It’s one thing to be offensive.
It’s yet another thing to be offensive, and to be clueless about it.
And President Barack Obama seems to be landing in the “another thing” category these days.
It has been quite well established that August was a bad month for the President, himself, as well as for his legislative agenda. Today he clearly needs to do some repair work with the American people, so as to prevent further free-fall of his approval ratings, and perhaps more importantly, to prevent further decline in the level of “trust” with which Americans view him.
So what has the President chosen to do, in an attempt to regain our trust? Well, for one, he’ll be delivering a primetime, televised address next week, to Congress, and to the nation, about his nationalized healthcare plans.
Perhaps he’ll be able to use this speech to reset the national debate over the subject. But he runs the risk of reminding many Americans why they began to distrust him in the first place – it was, after all, President Obama himself who spent several years before becoming President, traveling the country and lecturing about his vision for a “single payer,” government-run health insurance system. And now we’ve watched as President Obama, realizing just how wildly unpopular his ideas are, has changed his position on the “single payer” approach, all within the last few weeks.
In many ways he seems surprised that some Americans are uncomfortable with his shift on this all-important issue, or perhaps by the fact that anybody would question him. No matter, the President may be able to use the speech to persuade Americans to think differently about him, and his agenda for healthcare. Then again, he might make matters worse.
But notice what else the President has sought to do, as a matter of regaining people’s trust. On Tuesday, the day before his address on nationalized healthcare, he is scheduled to do a televised address to students in American schools, the goal being to inspire kids to stay in school and to do well.
That sounds like a simple enough, worthwhile message for any U.S. President to articulate to American kids. Yet in what may have been a straightforward, well-intentioned effort to communicate an important message, The President has touched-off yet another trust-reducing controversy, and, again, seems caught off-guard by the uproar. How could this possibly be?
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.