Last week, the nation witnessed the almost surreal spectacle of Bill Clinton’s impromptu press conference at the White House. Hurriedly called so Clinton could publicly endorse obama’s tax compromise with the Republicans, it featured 8 minutes of the boy president staring sheepishly like some altar boy while Clinton masterfully pitched the deal Barry’d botched selling so far. After the hen-pecked obama, fearing a spanking for keeping his harridan waiting at a party, bizarrely left the press conference, we were treated to 20+ minutes of deja vu, as the Big Dawg settled in and fielded a range of questions from Haiti, to healthcare, to the economy, to dealing with Congress, plucking detailed facts & figures from his head, even offering nuanced & well thought-out policy options. Painfully apparent was the realization that, not only did Clinton know more about the tax plan than its chief architect, he seems to know more about everything than everybody.
(To grasp the full impact of this phenomenon, one must watch the entire video or read the transcript.)
Why Bill, Why?
So sooner had the shock worn off, than speculation began as to why Clinton, a long-time foe of tax cuts to the rich, who as president both raised taxes and created jobs all while building a budget surplus, would favor this sell-out to the greed of the richest 2% of Americans.
We can philosophize until the cows come home whether there was a quid pro quo attached, and what that might entail. But the question on this observer’s mind is: what was Clinton doing there in the first place? Certainly obama didn’t say, I need to speak with my old friend and trusted mentor, Bill Clinton. It must have been the White House staffers who insisted, you need to talk to this guy. Perhaps they were hoping the boy wonder might pick up a few tips from watching the old master in action. If so, that hope went unfulfilled.
What’s becoming clearer with every passing day is that obama’s sloth, ineptitude and utter indifference is making it impossible for the White House to function as an organ, or to direct an Administration. obama’s complete unfamiliarity with drafting & passing legislation, his total lack of negotiating savvy, his poor people skills, can no longer be ignored as when he was running for president.
Truth is, even if obama could handle the job of president, he doesn’t feel like it. He’s checked out, lost in ennui. Was it not his own senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, who warned us that Barry is “easily bored?”
He’s been bored to death his whole life. He’s just too talented to do what ordinary people do.
The office of the presidency is one never-ending to-do list, some items profound (passing legislation, averting wars), some tedious (daily briefings, photo ops, press conferences.) As obama’s early exit the other day attests, the focus of this First Family is on sumptuous parties and back-to-back-to-back vacations. The Slacker-in-Chief even played hooky one day in April, slipping out a side door without notifying his staff or the press corps, or — as some speculate, the Secret Service. He claimed he went to watch his daughter’s non-existent? soccer game, held at an inner-city baseball field.
Honestly, wha’d y’all expect when you first dreamt of placing a lazy, self-centered, spoiled brat in the Oval Office? The White House is paralyzed, the administration adrift, the Democrats in rebellion. Washington burns while obama fiddles.
White House staff are frantically trying to light their own fire under little Nero’s butt. Prior to President Clinton’s 911 dispatch, the lingering scuttlebutt was that Secretary Clinton should be brought in as VP, to force the boy wonder finish his homework, eat his vegetables, and complete his chores.
It may come now as a surprise to read of the increased role VP Joe Biden is playing at the White House. Mock him if you like, but Biden has been around the block a few times, and retains excellent contacts and goodwill on Capital Hill. If these stories are to be believed, it was Biden’s shoe leather, not Clinton’s breath, that got Congress on board the tax deal. As one testy congressmen was quoted, “Biden brings everything that Rahm Emanuel brings, but the major difference is everyone likes Joe Biden.” None of this will suffice in the long run, of course. Barry simply loathes work, and no one can make him do it.
The public story line so far is that obama has suffered but a temporary setback. Howard Dean and Axelrod of Evil hit the political shows last Sunday to insist that: 1) obama will definitely run for reelection; and, 2) no one in their right mind would even consider mounting a primary challenge. In November, the press dutifully reported that Axel will be leaving the White House early next year to begin the reelection campaign. A complimentary story planted last week speculated that the O12 campaign could raise — place pinky to lip — One Biiiillionnn Dollars!
Whatever this spin may or may not indicate about obama’s plans for 2012, it was meant to quash the concept that obama is a one-termer To be viewed as a lame duck cannot help a president no one seems to take seriously anymore. Not Democrats, not Republicans, not the media, not the public.
What About Plan B?
If Plan A fails, if things continue to spin out of control and Barry refuses to show up for work, do the party elders have a Plan B … or maybe a Plan (HR)C? Just how desperate is the situation?
First off, forget about Hillary becoming obama’s VP. There’s no upside, only downside, for her. It also wouldn’t do any good.
One option is to continue to muddle along as best they can, prodding Barry into occasional action, circumventing him when he refuses. They can then play it by ear whether to cut their losses and convince Barry not to seek reelection, avoiding an increasingly likely primary challenge. This seems to be the current plan. It proved barely enough to salvage some legislation of the lame duck session, but it’s hard to imagine pulling it off for another two years.
Another scenario is to induce obama to step down now. Radical as this may seem, don’t rule it out. No one (who’s not a Republican) is benefitting from the obama presidency any more. His handlers are exasperated, Democrats in Congress have given up on him, the media has turned on him. Even Soros now shuns him.
If Barry resigns, he gets to return to the job he was destined for: pop idol. Biden becomes a two-year steward, makes emergency repairs, and steers the battered ship of state into dry dock. A new VP is chosen and given prominent exposure as a key player in the administration, which amounts to a 12-month head start on their 2012 presidential run. Speculate at will as to who this VP would be, and whether the quid pro quo speculated above comes into play.
That person, however, will most certainly not be Hillary Clinton. In terms of influence, VP is a both a symbolic and a real step down from SoS. Nor does Hillary need the exposure — she could win a general election if it was held tomorrow. The only scenario in which Hillary Clinton becomes VP is some variant of Agnew-Nixon-Ford, where two quick resignations propel her into the Oval Office. Don’t hold your breath.
Which Way to the Life Rafts?
How can we little people influence the outcome of all this behind-the-scenes maneuvering? We can spread the word that BO MUST GO. Beyond that, not much. We’re third class passengers trapped in the steerage of an ocean liner. We’ve felt the impact of the iceberg, and heard the screeching as it tore open the hull. All we can do now is pray that there’s somebody up there on the bridge who’s taken ahold of the wheel.
(c) 2010 by ‘tamerlane.’ All rights reserved.