Skip to comments.Peggy Noonan: Where is the competence? (She's lost her former admiration for Obama)
Posted on 05/29/2010 9:04:12 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
In our earlier thread on Chris Matthews, one commenter asked why we consider the MS-NBC host a barometer of conservative opinion, considering Matthews’ deeply liberal worldview. It matters because the disillusion of people like Matthews, who sold their audiences on the near-perfection of Barack Obama, are instructive moments to see just how far Obama has fallen in public reputation. After all, conservatives didn’t fawn over a man who had no executive experience and spent most of his legislative career voting “present” rather than showing any leadership.
Well, most conservatives didn’t, anyway. At least one who succumbed to Obama’s glamour wonders what happened to the cool competence Obama exuded during the presidential campaign. Peggy Noonan’s column today in the Wall Street Journal sums up Obama’s biggest political problem — the perception of ineptitude:
I don’t see how the president’s position and popularity can survive the oil spill. This is his third political disaster in his first 18 months in office. And they were all, as they say, unforced errors, meaning they were shaped by the president’s political judgment and instincts.
There was the tearing and unnecessary war over his health-care proposal and its cost. There was his day-to-day indifference to the views and hopes of the majority of voters regarding illegal immigration. And now the past almost 40 days of dodging and dithering in the face of an environmental calamity. I don’t see how you politically survive this. …
In his news conference Thursday, President Obama made his position no better. He attempted to act out passionate engagement through the use of heightened language”catastrophe,” etc.but repeatedly took refuge in factual minutiae. His staff probably thought this demonstrated his command of even the most obscure facts. Instead it made him seem like someone who won’t see the big picture. The unspoken mantra in his head must have been, “I will not be defensive, I will not give them a resentful soundbite.” But his strategic problem was that he’d already lost the battle. If the well was plugged tomorrow, the damage will already have been done.
The original sin in my view is that as soon as the oil rig accident happened the president tried to maintain distance between the gusher and his presidency. He wanted people to associate the disaster with BP and not him. When your most creative thoughts in the middle of a disaster revolve around protecting your position, you are summoning trouble. When you try to dodge ownership of a problem, when you try to hide from responsibility, life will give you ownership and responsibility the hard way. In any case, the strategy was always a little mad. Americans would never think an international petroleum company based in London would worry as much about American shores and wildlife as, say, Americans would. They were never going to blame only BP, or trust it.
In other words, the President has been voting “present” for most of the first five weeks of the disaster. It’s not as if it’s the first time Obama tried to avoid responsibility for an issue or refuse to show leadership. Many of us wrote extensively about Obama’s pattern of avoidance during the election — and suggested that Democrats try Obama in a lesser executive position first, such as Governor of Illinois, before nominating him for the top spot, in order to make sure he was up for the job.
Unfortunately, some conservatives such as Noonan rebutted those arguments, choosing instead to see cool competence instead of complete inexperience and a pattern of avoidance. One can do that as a legislator with few ill effects, because in the end others will choose to lead. When that person assumes the top executive job, especially without any experience and seasoning for the job, things fall apart when disaster strikes as they have here. Only those who willingly allowed themselves to be enchanted by charisma and public relations could possibly act surprised when inexperience leads to incompetence.
I like Peggy Noonan; she was wrong about Obama, and she’s starting to realize just how wrong she was. She also concludes with some first-class analysis:
What continues to fascinate me is Mr. Obama’s standing with Democrats. They don’t love him. Half the party voted for Hillary Clinton, and her people have never fully reconciled themselves to him. But he is what they have. They are invested in him. In timeafter the 2010 elections go badlythey are going to start to peel off. The political operative James Carville, the most vocal and influential of the president’s Gulf critics, signaled to Democrats this week that they can start to peel off. He did it through the passion of his denunciations.
The disaster in the Gulf may well spell the political end of the president and his administration, and that is no cause for joy. It’s not good to have a president in this positionweakened, polarizing and lacking broad public supportless than halfway through his term. That it is his fault is no comfort. It is not good for the stability of the world, or its safety, that the leader of “the indispensable nation” be so weakened. I never until the past 10 years understood the almost moral imperative that an American president maintain a high standing in the eyes of his countrymen.
That is precisely why we shouldn’t have elected a man with no executive experience to the toughest executive job in the world. We need strong leadership, especially in times of crisis, not a man who prefers to vote present rather than lead. And we probably wouldn’t have elected Obama or even nominated him this time around if the national media had done half of the job vetting Obama that they did with Sarah Palin, an atrocious failure documented best by John Ziegler in his film Media Malpractice.
As I said earlier, I like Peggy Noonan, and I’m glad to see that the scales have fallen from her eyes — but she still gets a Captain Louis Renault award for being shocked, shocked! at the incompetence of Barack Obama:
Never was there. Can’t lose what he never had.
(Yawn, stretch) Im sorry peggy, did you say something? (must have dozed off about a hundred of your articles ago)
I would have been happy if he had at least worked his way up from fry-cook to shift manager to manager. That would have been more executive experience than he showed up to the White House with in Jan '09.
That's a simple and perfect comment about this guy. He's not a leader; as a "community organizer" he was this "star" his neighbors gushed over--he was never in a hostile room, never had to bring unreconcilable sides together. As he admitted himself, he was a screen on which people projected what they WANTED to believe him to be.
I wish Americans would remember this the next time they vote. They won't. Maybe we'll win this year, maybe even drive him out of office in 2012. But then another lib spouting bullshit about free everything for everyone will come along--or a conservative in Washington will soften and want to show "compassion"--and we'll be right back in the hole again.
We tried to tell ya Peggy. He won’t respect you in the morning.
I lost all respect for PN long ago. She is getting what she deserves.
ANYONE who WAS competent could see Obama was an INCOMPETENT....BEFORE he was elected.....soooo...Peggy, what’s that make YOU?
Oh Peggy, Peggy, Peggy. You were fooled and have shown yourself to be an emotional and weak person. Lots of common men and women in America saw through Obama. Too bad for you because there’s no one on the left or the right side that respects your opinion now.
You’re late, Peggy. The party’s over.
Where was the competence when she fell in love with 0bama?
Where is Peggy Noonan’s competetence?
Never was there. Cant lose what he never had.
Xactly’. Cant lose something that “Mr. 57 states” cant even comprehend.
How bad is Obama?
Even RINOs are throwing up their arms in frustration....
Obama’s really doing bad if he’s even lost Peggy Noonan!
And Noonan lost all credibility long ago when she refused to look at Obama critically, preferring to see only the icon of “a black President.”
Well I think it beats the hell out of having him popular and successful, headed for another Congressional majority and a second 4-year term!
Maybe Peggy doesn't see it that way, but her judgment is as deeply flawed as Obama's!
Go away Peggy.
Your 15 minutes of fame is done.
Just following the political winds and nothing more.
i liked your practical experience angle. One thing someone with some business experience knows that our resident Alien in charge does not......Some people are out to screw you. You can’t bend over enough, you can;t shmooze and lovey dovey them. If you do, you will be the one bent over.
Rush Limbaugh used to instruct his listeners that “words mean something.” That was during the Clinton regime, when words meant whatever the Clintons wanted them to mean.
Unfortunately, to many Americans, words mean everything. If someone is a very persuasive liar (Bill Clinton, Barack Obama), they are taken in. They don’t have the ability to look in a person’s eyes and tell that he is lying, perpetually lying.
Clinton’s eyes revealed an emptiness of soul. He was almost completely motivated by whatever would perpetuate his privileged position and the pleasures that accompanied it. Obama, on the other hand, has an ideology. Like a demon, it possesses his soul. He follows its leading, no matter the consequences. Total destruction is OK. Sawing off the branch that he is sitting on is just fine. The only thing he won’t do is betray the failed ideology to which he has submitted himself.
Lying is OK. In fact, it is necessary. Who would elect him if he told the public what he really believes? Peggy, if you want to know what he really believes, listen to Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers.
I've stopped liking Peggy Noonan. Precisely because she has been wrong about Obama. The idea she's now started to realize how wrong she was is not an issue with me. Her, yes. But that's her problem. So, long, Peggy...
I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that before November, a group of Democrats are going to go to the White House and tell Obama to resign. He is not fit to lead, (he leads nothing), and if this goes on for months, the Southeast is going to be an economic wasteland. If the markets tank this summer, on top of this, there will be enough public outrage to hasten his exit from the Oval Office.
Obama is a lackey jackass. He can bow to other Nations on the blood of our Countrymen, that’s about it.
People like Peggy are paid to see through BS - not swallow it whole.
Obama is NOT an American. He doesn’t get it. He should be a post-script to our history and remembered as a serious mistake. Liberals that are happy sitting on their ass for living need to take a close look at where the hell that came from.
“Obamas biggest political problem the perception of ineptitude”
We warned you he would prove incompetent.
We BEGGED you to listen to common sense BEFORE you elected the poseur.
It was plain as day he wasn’t even qualified to be a senator!
The guy couldn’t tie his shoelaces without a TelePrompter to tell him how!
He wasn’t competent to run a paper route... but you “thought” he was competent to run the country!
Peggy Noonan — shut up. Just shut up! You’re naive beyond belief. Your credibility with conservative Americans disappeared a long time ago. Go interview Bill Moyers some more for the wine & cheese Public TV liberals. Hell, you might even make a few bucks off of them.
BHO is not a leader....BHO a divider.
Think of a jive ass dancing puppet with it’s strings controlled by someone unseen.That’s not a leader.....that’s a jive ass dancing puppet.
He’s going down fast and the smart rats are jumping overboard now.
Forget BP...It will take generations to clean up the mess this child has made.
Actually, it is MUCH worse than that...
Peggy writes well but where was her judgment from the very beginning? The cynical will say she is only writing so that her hero Obama will seem even greater after the spill: “He is a Messiah. The spill has stopped. He is taking credit. We are still alive and should be thankful to Obama.” Can this be? Can this be her intent? Her case is never about her own disillusionment — about other Democrats, Carville, yes... So is she honest? Or is she setting the stage for further manipulation, setting the stage for a crisis not to be wasted by this administration? Is she that cynical or that much of a true believer? Most reasonable people are not shocked by Obama nor do they feint shock. They know his history. Peggy knows nothing for a person who should know everything about this person. She writes well for being asleep at the wheel.
Affirmative action. Instead of leadership you get “Present”.
” dont see how you politically survive this. ”
If he was a Republican, he wont be able to survive this, but since Obama is a Democrats, the media have already done a pretty good job at damage control
- breaking contract law by giving GM unions greater share than bondholders
Two major corruption sandals thats been ignored by the media
- Tennessee flood
- times quare bombing attempt
- fort hood shooting
“I never until the past 10 years understood the almost moral imperative that an American president maintain a high standing in the eyes of his countrymen.”
Obama did this to himself. Bush was up every morning at 5; he never was in the oval office without a tie, never put his feet on the desk out of respect for the office; never was late, never ran down or disrespected people.
When questioned on the shoddy way the press treated him he would always strongly state it was their first amendment right to say what they wanted.
I’ve already seen released pictures of Barry with his feet on the desk. He often doesn’t wear a tie, spends his time golfing and partying, doesn’t go to church, is always late, is often insulting and condescending. He virulently attacks media outlets that don’t agree with him to the point of telling people to not watch the news or listen to the internet. He uses the word “I” with obsession. He seems a petty, small minded man.
Whether I agree politically with people is one thing, but a classless president I will never respect.
The sad thing, anyone who really observed him through the campaign would have seen it, like I did. Remember when he went after Maureen Dowd because he felt she insulted his ears? It was all there, from the very beginning. They used to call Bush “Chimp”. But I never heard a word from him about it.
i dont think peggy has lost her rose colored glasses. She’s still sympathetic towards obama and view that obama has a perception problem, not a real incompetance problem
She and Krauthammer have come out of their respective stupor.
Go to hell, Noonan.
TOTUS: The difficulties my reader inherited from the previous administration are limiting his unprecedented competence.
I never until the past 10 years understood the almost moral imperative that an American president maintain a high standing in the eyes of his countrymen."Almost?" "Almost?"
Conservatives know that the POTUS is not only the head of the government but also our "head of state."
That's why it matters when the Democrats nominate a Clinton or an Obama, not merely in the short run but for generations.
Here's a news flash: The reason Democrats can't nominate presidents who are good for the country is that socialism is nothing more than cheap second guessing of those who actually get things done. A socialist is always going to project an image of competence to anyone who doesn't notice the difference between Monday morning quarterbacking and making decisions in the heat of the contest.
And of course journalists second guess for a living - so nothing should be less remarkable than the tendency for journalists to be impressed by socialists. Conservative commentators are above that. If you think that a conservative commentator is violating that rule, just understand that that "conservative" commentator isn't as conservative as you thought."It is not the critic who counts . . . the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena - Theodore Roosevelt
Peggy proved one thing - SHE IS A RINO. Peggy was never a true Patriot or a true Conservative. President Reagan would have been truly disappointed in her. She is disgusting!
Even if people like Peggy Noonan are getting disillusioned, we shouldn’t assume that Obama will be a one-term President. Clinton had a period in his first term when he was screwing up everything, and the Democrats even lost control of Congress in 1994, but Clinton got re-elected. The Democrats will play the race card with Hispanics, engage in even more voter fraud than normal, all the usual tricks...and the Republicans will have to select a candidate (which is where they failed in 1996 and 2008).