Podhoretz: Obama's "My Pet Goat" Month

Posted: Mar 16, 2011 10:46 AM
Absolutely withering analysis from Commentary's John Podhoretz:

It’s hard to overstate how poorly Barack Obama is doing in the face of these crises — and I don’t even mean how he’s doing substantively, which is a scandal in itself. I mean how he’s doing politically. Recall how much hay Michael Moore made of the fact that George W. Bush read My Pet Goat for nine minutes in that Florida classroom on 9/11 after being informed that the first plane had struck.

We’re going on four weeks now, or more, that Barack Obama has been reading My Pet Goat.

He is largely notable by his absence, which is itself the result not only of not knowing what to do but also apparently believing it is better for the world if he remains a minor player as a bloodbath approaches in the Middle East and something more ominous seems to be approaching in Japan. When he talks, as he did in Friday’s press conference, he only makes matters more confusing; there is little reassurance that there is a hand anywhere near the tiller.

Podhoretz isn't the only commentator who's noticed the president's studied aloofness on major international and domestic crises.  Jim Geraghty, Time, David Brooks, the Associated Press, Michael Barone, and Politico have all picked up on the same theme, offering varying degrees of criticism. 

Even on the crucial issues Obama deigns to confront head-on, he's treading tepidly:

March Madness is back at the White House, and President Barack Obama is picking the top seeds to advance to the Final Four.

For the third straight year, Obama has filled out an NCAA tournament bracket for ESPN. He says Duke, Kansas, Ohio State and Pittsburgh will make the men's Final Four.