Blakeman: Obama is President Carter 2.0

Tuesday, 04 Sep 2012 10:24 PM

By Bradley Blakeman

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Bradley A. Blakeman’s Perspective: The DNC Convention is going to be a walk down memory lane with Obama desperately showcasing Bill Clinton on Wednesday night thereby bumping Vice President Biden to Thursday night.

Dems are even allowing Jimmy Carter to speak, why I do not know. Carter is widely regarded as one of the worst most incompetent presidents in the history of the country.

Bill Clinton to this day is liked and respected in America as Newsmax’ reported on July 31st: “Clinton is viewed favorably by 66 percent of Americans, tying his highest rating recorded in January 1993, Gallup found,” according to the report.

“Clinton is viewed favorably by men, women, whites, and nonwhites, and across all major age groups, Gallup noted. He also has wide support among independents and, while Republicans are not onboard the Clinton bandwagon, they narrowly missed it. Republicans view the former president more unfavorably than favorably by a 50 percent to 44 percent margin.”

Unlike Clinton, Carter is not highly regarded by Americans. The Blaze reported in September of 2011 that Carter scored a favorable rating of 45 percent and unfavorable of 43 percent. He ranked sixth out of the last nine presidents.

But are people more likely to compare Obama to Clinton or Carter?

I suggest Obama is Carter 2.0 and here is why.

The evidence is mounting more than ever to suggest that President Obama is morphing into failed Democratic President Jimmy Carter.

Dour New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd made the comparison on July 30, 2011. This is some of what she said:

"Democratic lawmakers worry that the tea party freshmen have already 'neutered' the president,’ as one told me. They fret that Obama is an inept negotiator. They worry that he should have been out in the country selling a concrete plan, rather than once more kowtowing to Republicans and, as with the stimulus plan, healthcare and Libya leading from behind.

"As one Democratic senator complained: '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.'"

Dowd who once loved Obama is now souring on her liberal media-created sensation and now she believes that the comparison of Obama to Carter is a valid one.

So what are the valid comparisons between the presidencies of Obama and Carter that allow for even a Democratic senator to see it?

Management Style

Carter: Ineffective. He was seen as a micro-manager who even had to decide who was allowed to play on the White House tennis court.
Obama: Ineffective. He is the ultimate delegator who likes being president but doesn't like the work. He’d rather subcontract presidential leadership to Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi on healthcare, the vice president on spending and the economy, and Hillary Clinton on foreign affairs.

Iranian Hostages

Carter: He 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). During his presidency Carter was consumed by the crisis and in the end was powerless to end it.

Obama: He 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, two American hikers were held hostage for over a year and a half by the Iranian government before the Obama administration allowed money to be paid as “bail” for their release, according to reports.

Iran continues to crack down on its people and is accelerating plans to build nuclear weapons. The country's leadership also continues to arm rebels in Iraq, Syria, and other Middle East hot spots and destabilize the region.

Energy Crisis

Carter: In 1979 America faced an oil crisis in the aftermath of the Iranian revolution. OPEC reduced production and oil prices shot through the roof while supply was severely curtailed.

Instead of taking on OPEC and demanding increased production, Carter imposed rationing on gasoline and home heating oil. He placed tariffs on imported oil. America literally ran out of gas and what gas could be purchased cost outrageous prices.

Obama: In the aftermath of his 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. This action was being taken despite America's dependency on foreign oil. Gas prices have risen more than 120 percent since Obama has taken office. The EPA throws up roadblock after roadblock to new permitting for the capture of oil and gas on private lands and has shut down exploration on federal lands.

Economic Crises

Carter: Because of his failure to lead and his failed economic policies of government spending and indecision, the "misery index" — unemployment plus inflation — crested at 20 percent, the highest number since W.W. II. Add double-digit interest rates into the mix and you have "stagflation." Stagflation is defined as a situation in which the inflation rate is high and the growth rate is low. The result was high prices, high unemployment, low confidence, and low growth.

Obama: There is no doubt that Obama, like Carter, inherited a recession, however, it is equally apparent that both leaders made their situations much worse by their actions and inaction.

Obama, like Carter, went on a government-spending spree in response to the recession with little to show for it.

Obama promised that if his $800 billion stimulus was passed the national unemployment rate would not exceed 8 percent. Our country's unemployment rate has not dipped below 8 percent since Obama has been president and spiked above 10 percent well after the stimulus was passed.

Instead of dealing with high unemployment, soaring energy prices, a record number of home foreclosures, bankruptcies and record-setting debt, Obama turned his attention to healthcare and started a third war in Libya.

The president caused the current self-inflicted crisis on the debt ceiling increase this summer by failing to lead well in advance of the deadline. He could have taken the recommendations of his bipartisan commission as a starting point to lead on spending and deficit reduction more than a year ago when the report was delivered to the White House.

Public Opinion

Carter: At the time of his re-election campaign his approval rating was below 30 percent and a majority of Americans felt that America was on the wrong track.

Obama: Today the president's approval rating averages 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 existed during Carter's tenure and we can clearly see these same symptoms — and some new ones — manifesting themselves under Obama's tenure.

President Obama has governed at a time of high unemployment in America, low GDP growth, 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 a government that spends too much and takes in too little.

While "malaise" may have defined the Carter years the word "funk" best describes the Obama years so far.

I believe that when Clinton speaks at the DNC, Democrats and some independents will be reminded of what they like about America.

When Jimmy Carter speaks it will remind them of what they got instead.

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 — Click Here Now.

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