WASHINGTON -- From the day that Barack Obama wrested the presidential nomination from Hillary Rodham Clinton, his presidency became, according to those who were running his campaign, "inevitable." Even before winning the election, he began assembling a much-vaunted "team of rivals" to guide U.S. foreign and domestic policy. Though his running mate, then-Sen. Joe Biden, predicted, "It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama," and warned that it would be "an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy," we were assured that the Obama administration would be ready on "day one." Apparently, that's not the case.
In the days since the most expensive inaugural in history, the "rivals" have delivered a performance more akin to that of venal, self-serving, steroid-popping Major League Baseball players. Their promise to "focus like a laser" on the economy has produced "stimulus legislation" that even Sen. Charles Schumer describes as "porky." The "bank bailout" briefing proffered this week by tax-dodging Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner was so confusing and short on details that the stock market tanked -- again. That's only what the so-called mainstream media deemed worthy of coverage or comment.
Few of the potentates of the press have even bothered to report on the national security setbacks and missed opportunities that the "ready on day one" crowd has already delivered. Unfortunately for the new administration, few of these reversals can be blamed on their predecessors.
Since becoming president, Mr. Obama repeatedly has pledged a "new era of cooperation" with the rest of the world. Presumably, this means that the U.S. isn't going to play the part of "superpower" anymore. It now appears that there are those who aim to test his sincerity and to do so in ways that are not at all in our national interests.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.