Jonathan Tobin: Obama Too Detached to Be Good President

Tuesday, 27 May 2014 06:48 PM

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President Barack Obama detaches himself from any issues that aren't on his selective radar screen, says Jonathan Tobin, columnist and senior online editor of Commentary magazine.

"There was no secret at the top levels of the government that they had a huge problem [at the Veterans Administration]," Tobin told Dennis Kneale, guest host of "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"The president just detached from it, as he detaches from anything other than those few issues that he cares deeply about like getting his Obamacare passed . . . [or to] appease Iran.

"That he cares about, that he follows up on. But everything else is just left. He's a terrible administrator . . . a lousy president. He doesn't know how to run this government that he wants to keep making bigger,'' Tobin said Tuesday.

Tobin added that the commander in chief does not pay attention to details, such as ongoing reports of problems in the Veterans Administration — problems that festered into a scandal involving the VA's healthcare system.

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"Details just aren't his problem," Tobin said. "He just doesn't care. I mean, he really thinks he isn't accountable, and to be fair, so far we haven't done a very good job at making him accountable."

"He is a historic president, no one can take that away from him, no one ever will. He is a special person, and a lot of conservatives underestimated the appeal of that status, certainly in 2012.

"But it's starting to catch up with him because over time even the press is getting a little sick of this lack of accountability, and as he sinks further into lame-duck status as is inevitably happening, his ineffectuality will become more of an issue, as it is now''

Tobin said that if Hillary Clinton decided to seek the Democratic nomination for president in 2016, she will have to distance herself from Obama to some extent.

"There's no question. Even [George H.W.] Bush had to at least distance himself in tone from Ronald Reagan, even though he was really running for a third Reagan administration,'' he said.

"She's going to have to do more than that, and it's as good a theory as any that that's going to be the way to do it, that 'I'll be the efficient liberal hope president.'

"I don't know how easy it will be for her to do," Tobin said, "because she was part of this administration, and frankly, as we recall from Benghazi and a lot of other issues, she's part of the legacy of incompetence at this administration.''


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