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Obama Is Just Plain Bad at Politics
The Weekly Standard ^ | 04/15/2011 | Jay Cost

Posted on 04/15/2011 8:08:52 AM PDT by OldDeckHand

Presidential résumés have run the gamut -- from commanding general of the United States Army (Ulysses S. Grant) all the way down to collector of the Port of New York (Chester A. Arthur). Unfortunately, since George McGovern ruined the presidential nominating system in 1971, there has been a new potential item for the presidential CV: navigating the byzantine process of primaries and caucuses better than any competitor.

Not all eventual nominees have managed to do this (e.g. Gerald Ford was nearly outflanked in 1976, so was Ronald Reagan in 1980), and with only two presidents has this been a prime "qualification" for winning the nomination. The first was Jimmy Carter, whose insurgent campaign in 1976 exhibited an advanced understanding of the new, open process that now governs the selection of party candidates. The second was Barack Obama, whose campaign team grasped the seemingly inscrutable complexities of the new system better than anybody ever has. Breaking down the popular vote in the 2008 Democratic battle, it was a basically a tie; Obama defeated Hillary Clinton for the nomination because he out-organized her, especially in caucus states like Colorado, Idaho, and Minnesota.

(Excerpt) Read more at weeklystandard.com ...


TOPICS: Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2012; obama; opinion; politics
I think Jay Cost absolutely nails it here. No matter where you stand ideologically, Obama has been an unbelievable incompetent politician, not just an incompetent president. He is just tone deaf.

I genuinely think that if he was a white guy from Chicago named Barry Olsen, his approval numbers would be in the mid to low 30s. His only politically redeemable quality is that he's black with a strange name.

1 posted on 04/15/2011 8:08:58 AM PDT by OldDeckHand
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To: OldDeckHand
....all the way down to collector of the Port of New York (Chester A. Arthur).

....all the way down to the unemployed community activist (0).

2 posted on 04/15/2011 8:11:15 AM PDT by Red Badger (Mitt Romney: The Harold Stassen of the 21st century........)
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To: OldDeckHand

Has anyone determined if “O” is good at ANYTHING?


3 posted on 04/15/2011 8:11:20 AM PDT by SMARTY (Conforming to non-conformity is conforming just the same.)
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To: OldDeckHand
Nobody who wins the Presidency can be called an incompetent politician in that, by definition, a good politician is one who can get himself elected. Regardless of his "tone-deafness," he was able to convince enough (gullible and moronic) voters to go for him. How is that a "failure"?

He can be rightly judged an incompetent President, in that he is incapable of governing or running the Executive Branch of government.

4 posted on 04/15/2011 8:13:37 AM PDT by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Rempublicam)
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To: OldDeckHand

You bring up a good point. And it’s true of many other politicos.

When Ted Kennedy first ran for the Senate, for example, his opponent charged that if his name were Edward Moore rather than Edward Moore Kennedy, that nobody would take his qualifications in running for Senator seriously.

Ditto Hillary Clinton. There’s no way Hillary Rodham begins a political career and becomes a serious presidential candidate in her own right, if not for her connection to Bill Clinton.

I’m sure there are many other politicos who got high positions because of family or other connections, not because they themselves are so brilliant, have the answers to the nation’s problems, etc.


5 posted on 04/15/2011 8:18:52 AM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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To: OldDeckHand

Apparently not as bad as the GOP >,>


6 posted on 04/15/2011 8:20:23 AM PDT by chris37 (awesome!)
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To: Cincinatus
Nobody who wins the Presidency can be called an incompetent politician

Not so sure about that. Sometimes there's such a vacuum that anyone the press thrusts into power will make it.

Obama was/is a creation of leftist media. They did it for him. However, I'm not so sure they can do it again because more people are onto the KGP-type tricks.

Another incompetent boob who made it to office was the Peanut Farmer. The vacuum post-Watergate made it possible.

7 posted on 04/15/2011 8:21:29 AM PDT by Siena Dreaming
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To: OldDeckHand

0bama is a genuis at marxist politics.


8 posted on 04/15/2011 8:21:33 AM PDT by paulycy (Islamo-Marxism is Evil.)
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To: OldDeckHand

And, as much as he may suck at politics, he’s still kicking the GOP’s arse all over the map.


9 posted on 04/15/2011 8:21:38 AM PDT by Buckeye Battle Cry (Terrorism in nothing more than Kinetic Islam)
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To: SMARTY

“Has anyone determined if “O” is good at ANYTHING?”

Yes. Charming the ignorant, liberal white folks.


10 posted on 04/15/2011 8:25:17 AM PDT by swampfox101
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To: SMARTY
Has anyone determined if “O” is good at ANYTHING?

Vacationing.


11 posted on 04/15/2011 8:25:23 AM PDT by Libloather (The epitome of civility.)
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To: Dilbert San Diego

Hollywood except all our lives and well being is at stake.


12 posted on 04/15/2011 8:26:41 AM PDT by wiggen (The teacher card. When the racism card just won't work.)
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To: Siena Dreaming
My point was that he was able to convince more than 50% of the voters that he should be President. Maybe that was a one-time event; maybe not. But by any logical, operational definition, that is a good "politician."

The point of the article is that he's playing his various policy cards poorly. That is entirely undecided; if he loses in 2012, he played them poorly. If he is able to demagogue himself into a second term, he may be a lot of things, but a "poor politician" isn't one of them.

13 posted on 04/15/2011 8:28:42 AM PDT by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Rempublicam)
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To: OldDeckHand

AA will out. If you’ve never had to do anything but show up, you not only don’t develop the necessary skills, you don’t even know that you need to develop them.


14 posted on 04/15/2011 8:30:15 AM PDT by Let's Roll (Save the world's best healthcare - REPEAL, DEFUND Obamacare!)
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To: OldDeckHand

Truth be told, Present Stroker could screw up a wet dream.


15 posted on 04/15/2011 8:31:26 AM PDT by Howie66 (I can see November (2012) from my house.)
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To: swampfox101

Right. He has an innate talent for THAT!

But, to be perfectly honest, it doesn’t seem to be a real challenging feat, since it has been do so consistently and so well by other Liberals for as long as I can remember.


16 posted on 04/15/2011 8:33:50 AM PDT by SMARTY (Conforming to non-conformity is conforming just the same.)
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To: Cincinatus
"Nobody who wins the Presidency can be called an incompetent politician in that, by definition, a good politician is one who can get himself elected."

If we had an honest, skeptical media, Obama would never have won that election, or at least he wouldn't have won by 7-points.

I will admit that Obama (Axelrod) did run an almost flawless campaign, and McCain ran a perfectly dreadful campaign But, McCain also faced a deluge of criticism everyday in the media. Obama didn't. He never demonstrated any real political skill, primarily because he didn't have to. He was, quite simply, our first affirmative action candidate that also enjoyed the "Not George Bush" trump card.

In 1972, unemployment was higher by two full points than where it was when Nixon assumed office, and we had just gone through four BRUTAL years of war - a war that Nixon had won largely on a platform of his "secret plan" to get out of Vietnam. Not only did we not get out, we doubled down. And yet, Nixon was such a brilliant politician, that against the backdrop of rising unemployment and a ridiculously unpopular war, he CRUSHES McGovern. That's political skill.

Obama, MUCH like another horrifically bad politician - Jimmy Carter - was elected primarily because he was from a party that wasn't the unpopular party. Carter didn't represent Nixon's Republican party, and Obama didn't represent Bush's Republican party. That was all the "political" skill either one needed to win.

Sometimes people get elected in spite of their political skill, or lack thereof. I think Obama is one such person.

17 posted on 04/15/2011 8:34:53 AM PDT by OldDeckHand
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To: OldDeckHand

“Obama hit his high point at Iowa’s Jefferson Jackson Dinner in November, 2007.”

Republicans should play sound-bite after sound-bite from that speech, which takes the form of “We were promised X, but we instead we got Y.” Obama made virtually an identical list of promises and has proceeded to break every single one. And on most measures—unity of the country, ability of citizens to afford basic necessities, ability of citizens to save, unemployment etc.—things are FAR worse today than in November 2007 when he was insisting the country was on the wrong track and needed to change. So using Reagan’s simple question “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?” most voters in 2012 will be forced to say “No.” And no longer will they be able to blame GWB for the abysmal state of politics and the economy.


18 posted on 04/15/2011 8:35:10 AM PDT by DrC
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To: OldDeckHand

A quibble here. At the time, Collector of the Port of New York was an extremely important (and lucrative) position. 75% of the revenues of the entire federal government were generated from this source, and Arthur was responsible for managing the activities of the several hundred employees engaged in collecting tax revenue. A far cry from being a community organizer.


19 posted on 04/15/2011 8:42:48 AM PDT by Parmenio
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To: SMARTY

Agitating?


20 posted on 04/15/2011 8:43:26 AM PDT by rockrr ("Remember PATCO!")
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To: Cincinatus
My point was that he was able to convince

Again, I don't think he did this.

I think the media did it, both by spouting lies and refusing to report his background.

I don't think he convinced them to do this; I think they wanted a far-left politician and would have used a brick wall if that's all they had to work with.

21 posted on 04/15/2011 8:45:15 AM PDT by Siena Dreaming
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To: Parmenio

Interesting.


22 posted on 04/15/2011 8:47:38 AM PDT by OldDeckHand
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To: Siena Dreaming
I think the media did it, both by spouting lies and refusing to report his background.

I think you grant the media much more power than they actually have. If they were as "all-powerful" as you claim, we never would have elected Ronald Reagan. They were dead-set against him and they were more powerful in the 1980's than they are now, when they are widely perceived as a laughing-stock.

23 posted on 04/15/2011 8:55:56 AM PDT by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Rempublicam)
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To: OldDeckHand
f we had an honest, skeptical media

We've never had that. See my comment above.

24 posted on 04/15/2011 8:56:59 AM PDT by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Rempublicam)
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To: Cincinatus
If they were as "all-powerful" as you claim, we never would have elected Ronald Reagan

I never said they are "all-powerful". When RR was running, the public had experienced MSM lies for 4 years and recognizing those lies was becoming easier.

But 4 years previously the people were buying every commie trick the MSM sold.

Same now. The media pumped Barry and the public bought it. Now, not so much.

25 posted on 04/15/2011 9:02:21 AM PDT by Siena Dreaming
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To: Cincinatus; Siena Dreaming
"I think you grant the media much more power than they actually have."

What percentage of the country do you believe would agree that Sarah Palin actually said, "I can see Russia from my house"?

Ronald Reagan was elected in a day and age that didn't have the kind of media saturation as we see today. And, he was elected when media - to include the entertainment business - wasn't NEARLY as politicized as it is today. It is, in many ways, apples & oranges.

Virtually every television show on today, and MANY movies have an obscene level of politically slanted content. Look at this list of movies nominated for Oscars and compare the movies in 1970s to the movies in the 2000s. Not until the late 70s, do we start to see a real emergence of political movies, and all of them are anti-war type movies - about a war that is LONG over. Today, Hollywood makes anti-war movies about a war that is still being faught.

Look at the list from 2005. Everyone one of those movies has at least some political message, or is entirely about a political message.

Crash
Brokeback Mountain
Capote
Good Night
Munich

I could go on, but for a variety of reasons, I think the media is MUCH more powerful and influential today than it was in the 1970s and early 1980s. Contrary to popular sentiment, the MSM is not dying.

26 posted on 04/15/2011 9:07:32 AM PDT by OldDeckHand
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To: OldDeckHand
That should have been, "Good Night, and Good Luck".

Sorry.

27 posted on 04/15/2011 9:09:17 AM PDT by OldDeckHand
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To: OldDeckHand
Ronald Reagan was elected in a day and age that didn't have the kind of media saturation as we see today. And, he was elected when media - to include the entertainment business - wasn't NEARLY as politicized as it is today.

That's just not so. The media has always been liberal, always biased and always against conservatives, at least since the LBJ Great Society days. There were left-wing movies made in the 60's and 70's too, more in fact. Vietnam anti-war, green propaganda, Soviet apologism and more.

The one thing that is constant and predictable in American politics is the liberalism of the media. It's simply a given.

28 posted on 04/15/2011 9:40:12 AM PDT by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Rempublicam)
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To: Cincinatus
"The media has always been liberal, always biased and always against conservatives, at least since the LBJ Great Society days."

Yes, there has always been a leftist slant in the media. My argument is that today, that slant is more pronounced and that media saturation is so complete, it could be described as ubiquitous.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan had the opportunity during the debates to really change the prevailing public opinion about him that he was a war monger and an idiot. He was able to change that opinion because before the advent of cable news, people only really had very limited exposure to the candidates themselves. So, while they had an opinion, it wasn't as resolute as the opinions that are held today.

This is why we did see wild swings in the electorate - huge landslide victories in 1964, 1968, 1972, 1980 and 1984. Then, almost perfectly synchronized with the emergence of CNN, the country started to become more polarized and fixed. It's also, IMHO, why we have only seen a Republican win the popular vote in a national election just once since 1988. The media is much more capable today, than they were in before the 1980s.

And, I would point you back to that list of Oscar movies. Look at the difference in the types of movies produced in the 1960s compared to the movies produced today. The politically-themed movies have increased exponentially.

With respect to television, All in the Family and MASH were unique in their era precisely because they were so political in nature. They were ground-breaking for just that reason. Today, as I said earlier, it's difficult to watch any show on any network that doesn't have some either overtly political message, or subtle political message.

29 posted on 04/15/2011 9:57:42 AM PDT by OldDeckHand
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To: Buckeye Battle Cry
And, as much as he may suck at politics, he’s still kicking the GOP’s arse all over the map.

Is that really Obama, or the Republicans' own incompetence?

Right now, there's a tilt in the Democrats' direction. Democrats don't need to be good at politics to benefit from it. Republicans have to be very good at politics to overcome it.

30 posted on 04/19/2011 4:07:50 PM PDT by x
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