Mar 16 2011
I am, like a rapidly growing number of Americans, horrified by how incompetent and crass our young President is looking in the face of the historic natural tragedies unfolding in Japan. His first press conference on the matter this past weekend was terrible. He spent a few brief minutes spewing canned ‘concerns’ and then spent most of an hour talking gasoline and oil. Finally he awkwardly called on a Japanese reporter (in a lame effort at stagecraft) who asked him a softball question he still flubbed. I was hoping that was just a bad moment in a tough day, but since then President Obama has simply been stunningly detached and lost.
Many of us have experienced this jolting disgust with our leader. For example, this was in the Politico today:
With Japan’s nuclear crisis teetering on the verge of catastrophe, with Libya and Bahrain in violent turmoil, and with financial markets crashing in response, President Barack Obama has been adamantly sticking to his own political and policy playbook.
That has meant muscling past the red-siren headlines to hammer away at the jobs-and-education message that will be the centerpiece of his 2012 campaign, the kind of discipline that is a hallmark of his new senior adviser, David Plouffe.
And it also meant refusing to scrap a five-day trip to Latin America on Friday that will take him to sun-dappled Rio de Janeiro, among other places, rather than staying home to focus on the increasingly disastrous international news confronting his crisis-weary White House.
Is this discipline or fear based avoidance? Is this a strength, or a blaring warning sign that our incompetent-in-chief cannot act beyond his zone of self absorption? There are tens of thousands of people dead, millions without the basic necessities of shelter, food and water, and the triple whammy of earthquakes, tsunamis and nuclear reactor meltdowns – while a totally oblivious President Obama is golfing and making is final four picks.
Our president is AWOL at a moment of historic human devastation and suffering. His coolness has transformed from a level head into a person frozen in place by the sudden gap that has appeared between his skills and his responsibilities. I don’t think I have ever been so embarrassed by a national leader as I am right now. A massive humanitarian disaster is playing out and our President is taping his final four picks for ESPN.
You could never script such a monumental blunder as this.