Losing his grip

Rising number of political brush fires spell trouble for the Obama presidency

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He’s still got a few months to pull it together. But by nearly every measurement, the Obama presidency is unraveling.

When our heretofore unheard-of Commerce Secretary John Bryson was cited over last weekend for ramming several cars with his own in separate accidents in California, Mr. Obama’s press secretary did everything he could to dodge questions about it.

“This White House has too many other pileups to deal with,” wrote liberal Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank.

“Job growth has stalled, the Democrats have been humiliated in Wisconsin, the attorney general is facing a contempt-of-Congress citation, talks with Pakistan have broken down, Bill Clinton is contradicting Obama, Mitt Romney is outraising him, Democrats and Republicans alike are complaining about a ‘cascade’ of national-security leaks from his administration, and he is now on record as saying that the ‘private sector is doing fine.’

“Could it get any worse?”

Maybe.

Heat was dialed up in Congress this past week for that embattled Attorney General Eric Holder to resign over his abject failure to assist in getting to the bottom of the disgraceful “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal. Someone in Holder’s bailiwick authorized U.S. agents to purposely allow high-powered guns to get into the hands of mega-dangerous Mexican drug cartels. Hundreds were shot with them, including U.S. Border

Patrol agent Brian A. Terry, who was slain.

“One year ago today,” CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson reported late last year, “Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry was gunned down in Arizona near the Mexican border by illegal immigrants armed with weapons from the now-infamous ATF ‘Fast and Furious’ gunwalking operation.”

It’s a scandal, pure and simple. But Holder’s handling of it has become another one. You would think an attorney general would be the first person to want to get to the bottom of a case in which his own agency’s bungling led to the death of one of his agents. But Holder has obstructed Congress at nearly every turn, and faces a possible contempt-of-Congress vote later this week.

“I would say that you leave me no alternative but to join those that call upon you to resign your office,” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, told him last week.

Then there are the eye-popping, broad-based leaks of national security information – about the Osama bin Laden raid and, more recently, a New York Times story detailing Obama’s personal involvement in a secret “kill” list of terror suspects. The leaks have also exposed a U.S. double agent in Yemen and U.S. “cyber” tactics against Iran.

The leaks, folks on both sides of the aisle agree, seem calculated only to puff up Mr. Obama’s image.

“A really disturbing aspect of this,” says Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., “is that one could draw the conclusion from reading these articles that it is an attempt to further the president’s political ambitions for the sake of his re-election at the expense of our national security.”

This is a wholly bipartisan concern. Democrats and Republicans joined each other on Capitol Hill to demand accountability for the leaks.

“What we’re seeing ... is an Anschluss, an avalanche of leaks,” Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said on CNN. “And it’s very, very disturbing. It’s dismayed our allies. It puts American lives in jeopardy. It puts our nation’s security in jeopardy.”

When a Democratic president has Dianne Feinstein nipping at his heels, he knows he’s in big trouble.

Holder has tried to call off the dogs by appointing two of his U.S. attorneys to investigate the leaks. Such a probe, by political appointees under Holder, won’t have much credibility, and some have called for a special counsel to investigate – which you can bet the Obama camp would love to put off until after the November election.

One thing the administration can’t put off, which may make the president’s summer even worse: The U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule on “Obamacare” and the administration’s challenge to the Arizona illegal immigration law. Both rulings have the capacity to further embarrass the president – particularly if the health care law, his chief legislative triumph, is rolled back.

For now, the intelligence leaks simply make the administration look desperate, cheap and pathetic – even to committed liberals.

“What is remarkable about the recent leaks is the coincidence,” writes the Washington Post’s Richard Cohen “... that (the leaks) all made the president look good, heroic, decisive, strong and even a touch cruel ...

“The leakers set out to blow a mighty trumpet for Obama. It came out, however, like a shrill penny whistle.”

One of the few unscripted moments of his three years in office – and you can now see why there aren’t many of them – came recently in a rare press conference in which he oddly and wrongly put forth that “the private sector is doing fine.” It will likely go down as one of the great verbal blunders in presidential history.

Ironically, the only thing the first president with his own logo may have left when it’s over is what he started with: his brand.

What is his brand? It’s hope and change. It’s fighting for the little guy. It’s a new American humility in foreign affairs in which we “lead from behind” in the world. So how’s he doing on those counts? He has abandoned “hope and change” for bitter partisan attacks; no one has suffered more under him than the little guy; and American preeminence in the world is at greater risk than at anytime since World War II.

But more than anything, the Obama brand is about the hip aura that made “Obama girl” swoon in Internet videos – the aura that says “Hey, relax. I got this.”

There can be little doubt at this point that he doesn’t.

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BloodySunday
77
Points
BloodySunday 06/16/12 - 11:31 pm
6
13
In this election, we face a choice between two fundamentally

different visions of how to grow the economy. The path Mitt Romney and his Republican allies want to take us down is exactly the one that led us to the 2008 crisis. We have to reject those policies and embrace the President's vision of growing the economy, not from the top down,but from the middle class out.

constituent
164
Points
constituent 06/16/12 - 11:42 pm
4
6
Congressional House power

Congressional House power shift could happen after 2012 election.

Riverman1
87157
Points
Riverman1 06/16/12 - 11:44 pm
13
4
Just to prove he really

Just to prove he really doesn't get it after his "private sector is doing fine" remark, he wants to increase government jobs. Someone please sit him down and teach him how capitalism works. He can look at Greece to see what happens when you go the other way.

specsta
6610
Points
specsta 06/17/12 - 01:15 am
7
15
Oh, Augusta Chronicle

Oh, Augusta Chronicle editorial staff - please stop hating on our President. He is not perfect, but he's the best choice for the future of this country.

Look at the mess he inherited from GW Bush - a mess of astronomical proportions. And he has spent the last 3 years cleaning up that mess - with no help from Republicans. As a matter of fact, the Republicans hate him so much, they are willing to see America sink like a ship, just to prove how much they hate him. They disrespect him, refuse to work with Obama on key issues, and undermine good legislation that will benefit all Americans.

The day I see the Chronicle supporting our President's decisions and not berating him, is the day it will snow in July.

debbiep38
428
Points
debbiep38 06/17/12 - 01:24 am
0
0
Never been to Canada eh,
Unpublished

Never been to Canada eh, Specsta?

debbiep38
428
Points
debbiep38 06/17/12 - 01:33 am
0
0
Nice try, Specsta. Where's RA
Unpublished

Nice try, Specsta. Where's RA to help you spin this one. Mean ole facts.

debbiep38
428
Points
debbiep38 06/17/12 - 01:35 am
0
0
Benefit "all" Americans?
Unpublished

Benefit "all" Americans?

debbiep38
428
Points
debbiep38 06/17/12 - 01:38 am
0
0
RA, I would love to have some
Unpublished

RA, I would love to have some of that medication you keep forgetting to take and some of that stuff Specsta's been smoking.

debbiep38
428
Points
debbiep38 06/17/12 - 01:38 am
0
0
RA, I would love to have some
Unpublished

RA, I would love to have some of that medication you keep forgetting to take and some of that stuff Specsta's been smoking.

debbiep38
428
Points
debbiep38 06/17/12 - 01:40 am
0
0
Sorry for the double post, I
Unpublished

Sorry for the double post, I forgot to close one eye.

owensjef3
5639
Points
owensjef3 06/17/12 - 01:57 am
5
12
"Look at the mess he
Unpublished

"Look at the mess he inherited from GW Bush - a mess of astronomical proportions" specsta this editorial board did not write one thing neagative about that mess, I guess they did not notice.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 06/17/12 - 02:16 am
8
13
On this, the 40th anniversary

On this, the 40th anniversary of the Watergate scandal, I thought we might get an editorial of an example of real executive malfeasance. Instead, it's just the usual bash Obama day where they throw as much mud as they can and hope some of it sticks. Alas, the Chronicle has become a one trick pony.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 06/17/12 - 02:20 am
6
13
You seem to have neglected

You seem to have neglected Holder's reponse to Cornyn:

“With all due respect, senator, there is so much that is factually wrong with the premises that you started your statement with, it’s almost breathtaking in its inaccuracy.”

“If you want to talk about Fast and Furious, I’m the attorney general that put an end to the misguided tactics that were used in Fast and Furious. An attorney general whom I suppose you would hold in higher regard was briefed on these kinds of tactics in an operation called ‘Wide Receiver’ and did nothing to stop them. Nothing. Three hundred guns, at least, ‘walked’ in that instance.

“I’m also the attorney general who called on an inspector general to look into this matter, to investigate this matter. I’m also the attorney general who made personnel changes at ATF and in the U.S. Attorneys office that was involved, have overseen the changes of processes and procedures within ATF to make sure that this doesn’t happen ever again.

“So I don’t have any intention of resigning.”

“I am willing to sit down and talk about the provision of more materials. I have sent letters in that regard, the deputy attorney general has sent letters in that regard, and have not had responses. Which leads me to believe that the desire here is not for an accommodation but for a political point-making.”

harley_52
23959
Points
harley_52 06/17/12 - 03:36 am
11
6
"Someone please sit him down

"Someone please sit him down and teach him how capitalism works. "

I think he already knows. He's not interested in capitalism. He made it quite clear in 2008, but we elected him anyway. He wants to "fundamentally change" America and capitalism isn't part of the plan.

That's why he's doing his damnedest to destroy it.

We've got to pay attention to what he DOES, not what he SAYS.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 06/17/12 - 04:08 am
5
11
10/2/2003-"The White House,

10/2/2003-"The White House, which denies any role in the leak, has also ordered a full investigation; and the guilty party, or parties, sent to jail. But that's not enough for the anti-Bush crowd. Led by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., they want a special counsel to be appointed to conduct an "independent" investigation. The assumption is that the Bush administration can't be trusted - that the Justice Department, the White House, the FBI are all too corrupt to conduct an honest probe.
There's just no evidence of that. Careerists in Justice and the FBI can be just as thorough and independent as any outside counsel, and they're more experienced, too."

Does the AC have a double standard depending on the Adminitration?
You betcha.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 06/17/12 - 04:13 am
4
13
Since when is having

Since when is having government workers, ie. cops, firemen, teachers, administrators, folks who work at the DMV, etc. antithetical to capitalism?

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 06/17/12 - 04:15 am
4
10
It appears John Bryson had a

It appears John Bryson had a seizure. Way to go piling on the sick AC. Are kids and the elderly next?

desertcat6
1140
Points
desertcat6 06/17/12 - 04:37 am
14
1
Thou protest too much, and

Thou protest too much, and divert rather than address substance by trying to force others to be on the defensive. President Obama sinks or swims on the basis of his performance, his platform/promises, his public image/persona and his ability to lead America through war, crisis or calm which includes concensus building, compromising, and dealing with both houses of Congress, our allies and others.

copperhead
1035
Points
copperhead 06/17/12 - 05:42 am
7
8
Techfan,is the private sector

Techfan,is the private sector "doing just fine"?

Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 06/17/12 - 06:00 am
4
9
Techfan, I'm sure our

Techfan, I'm sure our illustrious AACOS wouldn't do anything such as disable your link to the 2003 editorial that you posted. They are simply not that duplicitous. We ALL know that to be a fact, don't we?

copperhead
1035
Points
copperhead 06/17/12 - 06:08 am
11
6
There is something wrong when

There is something wrong when an American president needs the mexican vote to help his chances of re-election!

copperhead
1035
Points
copperhead 06/17/12 - 06:30 am
10
6
Apparently,hussein thinks he

Apparently,hussein thinks he needs the mexican vote to be the American president for four more years! As far as holder,if i were to ever commit a serious crime,i would want to appoint someone that owed me many favors to investigate the alledged crime.

Riverman1
87157
Points
Riverman1 06/17/12 - 07:06 am
9
2
Dick Armitage admitted he inadvertently outed Valerie Plame

Dick Armitage admitted he inadvertently outed Valerie Plame, to be accurate. They went ahead with the special prosecutor in any case. Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor, had asked Armitage not to reveal his role.

copperhead
1035
Points
copperhead 06/17/12 - 07:35 am
9
5
It's one thing to

It's one thing to inadvertently let a secret out and quite another to leak top secret info for political reasons.

Riverman1
87157
Points
Riverman1 06/17/12 - 08:21 am
9
3
Copperhead, exactly!

Copperhead, exactly!

Riverman1
87157
Points
Riverman1 06/17/12 - 08:23 am
10
4
Nixon no doubt broke the law,

Nixon no doubt broke the law, but if you don't think Kennedy and LBJ did even worse things you are naive.

CobaltGeorge
165065
Points
CobaltGeorge 06/17/12 - 08:44 am
8
4
Geez..Back To The Bush Deal Again!

This so call president has done nothing in 3 1/2 years to correct any of the Bush bad situation, instead he has made it a 100 times worst, but still cries "It's Bush Fault". I wish I could use that excuse when I do something wrong.

Conservative Man
5577
Points
Conservative Man 06/17/12 - 08:46 am
7
4
No doubt about it!

Obama isn't losing grip. To say he's losing grip indicates he once had a grip. I submit he's never had a grip nor a clue!
Him and his "ivory tower academics" on the faculty staff have longed for having the reigns of power to implement their Keynesian theories of government and economics...
Well they've had that power for over three years now....How's that working out for us?
They are beginning to learn the truth that their "theories" have never and will not work in practice.....And in the meantime we regular Americans are paying the price...After Nov 6th, I'll gladly be able to say good riddance to bad rubbish.....

Granddaddy John
101
Points
Granddaddy John 06/17/12 - 08:51 am
0
0
Techfan,Please pull your head
Unpublished

Techfan,Please pull your head out of your hello.the man is a complete failure in every way possible.He is the joke of the world.You poor blind government sheep.

CobaltGeorge
165065
Points
CobaltGeorge 06/17/12 - 08:52 am
6
4
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/15/obama-immigration-order

"Obama Administration To Stop Deporting Younger Undocumented Immigrants And Grant Work Permits"

How can any intelligent True American support such an action. This is beyond words.

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