. The pucker factor multiplies exponentially.

Now THAT is a quote for the ages, isn’t it? “The pucker factor multiplies exponentially.

Kass makes his point:

Obama isn’t an editor. He’s the president of a nation targeted by terrorists and constantly probed for weakness, even by our allies.

His intelligence gatherers — and others who give them the tools and the go-ahead — can’t spend their time wondering if he has their backs.

His statements surely sent spasms through bureaucracies that are vital to his own success and America’s safety. All because he wanted to campaign, rather than lead.

Our president has a fine ear for language and nuance. Yet sometimes he shapes his principles to fit the moment, something anyone who watches Chicago politics understood years ago(Emphasis mine.). The Democratic machine candidates he eagerly endorsed for re-election — from Boss Daley II to Cook County Board President Todd Stroger to disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich — are testament to Obama’s flexibility.

But he must stop campaigning someday, and start thinking like a chief executive. And he’ll need both eyes to see where he’s got to go. (
jskass@tribune.com
)

I could not have said it better myself. Except to say that it isn’t just the intelligence gatherers who have to wonder if he has their backs, but ALL Americans. When the President of the United States goes abroad and insults the very people he was elected to serve, it does raise the question if he indeed does. Personally, I never suffered the illusion that he gave a damn about the American people – he seems to care about one person and person only: himself. Still, his position alone as POTUS would certainly IMPLY he has a duty to not trash us in other countries while apparently campaigning for Master of the Universe. Just sayin’.

And, while I know others are writing about this, a president who cares, really cares about the people whom he was elected to serve does NOT, DOES NOT, have a PHOTO OP of a 747 being chased by an F-16 Fighter Jet flying over lower Manhattan and New Jersey. The bubble surrounding this man and his inner circle is mighty thick, and mighty clueless. (If you have not yet heard about this incredibly insensitive, assholic move by the White House, click HERE and HERE for just two articles on this.)

If Obama is truly capable of leading, rather than just campaigning, and having his ego stroked, it is time, PAST time, for him to hop to it. And enough with the press conferences already, too. And the vacations (I’ve lost count, but it has been at least three in the first One Hundred Days. Feel free to enumerate them if you know of more!). And playing games while real issues are arising (golf, basketball, whatever). That is all to say, President Obama, get to work already.

  • Pingback: Trying To Make An Impression In 100 Days « Quipster

  • Lyn

    Speaking of needing to lead, did you see Dodd was basically criticizing him and asked for help with the healthcare? http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/dodd-time-for-obama-to-step-up-on-health-reform-2009-04-28.html
    President Obama and the White House need to take a more active role on health reform, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) said Tuesday.

    “I think it’s very important that as we move forward over these next very critical few weeks, that the White House is not sitting around waiting to see what we do and then deciding whether or not they like it or not,” said Dodd, a senior member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. “I think they’ve got to be there.”…

    …As he has on other major issues, Obama has employed a strategy of laying out principles for policy and left it to Congress to work out the details.

    Speaking at a briefing with reporters, Dodd indicated that tack has outlived its usefulness on health reform, as Senate committees are set to mark up legislation in just over a month.

    “Let me gratuitously offer a comment, as well, ’cause you haven’t asked the question,” Dodd told reporters. “I want the White House involved. They need to be at the table.”

  • SoCalDem

    The Dems in congress are not being fooled, they are part of this mess. They need to be voted out in their next election. We need a clean sweep!!

  • termo

    Make no mistake about it, Obama is leading.
    It is WHERE he is leading us and who is ebing led.

    “we’ve begun the work of remaking America.” (Obama)

    Obama in this statement confirms that he has never liked America, otherwise why remake it?

    We have all had political differences with various Presidents over the years, but we have never had a President who could be considered a danger to the country – until now. And Democrats in Congress is willfully being fooled into this socialists new society.

  • Tess

    Omigosh, thanks for reminding me about John Kass. He seemed so smitten by the inaugural (read anointing) that I was afraid we had lost him.
    Driving through Illinois today, growling about the O to my sympathetic Democrat-in-exile-spouse, I wondered which city/nation/village will go for the Tourism re BIRTHPLACE OF POTUS OBAMA? And whither the POTUS library? (tee-hee, Kenya?)

  • Benjamin Franklin Berfle

    It is quite difficult to lead when your sole guide is a wet finger in the air, testing the prevailing winds.

    Like Bush, he relies on his political advisors to give him answers to technical questions. Yet another accidental presidency in the making. Lord help us all.

  • ConfusedAmerican

    Ck this poll out by MSNBC — Total of 280,259 voters 32.9% — A / 8.8% — B / 6.2% — C / 13.9% — D / And the Highest Percentage gives Obama an F — 38.2%

    http://www.newsvine.com/_question/2009/04/29/2748978-the-president-has-completed-100-days-in-office-based-on-his-performance-so-far-what-grade-would-you-give-him

    • Eleven

      M$M spin – people think F stands for “Fabulous” or “Fantastic.”

      • http://www.rabblerouserruminations.blogspot.com/ Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy

        I know, right? And good one, Eleven!

        Since when did having a 56% approval rating deserve the “through the roof!!!” accolades being heaped upon him? What is WRONG with these people?!?!

        • fif

          56% and this is still the honeymoon period. It’s really a disease, this Kool Aid phenomenon. Really warps all perception.

  • jbjd

    The best part of this article was the reference to John Kass, whose articles I formerly sought out and read voraciously. The worst part was observing one of my favorite NQ writers, R(cube)A, intimating she still possesses a scintilla of hope that BO, finding himself in the position to lead, will do so, thus making him more than the sum of all of the parts of his life up to now.

    • http://www.rabblerouserruminations.blogspot.com/ Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy

      Oh, jbjd, don’t despair – I think he has abt as much of a chance of leading as a snowball in hell. Any implication otherwise must simply be a holdover of my vacation! :-D

      • jbjd

        Phew! For a minute there… Welcome home.

        • http://www.rabblerouserruminations.blogspot.com/ Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy

          LOL – thanks, jbjd!

  • Hank

    Poor TOTUS, he needs to remember what goes around comes around.

  • http://noquarter foxyladi14

    he can’t keep his mouth shut.the whole top of his head would explode from the build up pressure

  • Texas Playwright

    bho the fraud is a puppet of big money Soros-type guys, Islamic radicals, i.e., dangerous people who want to destroy America, and far left politicians who have no idea how seriously they’ve damaged our American principles, our U.S.A. Constitution and our patriotic, independent, entrepreneurial spirit.

    Greed–for money, power, fame–that’s bho and junta. PUMA groups smelled the snake oil the first time we heard this puppet speak. If you can’t say genocide, you can’t lead any nation. Hillary’s China speech–”Women’s rights are human rights…” still gives me chills. Hillary and many largely invisible public servants, including military, across this land are holding our nation together with tireless energy while this incompetent, un-American, lying, cheating, stealing, misogynist sucks up adoration and our hard earned money and degrades us around the world.

    Let’s keep standing up and speaking up for America, folks. bho the fraud and his crime lords and ladies must be watched and held accountable.

  • Tom Cat “wodiej” Jefferson Esq

    Yes, I heard on Fox what Obama said about the Tea Parties and Fox. Seems his feelings might be hurt that millions of voters really DON’T LIKE HIM OR HIS POLICIES. WHAAAAAAA…Brat? That’s an understatement!

  • Eleven

    Did you guys hear his “tea party” remark?

    “Those of you who are watching certain news channels on which I’m not very popular, and you see folks waving tea bags around”

    See, that juvenile tea bag remark? And the jab at Fox? And it seems his only concern is his popularity? I think what we have in the WH is a brat, and I don’t think he is ever ready to lead.

    And why does he hate straw man so much. It seems he is always fighting the straw man.

    • beebop

      He is not a happy person. Conflicted. Tormented. Deserted by both parents. Is he bi-racial or no racial? But. He finally got a dog, so maybe there’s hope for him yet? :)

      • Tess

        Who wouldn’t desert him?

    • http://www.rabblerouserruminations.blogspot.com/ Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy

      Did he REALLY use the “tea bag” comment?? Are you KIDDING ME?? He is such a homophobe, don’t even get me started…

      And never mind his completely IGNORING THE ISSUES abt which the people are protesting. It is always, always, ALWAYS abt HIS ego.

    • fif

      Exactly. He HATES being criticized, and he seems to forget that he is also president to those holding teabags. I bet it also galls him that FOX’s ratings are through the roof. No, despite the media fawning, you are NOT loved by all.

    • fif

      It will only feed the resistance. He is his own worst enemy with his vanity.

      • Ani

        Exactly. Bush had the same problem with the loyalty oath thing. The President is the President of EVERYONE, not just his adoring fans. People were expressing real concerns about the endless bailouts and that Wall St. is back to getting exhorbitant salaries (see Krugman’s piece from Monday) — not even holding back though they received taxpayer funds — this is on our dime!

        The Pres. is doing the same thing he did during the campaign — insulting those who did not vote for him. That is not presidential, it is juvenile and he knows better.

    • Ani

      When did he say this? During his tv address tonight? Please say it ain’t so?

      • Lyn

        It was during his townhall today I didn’t watch the video, but it sounds like he had that stupid smug smirk when he said it http://hotair.com/archives/2009/04/29/its-on-obama-takes-shot-at-tea-parties/

        Asked about fiscal discipline and entitlements reform, Obama seemed to be repressing a smile as he jabbed critics of his spending plans.
        “Those of you who are watching certain news channels on which I’m not very popular, and you see folks waving tea bags around, Obama said, “let me just remind them that I am happy to have a serious conversation about how we are going to cut our health care costs down over the long term, how we are going to stabilize Social Security.”
        “But,” Obama continued, “let’s not play games and pretend that the reason [for the deficit] is because of the Recovery Act.”

  • beebop

    He hasn’t been able to demonstrate a consistant ability to read from TOTUS! Lead? Lead? He hasn’t had an original useful thought that lead to a promise that he has actually kept. He makes shrub look ….. um …. uh …. well …. less like a nincompoop. Maybe Arlen is fleeing to the Dems because there are more baffoons to hide behind when someone calls him on his own unkept promises and/or threats.

  • arran

    Someone needs to take a shepherd’s hook and yank him off the stage. (I’ll do it; I’ll do it, with pleasure!)

  • arran

    Amy–As we’ve learned from Harry Reid’s comment (promoting his book, coming out in May) about Obama, he told Reid back in 2006 that he [Obama] had a gift for making these awesome speeches (my understanding of his “gift”). Therefore, he has to have an audience to speak to and to display his charm to. Remember the media blitzes last fall after each staff and cabinet pick–aaaaarrrrrggggghhhhh!!!!!

    Reid told him he should run for president *back in 2006*. For that encouragement, Reid should be let out to pasture in his next election.

    • Ani

      Can you imagine Reid’s audacity? This really tells the whole story. If Reid told Pr. Obama this back in 2006, that means Obama was in the Senate for a little more than ONE year at the time. ONE YEAR! What in the hell gave Reid the idea that this man had the deep knowledge on foreign and domestic policy and the stones to lead our nation? I guess it was all about being a speechmaker.

      So Reid is basically admitting, as someone else astutely pointed out, that the DNC just wanted to have an “effective speaker” with a “gift” to be the salesman-in-chief for the Democratic agenda. At that point in time, there’s no way Reid thought this man was yet qualified — nor did he care.

      This is the most reckless behavior I’ve seen in a long time.

      • fif

        Obama said it himself: “Tell me what you want, and I’ll sell it.”

        • Ani

          Yes, fif, I remember that, too. People actually do tell you who they are. You just have to believe them. HE always said he was a blank canvas upon whom people project their dreams (yes, I’m paraphrasing), and that is the truth. People see what they want to see in him.

  • zoo zoo

    Great piece, pointing out what PUMAs have known all along. Praying the masses wake up one day. But as for the Turks, they don’t acknowledge the Armenian Genocide, that’s the problem. So by siding with the Turks and refusing to acknowledge the murder of over 1.5 million people, it is just one more despicable Ø pucker on the ass of our Islamic friends.

    And to be frank, I’m happy he’s not leading…I’m afraid how much more he could screw up if he actually spent some time working. I’m hoping he’ll play basketball and play golf and keep his damn mouth shut for the next four years.

  • Tom Cat “wodiej” Jefferson Esq

    I don’t know why ANYTHING Obama does suprises me anymore. Just when I think I’ve seen and heard it all, he does something else more dangerous and/or stupid than the last thing he did. I have to say the photo op in NY just baffles me of logic and horrifies me. Different news reports say that the department responsible still goes by Obama’s orders. I just do not believe for ONE SECOND that he knew nothing about this when it involved Air Force One,the plane he uses (and often….)

    Slowly Obama and all the Democrats and his juiced up followers, are going to be revealed. Nothing will stop this, not even his adoring media. NOTHING.

    • ConfusedAmerican

      My sentiments exactly TOM.

  • Phishmelt

    when obama was thinking 3 sections of government, he thought the WH, house and senate. he forgot that the judicial is a separate branch of govt.

  • Cindy

    Rev. Amy–Thank you for sharing this aricle. Wow!
    Hey, may I ask a quasi-personal question? Is your governor there in S.C. as nice and intelligent as he seems on tv? I really like him (according to the interviews I’ve seen).

    • http://www.rabblerouserruminations.blogspot.com/ Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy

      LOL – um, no, Cindy, I’m sorry – that is WAY too personal! :-D

      Seriously, from what I have seen of him on tv and in the papers, he does seem to be pretty measured in his speech. And yes, he does seem to be pretty intelligent, too.

      • Cindy

        Thanks, Rev. Amy—-you are too funny!

  • ConfusedAmerican

    I dont really think Obama is capable of leading. I think Obama is a puppet in every sense of the word.

    • http://www.rabblerouserruminations.blogspot.com/ Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy

      I would have to agree. He has never shown ANY indication he is capable of leading, or even really WANTS to lead…

      Peggy Sue – I hear ya – well said. And yes, Kass is one he very few who seems willing to tell it like it is…

      • John

        Wow – you guys are nuts if you can’t see that this guy is already leading, and that most of America is following.

        • http://ezinearticles.com/?Three-Basic-Parenting-Styles&id=744499 Northwest rain

          Thanks for the laugh — I needed a bit of humor.

        • Docelder

          Is that you Joe Biden? If so, most of America might be sheep, but that doesn’t make him the shepherd.

        • Karma

          Good for you!

          It’s rare you see someone proud of being a sheep.

        • fif

          Poor John, he really is a media zombie. Yes, we know, we know the polls, the polls. (I guess you don’t actually understand the internals that reveal that his numbers are actually lower than other predecessors or that they are oversampling Dems huh?).

          Maybe someone can throw John in the back of a van for a deprogramming intervention.

        • candymarl

          You’re right. I have been led by example. Therefore I will bow to the the next Saudi king I see.

      • Jo

        Obama is Chance the Gardener
        Our president is just like Chance in Being There.
        All the fawning and fainting & chanting…
        is all just the same. The Obots are that clueless.So is Obama. He’s in way over his head.Thank gawd he’s got most of Big Dawg’s crew back in running things.

        • Docelder

          Yes, if there is any comfort in this… it is the knowing that he is actually running nothing. That is where we are at. It is better knowing that someone is pulling his string than to wonder if he is doing any of this himself. He isn’t. When the teleprompter pauses… he shuts up. At least he has that much right.

  • b mathews

    he wasnt really interested in doing the job since he is rarely in the WH except for his weds. nite parties. all he really wanted was the perks and the adoration. i think he will become bored with the job (if hes forced to really do some work) long before 2012. we can only “hope”.

  • Peggy Sue

    I won’t be holding my breath, waiting for this man to lead, really lead. I think he’ll go through the motions, look and sound Presidential, but the nitty-gritty work and hard decisions will be done elsewhere, delivered and packaged in eloquent language and promptly loaded into TOTUS. I’m more cynical now than I’ve ever been, but I think Barack Obama will become Salesman-in-Chief for whatever his handlers have in mind. How can anyone in their right mind defend what’s going on in Treasury and at the Fed? We’re being dismantled, one bailout/stimulus/program at a time.

    As for the peons in the trenches–us? We’re not even on the radar, not really. Except for the money they want to wring out of us and our kids, we’re just the unwashed, rowdy masses that need to be corralled and kept in a permanent state of trance.

    The whole shebang gives me nothing but bad, bad vibes.

    Thanks for the article, Amy. Kass is one of the few reporters who has been sending out warning signals all the while. But not enough people have or are listening.

    • Ellen D

      Yes, Peggy Sue – Obama is the big smiling white-toothed Salesman-in-Chief. There is very little difference between him and Michelle and the Televangelists, which is why he doesn’t want to give up his TV coverage.
      But you can’t keep up this front forever as many Televangelists have found. Someday you may slip and the fall from grace is straight down.