Where's the "judgement that matters?"
Remember the "3 AM Phone Call" ad run by Hillary Clinton during the Democrat presidential primaries in 2008? The Obama campaign responded with it's own 3 AM ad touting Obama's leadership and suggesting that "in a dangerous world, it's judgement that matters."
Well, two years in to the Obama presidency and it looks like the man who voted "present" 129 times in the Illinois State Senate is phoning it in when it comes to managing some of the most challenging crises and political debates of his presidency.
- Libyans are being killed by the thousands. The French are leading on the issue calling the world to action to stop the killing. THE FRENCH!
- In Japan, a mega quake devastated the country followed by the crisis at the Fukuyama nuclear plant.
- Both the U.S. House and Senate are struggling with a spending plan to fund the government and potentially address the debt issue.
On Saturday, the White House issued the President's Weekly Address. It was to honor Women's History Month. Obama didn't deliver it live, he was on the way to the golf course for his 61st round since becoming President. On Monday, as the Libyan rebels were being pushed back and the nuclear crisis in Japan entered a serious phase, Obama was taping a program for ESPN picking his favorites for the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Thursday he meets with the Taoiseach of Ireland to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and then it's off to Brazil for the weekend in Rio de Janeiro.
Even liberals have started to notice Obama's absence in office:
Obama's 'Where's Waldo?' presidencyWhen it comes to resolving Washington's fiscal crisis, one correspondent referred to Obama as the "Spectator in Chief" who dismissed the need for presidential leadership by calling the job "an appropriations task."
By Ruth Marcus
March 2, 1011
For a man who won office talking about change we can believe in, Barack Obama can be a strangely passive president. There are a startling number of occasions in which the president has been missing in action - unwilling, reluctant or late to weigh in on the issue of the moment. He is, too often, more reactive than inspirational, more cautious than forceful.
[T]he dots connect to form an unsettling portrait of a "Where's Waldo?" presidency: You frequently have to squint to find the White House amid the larger landscape.
Where's Obama? No matter how hard you look, sometimes he's impossible to find.
John Podhoretz summed up the situation this way:
This is not a time for leadership; this is the time for leadership.Personally, I'm not all that surprised by Obama's lack of leadership. Remembering that he was the least experienced president ever elected to that office and that nothing in his prior life suggested he had what it takes to manage anything bigger than a labor union protest. Readers may recall when Hillary supporter, Harriet Christian, came out of a meeting of the Democrat National Committee in Washington in May 2008 and hotly declared Obama "an inadequate black male."
So where is Barack Obama?
The moment demands that he rise to the challenge of showing America and the world that he is taking the reins. How leaders act in times of unanticipated crisis, in which they do not have a formulated game plan and must instead navigate in treacherous waters, defines them.
Obama is defining himself in a way that will destroy him.
It is not merely that he isn't rising to the challenge. He is avoiding the challenge. He is Bartleby the President. He would prefer not to.
That "inadequacy" was obvious soon after Obama took office and acted as the inspiration for this original Mike's America video:
The world is literally burning and Obama is playing. We need a President in the White House, not a Spectator in Chief. 2012 can't come soon enough!