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.
Won’t Dems play a race card to guilt-trip voters? Reminds me of The Onion’s “Black Man given nation’s worst job” headline. This seems to work for many when cornered by actual performance (or lack thereof) vs perceived/invented ethnicity. I predict a petulant “stop picking on me, look in the mirror and blame yourself” defense. On the other hand, TL, this may backfire, although how I have no idea.
I doubt however the Dems have a candidate willing to take on their anointed incumbent. One promising note in the current New Yorker. Edward Koren’s rumpled frizzy aging of course hippies: one tells two others “I buried my Obama t-shirt in the bottom drawer.” And with O’s liberal support reported today down from 84%-89%, to 79%, do I detect a trend blip?
It’s the old “all of the people some of the time” adage — I think the white guilt trick can only work once.
Those poll #s seem inordinately high. They do not jive with other polls asking related questions. I bet they were juked to shore up the crumbling edifices of the obamalonian empire.
OF course the frumpy, rumpled corduroy leftists will never stop believing. But they are a hopeless, irrelevant lot.
I am not putting an HRC run in 2012 out of mind at all. I really do sense it as an undercurrent to Bill’s guest appearance last week.
Of course, I was certain that W could not be elected, and I was certain that HRC would be the dem candidate in the last election. Well… I try.
The Clintons & friends are way too active & prominent right now for it to be coincidence. I see them discretely easing back into the limelight and discussion, until HRC is considered the obvious choice — or whatever their design is.
Cf. to Palin’s elbow-swinging, shoving, charging-foul approach to thrusting herself into the limelight.
Thank you, tamer, for telling it like it is.
I’ll probably be killed (again) for writing this, but where there’s life there’s (gasp) hope.
I will never give up hoping Obama will NOT run for re-election and to that end, I am working as hard as I can to make sure everyone I can reach has the facts about Obama — which they will never get reading most of our remaining newspapers or by watching TV pundits. I send out daily newsletters to my private list of political activists; anyone can do the same.
My current goal is to encourage every Democrat I can to primary Obama. If we can get even two or three to jump in and challenge Obama — no matter how slim their chances — I think we might be able to persuade Hillary to join in. She would never turn her back on sincere people who make a reasoned and strong case for why she MUST challenge Obama before we all sink under the waves.
What have we got to lose by trying?
You have a daily newsletter?! Why am I not on the list? Why don’t you have a blog?
Think about this . . .
If John McCain had won the presidency, the Democrats would have fought back against extending the Bush tax cuts for the rich and would never have allowed this “payroll” tax “holiday” that is the death knell of Social Security.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
“If John McCain had won the presidency, there is almost no chance he could have gotten the Bush tax cuts extended for the rich. Think about it. How was a Republican president going to get an overwhelmingly Democratic Senate and House to pass those tax cuts that they hated under Bush?
“No, only a Democratic president could get a Democratic Congress to agree to tax cuts for the rich. So, in this sense, progressives are worse off for having a Democratic president than a Republican one. ”
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Obama is the best friend the Republicans could ever have wished for. I don’t think John McCain would ever have pushed to extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich. I do think he would have extended unemployment benefits, and I don’t think he would have messed with Social Security at all.
Can we redo the 2008 election now that the truth has been revealed about what Obama is and isn’t?
Obama is NOT on our side — the only things Obama seems willing to expend any energy fighting for are Republican policies and goals.
Obama is the enemy of the American middle class.
To all those people who actually believe Obama was “outnumbered” and therefore “had no choice” but to cave in on all these Republican goals, I just thank God we had Franklin D. Roosevelt and NOT Obama as our president when World War II started.
Most people who are too young to have experienced that war just assume we always had the world’s mightiest military or at least a mighty military — we did NOT. Our military prior to WWII was about 17th in the world in terms of size.
On the other hand, the German and Japanese militaries were the mightiest the world had ever seen. If FDR had been like Obama is, he would have given up and signed a mutual defense agreement with Hitler and tried to stay out of the war — and would have “rationalized” (as Obama does) that it was all he could do, after all “we were outnumbered.”
As I said, thank God we had FDR and not this cave-in wimp Obama.
Prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (on Dec. 7, 1941) and Hitler’s declaration of war against America, FDR spoke to the American people time and time again to enlighten them to the danger the Axis powers were to us, and to explain that the two oceans would no longer be enough to keep the war from reaching us. FDR thought up the Lend-Lease program to help the battered Brits and Russians survive by enabling them to have access to the weapons they needed to fight back against the Nazis — and give us needed time to build up our military and industrial might. And then he explained to the American people in easy-to-understand language his reasons for aiding the Brits and Russians. FDR brought the American people around to this understanding and agreement; he didn’t just trust to luck — he trusted the American people to be able to deal with reality if they were given the facts of what we were up against.
FDR did not lie down and whine — as Obama does — that we were “outnumbered” by the enemy, he used the power and bully pulpit of the presidency to bring the American people to understand the reality of World War II.
Great post, Tamer and so revealing. I have this picture in my mind of an aide running around the oval office with a cattle prod and I am kind of enjoying it.
On a serious note, I think you should copyright “Bo Must Go”.
Funny image. Mine is more of a junkie whose given a quick shot to get moving in the morning. Obama is about as alert as a junkie waiting for his next fix — space out and waiting for that next party.
yes grab “bo must go”!!!
Agreed from day 1 that B0 must go.
Still wondering why Clinton supported that horrendous extension of Bush cuts. I don’t see this helping Hillary unless she plans to come out against it.