I know, I know, that was uncalled for, but I couldn’t resist.
In the 1980 Presidential Election Jimmy Carter asked his daughter, Amy, what the most important issue in the election was, and Amy said it was by far “nuclear arms.” The economy was in the tank, the Iranian hotage crises was ongoing, and we had the leader of the free world consulting his daughter for advice.
All together now—Aw, how cute!
Reagan won in a landslide and since that time wise presidents have steered clear of injecting their children into their political dialog with the press. … Until last week.
Last Thursday, 30 years after the now historic Amy Summit, we were informed that Barack Obama – progenitor of the first Beer Summit - is all over this oil spill thing in the Gulf and that Malia and Sasha are in the White House to make darned sure of it.
Progress at last!
According to my POTUS Tracker at the Washington Post the President was off Friday. The POTUS Tracker maybe broken but I shook it and it still won’t give me Barry’s schedule. Nope, the Boss (no disrespect to Springsteen) was off.
Finally the answer to why it took the President nine days to recognize a potentially cataclysmic disaster was ongoing in the Gulf of Mexico: he was thinking about vacation. Wait a minute, that was another vacation. Oh well.
Really one has to understand the President’s urgency to get a few days on the links in Chicago, have dinner with old buddy Louis Farrakhan, and maybe drop by the Trinity United Church of Christ for a good old-fashioned race-baiting sermon. I figure Barack deserves a day off after that grueling presser Thursday. I mean, in the last 309 days he has held a grand total of two, count ‘em, two press conferences. Whew! All that heavy lifting.
And there isn’t much doing in Washington anyway. The spill is pretty much taking care of itself, and Joe Sestek, well, Bill Clinton has that under control. Right, Rahm? Bill does have it under control, right?
Barack Obama did not create the disaster on the Gulf, and, some would say, he is powerless to staunch the tide of crude washing into coast. The later is debatable but what is not in dispute is the President’s complete lack of the perception of leadership in the face of disaster.
It took Obama nine days to even acknowledge the blowout on the Coast and 39 days to address the nation on what progress, if any, the administration has made in stemming the worst of the catastrophe. It took him those same nine days to extend his condolences to the families of the BP employees that died in the explosion.
What is missing in this President is thoughtfulness, that and a seeming lack of maturity.
We have seen it from the beginning of his presidency: He twice made thoughtless comments about Las Vegas, which resulted in millions of dollars in convention cancelations to the hotels there; he was thoughtlessly unreachable for four days after the Christmas Day bombing attempt; and he thoughtlessly blamed the Cambridge police, not knowing facts or details, when they arrested his Harvard friend. The President’s first term of office has been riddled by such incidents. Ask Binyamin Netanyahu who the President thoughtlessly left to twiddle his thumbs while he went to dinner with Michelle and the kids.
Mr. President, it is your responsibility to be presidential, it is your responsibility to be thoughtful enough to keep the public that elected you informed; it is your responsibility to remind yourself of the oil spill in the Gulf every morning, not Malia and Sasha’s.