President Obama Just Can't Catch A Break

Erika Johnsen
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Posted: Aug 11, 2011 10:54 AM

Not that he deserves one, not even in the slightest. The flak for a job poorly done is coming at him from all sides, and very befittingly so. In an opinion piece published in the WSJ this morning, Karl Rove chided the One for his weak handling of what may have amounted to his worst week ever:

Every president faces bad news. Not every one becomes smaller and weaker as he does. Character makes itself known in moments of hardship.

Americans respect presidents who are strong leaders, decisive and credible. In recent months, Mr. Obama hasn't shown strength.

Some of this comes from his compulsive need to blame others. For example, in response to the unprecedented downgrading, his administration lashed out at Standard & Poor's and the tea party movement. Implying—as he did in remarks to veterans at the Washington Navy Yard last week—that the economy's poor performance was related to the Arab Spring and the Japanese tsunami made him look foolish.

Indeed, with the incessant blame-game that tries to pin the sluggish economy on only minor contributing factors, and the incessant iterations of "defense cuts" and "tax hikes on the wealthy" that everyone knows are just political blather and not serous, penetrating solutions, both the President's efforts and intellect are looking increasingly feeble. I can't imagine the President really believes he did himself any favors with the many little lectures/pressers he practically blundered through during the debt ceiling debate, in which he scolded everyone else for not doing their jobs but made himself look like the most condescending, petulant schoolkid of all.

And as Katie reported yesterday, the barrage of slings and arrows under which President Obama currently suffers is coming from the ranks of more than just establishment GOPers like Karl Rove. Liberals' grumbles are growing louder, disappointed with President Obama and even dreaming of what the world would look like now if the more hardcore Hillary Clinton had been ushered in, as Bill McClellan for STLtoday.com poignantly summarizes:

At the time of the primary, the decision seemed easy. I saw in Obama the same qualities Jack Kerouac saw in Dean Moriarty in "On the Road." He was 'something new, long prophesied, long a-coming."

Hillary was not new. She represented the second act of "Billary," and I had tired of that play long before it ended its eight-year run.

So I voted for Obama in the primary and then again in the general election. ...

Obama did not have the fortitude for that. Maybe he was afraid the markets would react negatively if the debt ceiling was not raised. Guess what? The markets crashed anyway.

So here we are almost 2 1/2 years into his presidency. We're still in Iraq, still in Afghanistan. The economy is still in the Dumpster. U.S. credit has been downgraded. We've got a half-baked health care reform law that is being challenged. ...

Maybe his background is the reason. He went to a private prep school in Hawaii and then Columbia University, and Harvard for law. These were white-majority schools, to be sure, but also places with educated, enlightened people who were happy to see a black kid succeed. That is, I suspect, a big thing. Nobody ever wanted to see him fail until he became president.

Hillary had been tested. Eight years in the meat grinder. She'd have been a better president.

Yikes. Today's Rasmussen presidential tracking poll reports that Obama is at his lowest approval rating of 2011. I therefore find it kind of bizarre that the President's marketing people can think its a good idea for him to abscond to Martha's Vineyard next week. For someone who's so constantly focused on campaigning, you'd think he'd want to look like he's at least trying to empathize with the common man. Why not do a less-highbrow staycation, as so many Americans sacrifice expensive getways in economic times like these, and take Sasha and Malia to the waterpark for a day? Now that's the American way, especially since the Obama vacation will purportedly cost taxpayers several million dollars.