Advice to Coach Obama: There's No Crying in Baseball

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Mar 16, 2009 3:39 PM
http://s.wsj.net/public/resources/images/OB-DE264_obama_G_20090221191417.jpgThe Washington Post's Scott Wilson recently authored a rather interesting column on the fact that President Barack Obama insists on constantly reminding us that George W. Bush was to blame for the recent economic problems.

Now, it's not terribly surprising for a new president to dump on his predecessor's policies -- Bush, after all, talked about the "Clinton recession". But Obama seems to be taking this sort of rhetoric to new levels, using it not only to promote new ideas, but also as a way to blunt legitimate criticism of his own failings.

If this habit has rubbed you the wrong way, it should have.

Even in the world of sports -- where expectations for adult behavior should be lower than in the world of public service -- leaders intuitively know that blaming their predecessors is not an acceptable excuse.

Think about it; what would you have thought if you read in the newspaper that former Yankees manager Joe Torre said: "Don't expect us to win any playoff games this year. I mean, I inherited a team from "Buck" Showalter that hasn't won a pennant in over a decade.

Yankees fans would have rightly been outraged -- and owner George Steinbrenner would have fired Torre in a heartbeat ("I HIRED you to do a job!" -- he would have yelled).

We wouldn't tolerate this sort of behavior from participants in a child's game -- so why are we willing to accept Obama's buck-passing (no pun intended) from our president?

If Obama wants my respect, he'll stop talking about the past and admit his mistakes. If he can't man up, then he doesn't belong in the big leagues ...