Obama Bests Carter as Worst Leader

Monday, 28 Jul 2014 09:50 AM

By Bradley Blakeman

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President Obama has more in common with President Carter than he does with any other modern day American chief executive.

Maureen Dowd back in 2011 quoted two Democrat U.S. senators in this regard: “The president veers between talking like a peevish professor and a scolding parent.” Another moaned: “We are watching him turn into Jimmy Carter right before our eyes.”

Management Style: Carter was ineffective. He was seen as a micromanager who even had to decide who was allowed to play on the White House tennis court.

Obama is also ineffective. He is the ultimate delegator. He prefers to subcontract presidential leadership to Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi on legislation and Vice President Joe Biden on spending and the economy while leaving foreign affairs to the secretary of state.

As of late, Obama refuses to be hands-on while numerous crisis swirls around him. While in Texas he refused to go to the border of Mexico where tens of thousands of migrant children from Central America have flooded into our country.

He continues an aggressive fundraising schedule as his secretary of state is shuttling around the Middle East trying to cobble together a cease-fire between Israeli and Hamas hostility. And, in the immediate aftermath of Russian rebels in the Ukraine downing a civilian aircraft, which killed an American — he golfs.

During his presidency, Carter was consumed by this crisis and in the end was powerless to end it.

Iran: Carter was paralyzed by the Iranian hostage crisis where 52 Americans were held against their will for 444 days from Nov. 4, 1979 to Jan. 20, 1981 (the day Ronald Reagan was sworn in as president).

Obama ran on a platform of apology to foreign enemy powers for past American “aggression” and pledged to usher in a new approach toward Iran that would bring better relations between the U.S. and Iran.

President Obama has failed to bring Iran around and in fact Iran is much closer to obtaining a nuclear weapon today than it was on Jan. 20, 2009 — the day Obama took office.

Iran continues to crack down on its people and is accelerating plans to build nuclear weapons. They also continue to arm rebels in Iraq, Syria, and other Middle East hot spots, all in an effort to destabilize the region.

Energy: In 1979 America faced an oil crisis in the aftermath of the Iranian Revolution. OPEC reduced production, and as a result, oil prices shot through the roof and supply was severely curtailed.

Carter, instead of taking on OPEC and demanding increased production, imposed rationing on gasoline and home heating oil and placed tariffs on imported oil.

America literally ran out of gas and what gas that could be purchased was at outrageous prices. Meanwhile, in the aftermath of a sluggish response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama administration ceased drilling in the Gulf and set in place a moratorium on new offshore drilling.

In addition, the Obama administration has dragged its feet on the XL Pipeline, which could have made a difference in our dependence on countries who are not friendly towards us.This action is being taken despite America’s dependency on foreign oil and gas prices that have risen over 120 percent since Obama took office.

Public Opinion: At the time of his re-election bid, Carter’s approval ratings had fallen below 30 percent and a majority of Americans felt that America was on the wrong track. Today, Obama’s approval rating hovers around 42 percent, and a majority of Americans believe we are on the wrong track.

The hallmark of the Carter years was the word “malaise.” Malaise is defined as “a feeling of uneasiness, indisposition, and distress.” All these symptoms plagued Carter and we can clearly see them again with Obama along with some new ones.

President Obama has governed at a time of high unemployment, low GDP, rising inflation for consumer goods, falling housing prices, a stalled housing market, record levels of home foreclosures and bankruptcies, high gas prices, three wars, and government spending too much while taking in too little.

If  malaise defined the Carter years, perhaps the word  funk would be an apt description of the Obama years thus far.


Bradley A. Blakeman served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001-04. He is currently a professor of politics and public policy at Georgetown University and a frequent contributor to Fox News Opinion. Read more reports from Bradley Blakeman —
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