Have you noticed this? Barack Obama seems to be redefining the presidency.
Other presidents have given lots of speeches. Other presidents have done lots of fund-raisers. Other presidents have come up with “presidential” reasons to fly Air Force One into election-year “swing” states at taxpayers’ expense – and all of a sudden a campaign fund-raiser sprouts up nearby.
But that seems to be the totality of this president’s view of the job.
We’ve got a Speaker’s Bureau instead of a White House. We don’t have a president; we’ve got a “brand.” And it’s being spit-polished every day.
How many commencement speeches has he given just this year alone?
Yet, how can you blame him? Commencement speeches are a two-fer: He gets to build the Obama brand while furthering the youth indoctrination his supporters have become famous for.
When might he find time to govern, to help find answers to the challenges the country faces?
Interestingly enough, some Democrats on Capitol Hill are wondering the same thing.
“He doesn’t call. He doesn’t write. He doesn’t drop by for a visit,” left-leaning Politico.com writes about Mr. Obama’s lack of interaction with top members of his own party.
“Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., is trying to cut a deal on the nation’s fiscal crisis, but he can’t recall the last time he talked to the president. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, is in charge of one of Obama’s top priorities — preventing a rate increase on student loans — but he hasn’t talked to the president in months. And Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., is the go-to guy on high gas prices, but the chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee hasn’t spoken to the president much since the previous Congress.”
Of course not! None of these fine gentlemen run colleges where he can be the commencement speaker!
Yet, get this: He’s got the gall to leave a “to do” list for others on the way out of town, and to pre-emptively scold Congress, “I know this is an election year but it’s not an excuse for inaction.”
The results of his lack of leadership speak for themselves: A recent budget resolution based on Mr. Obama’s proposed budget failed 99-0 in the U.S. Senate – marking the second year in a row that the Democrat-led Senate unanimously chucked this president’s financial blueprint for the nation.
More importantly, the economy is teetering on a ridge between recovery and recession, and on Wednesday the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office warned the nation is headed for a “fiscal cliff” unless action is taken in Washington.
If speeches alone were the measure of a president, he’d be on Mount Rushmore.
Don’t be surprised if, when this year is nearing its end and our massive unsettled taxing and spending issues are still unfinished, he takes to the lectern to lambaste Congress for not getting anything done.
Congress is divided politically. But rather than show a bit of leadership and try to rise above that, while lifting others – which a president is uniquely situated to do – Barack Obama is doing nothing and going on tour to complain about the gridlock in order to leverage some political gain from the mess.
“Where’s the president’s plan to tackle our looming debt crisis?” asked Republican House Speaker John Boehner. “Where’s the president’s plan to stop the largest tax increase in American history from occurring on January the first? Where’s the president’s plan to replace these indiscriminate cuts to our military, which will devastate their ability to keep America secure?”
“Mr. Obama has been phoning in his governing responsibilities while focusing his time and attention on getting re-elected,” writes Emily Miller, senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.
We’re not sure this president ever stopped campaigning, but it’s unlikely he will now with the election so close. This year is a wash in Washington, even as conditions deteriorate.
And we have a president who’s trying to wash his hands of all responsibility.