“I would rather be a really good one-term president, than a mediocre two-term president,” Barack Obama said recently in an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer.
CNN reporter Candy Crowley then said shortly thereafter, “He’s one-quarter of the way through his administration. I don’t think we can kiss it off yet.”
Quotes like these about a potentially shortened or hobbled presidency are not just idle talk. Public perceptions of Obama are shifting and his die increasingly is cast. He looks more like Jimmy Carter every day, with nothing he can do about it.
In the good old days of invincible Obama just one year ago at his inauguration he would have simply predicted with utmost conviction, “I am going to be a great two-term president.” Because he believed that the presidency simply was a matter of mastery of the friendly media and his big majorities in Congress.
How wrong he was. His hundreds of speeches and public statements have not endeared him to the public, but have alienated him. And while he should have seen it coming, his arrogance and overconfidence did not allow it.
After the Democrats’ famous loss of control of the House of Representatives in November 1994 after just two years of Bill Clinton’s presidency, Clinton claimed that he was “still relevant”. This was seen as an obvious backhanded sign that Clinton had been shaken by what had happened.
Yet after just one single year in office, Obama’s relevancy is astonishingly faded. He is not the self-assured, media-savvy Master of the Universe that he was just one year ago. And don’t let his cool demeanor fool you. He knows what is going on. Politics is his life’s work.
On the first anniversary of Obama’s inauguration, both Time magazine and Newsweek featured him on their covers not in a happy color photo with a smiling Michelle at his side, but alone, in black and white, with ominous headlines like ‘The Inspiration Gap’, normally the negative type of treatment reserved for Bush, Cheney and other Evil Republicans.
Are even Obama’s allies bailing out on him? And what will he look like in one year?
That may be a very unsightly picture.
Just look at the Massachusetts election results, along with the vote in New Jersey and Virginia, all three big Republican victories. Now Obama’s own former US Senate seat in Illinois looks poised to fall to the GOP in the person of 5-term congressman Mark Kirk, while vice president Joe Biden’s former US Senate seat in Delaware also is likely to fall to a Republican named Mike Castle.
Nobody would have predicted this one year ago. But now Obama’s die seems cast.
Obama apparently is not going to go down without a fight. A leftist ideologue named Saul Alinsky has inspired Obama. Alinsky’s famous book is Rules for Radicals and it is a red-meat guide to establishing a left-wing state. Alinsky says that when you are in a position like Obama’s, where you think your power may be ebbing, you don’t moderate your course but you charge ahead at even higher speed. Step on the gas! Because it is the agenda that matters and nothing else.
During his state of the union speech, Obama seemed to be taking Alinsky’s advice. He seemed unconcerned about suggesting a new more centrist agenda after recent Democrat losses at the polls. He seemed shrill and combative and he talked too long, as if another speech would make things better. In addressing his fellow Democrats at their February winter meeting, he even re-stated his commitment to passing health-care legislation.
Obama certainly understands well that he has just a few more months this Spring to possibly try to salvage something before his party gets beheaded at the polls in November. He won’t salvage anything, though. His die is cast. Obama is going to end up with little to show except a reputation as a president who did everything wrong.
He now cannot even make an innocent remark without retribution. When Obama compared rampant government spending to a gambling trip to Las Vegas, he foundered again. The mayor of Las Vegas Oscar Goodman, normally the upbeat Mr. Nice Guy mayor of Fun City, replied in public that “I’ll do everything I can to give him (Obama) the boot back to Washington,” adding, “(t)he president is a real slow learner.”
Ouch! Even Obama ally Harry Reid, the Senate Democrat majority leader from Nevada, got in the act, saying, “The President needs to lay off Las Vegas and stop making it the poster child for where people shouldn’t be spending their money.”
Is Obama’s die permanently cast? Is there anywhere for him to go? Can he do anything right? And what if there is another terrorist attack, as several top officials predicted at a recent hearing? Meanwhile Obama’s attorney general Eric Holder already is under increasing fire for the way he has handled terrorism in the last year. Even his Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano failed to show up at a recent congressional hearing about the Christmas Day attack, adding to the air of incompetence and detachment.
A successful attack will doom Obama…
The president’s plan for the economy has failed. His health care deal is dead. His strategies to grant amnesty to illegal aliens, to pass cap and trade, and to usher through pro-union card-check legislation all are gone. He even misspoke in his state of the union address, about foreign corporations. His decisions on terrorism – from closing the Guantanamo detention facility, to civilian trials for alleged terrorists in New York City, to the mishandling of the Christmas Day underwear bomber – are conspiring like a perfect storm to haunt him and to remind America that Obama really never was ready for prime time.
Is Obama’s die cast? Are the gods aligned against him?
“I would rather be a really good one-term president, than a mediocre two-term president,” he told Diane Sawyer.
He did not mention one other alternative – that he already is headed to a place in history as a really bad one-term president. Just like Jimmy Carter.
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