Criticism of the Obama administration has reached new highs recently, with several prominent Democrats harshly rebuking the president in a very public manner. Now a new column in the New York Times, hardly a bastion of conservatism, has joined in the chorus of those questioning Obama’s leadership, and their inept handling of a cascade of crises. The Times suggest the administration lacks vision, and that scandals and crises keep mounting because the president’s team doesn’t plan long-term. They are instead more concerned with optics and political theater, and the short-sighted nature of the president’s aides only creates more problems.
This excerpt from the Times piece paints a picture of an administration that is fumbling its way from one disaster to the next, and shows the president’s team is more concerned with appearances and timing than with results: “One day this month, as the nation shuddered with fears of an Ebola outbreak and American warplanes pounded Sunni militants in Syria, President Obama’s national security adviser, Susan E. Rice, invited a group of foreign policy experts to the White House to hear their views of how the administration was performing.
She was peppered with critiques of the president’s Syria and China policies, as well as the White House’s delays in releasing a national security strategy, a congressionally mandated document that sets out foreign policy goals. On that last point, Ms. Rice had a sardonic reply. ‘If we had put it out in February or April or July,” she said, according to two people who were in the room, “it would have been overtaken by events two weeks later, in any one of those months.'”
According to the Times, the president may be close to replacing some members of his cabinet, but one has to ask, is this idea being floated because some members of the administration already have one foot out the door, and President Obama, once again more concerned with optics, wishes to create the appearance that he is in charge and ordered the changes? It is sometimes difficult to tell what is real and what is contrived in what is arguably the most ineffectual, inept administration in American history.
The Times quotes Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who said, “There is an inflection point in every presidency, and this certainly is a logical one, if the president feels he might be better served by some replacements on his team.” Perhaps the entire administration needs to be replaced, no unbiased observer can point to any serious crisis that has been handled effectively by this White House.
The Times also questions Obama’s delegation of authority. Instead of handling serious matters personally, the president passes them to trusted aides, and when it all goes wrong, he is quick to cast blame on others. Can anyone name a single instance when Obama accepted responsibility for his own mistakes?
The Times also has harsh words for Secretary of State John Kerry, and says White House officials often “joke that he is like the astronaut played by Sandra Bullock in the movie ‘Gravity,’ somersaulting through space, untethered from the White House.” This critique of Kerry results from public statements made by the Sec. of State which shows he is clearly “out of sync with the White House.”
But Kerry and Rice aren’t the only members of the administration the Times piece mentions. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and others are among the long list of those who’s leadership and effectiveness are questioned. It seems no one close to the president is safe these days. Is is any wonder that Democrat candidates running in next Tuesday’s midterm elections are running away from President Obama with all due haste?
The full Times article can be found here.