One of the weaknesses of Obama has really come to light with the BP oil spill. He doesn’t know how to lead. He is merely a politician, one who can say a lot to lead the simpletons into believing he is in control, but when it really comes to action, he is worthless.
When this BP oil crisis began, I first thought that Obama just did not care. He was merely going to use the oil spill to raise taxes and the price of gasoline. Remember, during the campaign he complained about the fact that gas prices went up too quickly. He wanted them to go up, just not so quickly that people realized it and complained about it. He wants high gas prices, but he wants to bring it about in such a way that no one will complain. Good luck with that.
What is sad is that his response shows something far worse than apathy. It shows his incompetence. He is incapable of leading on this issue. This leads us back to those days during the campaign when there were warnings about the reality that he has never done anything in his life, other than learn Chicago-style politics. He has never run a business, never accomplished anything of note. All he knows how to do is assess blame and point the finger. That is fine if you are a talk-show host, or even a blogger. It’s catastrophic if you are the president of the United States. The most he has done of note concerning the oil spill is say that he wants to meet with BP officials so he will know who’s ass to kick. How absolutely brilliant! Just what we need, the mentality of a someone in the high school club for pantie-wearing men. Instead of being angry at terrorists and those who threaten our safety, he is going to get mad at the only people who have actually tried to stop the oil spill in the first place: BP officials.
Please do not misunderstand me. I’m not trying to give the BP officials a pass here. The bear the full weight of responsibility in this oil spill, along with the environmentalists. But the BP officials are also the only ones working to remedy the situation. All Obama has done is point the finger… again.
I really like what Mitt Romney has had to say about this situation:
Has it come to this again? The president is meeting with his oil spill experts, he crudely tells us, so that he knows “whose ass to kick.” We have become accustomed to his management style — target a scapegoat, assign blame and go on the attack. To win health care legislation, he vilified insurance executives; to escape bankruptcy law for General Motors, he demonized senior lenders; to take the focus from the excesses of government, he castigated business meetings in Las Vegas; and to deflect responsibility for the deepening and lengthening downturn, he blames Wall Street and George W. Bush. But what may make good politics does not make good leadership. And when a crisis is upon us, America wants a leader, not a politician.
We saw leadership on Sept. 11, 2001. Then as now, black billows seemed to come from the center of the earth. Lives had been lost. The environmental impact was immeasurable. The looming economic impact from lost tourism was incalculable. Into the crisis walked Rudy Giuliani. While that was an incomparable human tragedy, how the mayor led New York City to recover is a useful model for the president.
Rudy camped out at Ground Zero — he didn’t hole up in his office or retreat to his residence. His presence not only reassured the people of New York that someone was in charge, it also enabled the mayor to assess the situation firsthand, to take the measure of the people he had on the ground, and to understand the scope of the crisis.
The president has many critical matters that demand his attention, but brief and tardy tours and being photographed with a smudge of oil on a sandy beach don’t work on any level. There is no substitute for being there.
Romney is a true leader, along with Guiliani. I would prefer either one of those men to Obama any day. Romney continues:
The president must personally lead the effort to solve the crisis. He cannot delegate this quintessential responsibility of his presidency in the way he delegated the stimulus bill, the cap-and-trade bill and the health care bill. It may be an instance of learning on the job, but it is a job only he can do.
The first rule of turnarounds is to focus time, energy and resources on what matters most. The president simply cannot treat this crisis like another of his many problems. The oil disaster could hurt millions of families, slam the regional economy, kill untold numbers of non-human lives and irreparably damage the planet. Among other things, he must not hold more rock concerts at the White House — I understand James Carville‘s venting: His hero fiddled as oil churned.
Finding fault is easier than finding answers. And worse, it paralyzes many of the very people who may be needed to solve a crisis. When Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast states, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco went on the attack; Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour went to work. His state’s recovery is textbook; hers is not.
President Obama’s instigation of criminal investigations of BP at this juncture is classic diversion politics — and worse, it will engender bunker mentality at a time when collaboration and openness are most critical. BP’s actions and inactions are reprehensible; it must be made to pay the billions upon billions of dollars that this spill will ultimately cost. But call out the phalanx of lawyers later — solve the crisis today.
The president can learn a good deal from the crisis leadership of men and women in government and in business. Giuliani is a notable example, but so too are Washington, Adams, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Reagan and Kennedy. In a time of national crisis, we look to our president to acknowledge, as Harry Truman did, that it is at his desk where the buck stops.
And even at Day 52, it’s better late than never.
It would be great if Obama actually realized he needs some OJT. But I fear his pride will not let him learn from others. That would mean that he would have to admit he is not King Canute, who declared that since his anointing, the planet would begin to heal and the seas would quit rising. There are times when you need help, and now is one of those times for Obama.
Another good column to read on this is Jonah Goldberg’s over at Townhall.com. Here is a sampling:
By now you’ve heard what he told NBC’s Matt Lauer. “I don’t sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar,” Obama told Lauer. “We talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick, right?”
A creature of elite universities with a progressive’s love of technocrats, Obama is most comfortable leading colloquia of perfect-SAT-score propeller heads.
He once explained to an interviewer: “I would have loved nothing better than to simply come up with some very elegant, academically approved approach to health care. … But that’s not how it works in our democracy. Unfortunately, what we end up having to do is to do a lot of negotiations with a lot of different people.”
Ah yes, damnable democracy, if only we could get that out of the way, we could really get things done. Where have I heard those arguments before? But I digress.
OK, one more update. I found this at Wintery Knight.