I never thought I would find myself wistfully remembering President Clinton and wishing he were still around to inject some heart into the Oval Office (I know, I know, he may have injected some other things as well). However, after listening to President Obama's passionless words in poignant moments over the past ten months, I now yearn to hear the oratory of President Clinton. After Obama's reactions and comments to the Islamic massacre at Ft. Hood, I could only remember the good old days when our president inspired us and spoke passionately after a tragedy like the Oklahoma City bombing. At least when President Clinton spoke, you knew he cared about the people he addressed.
Obama's poor crisis leadership skills revealed themselves in June when Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad murdered Private William Long outside a military recruiting center in Little Rock. Two full days passed without even a word from the president. Finally, President Obama issued a terse statement of “sadness” and never mentioned the incident again. Quite a contrast to his swift, strongly worded response and his statement of “shock” and “outrage” at the “heinous” murder of abortion doctor, George Tiller, just days before in Wichita, Kansas.
In August, at the funeral for Sen. Ted Kennedy, again President Obama's coldness and aloofness raised red flags. Others, like Peggy Noonan, have also noted Obama's cold distance as he arrived, nodded, shook hands and spoke to the family and friends of the Kennedys. In watching the funeral, I was struck by how the president could simultaneously be so completely appropriate and so emotionally vacant. He was polite to be sure, but exhibited a total absence of warmth.
Last week, in his remarks via telecast, at the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, President Obama recognized no other presidents before himself and also failed to mention either Margaret Thatcher or Pope John Paul II . Worse still, he failed even to utter the words “communism,” or the “Soviet Union,” or “Russia.” A major moment arrives, the president speaks, and he whiffs entirely. He exhibits no knowledge of history, no sense of poignancy or America's contribution to the world, and no passion for the freedoms that arrived with the fall of the wall. An utterly cold and vacuous moment.