Tags: Barack Obama | War on Terrorism | Homeland Security | Healthcare Reform | healthcare | health | care

Obama's Political Skills Built on Hot Air

By Ronald Kessler   |   Thursday, 25 Feb 2010 08:07 AM

Most of us learned from our parents that you don’t put the cart before the horse. That’s most of us. President Obama apparently never learned that lesson.

The latest example is Obama’s orchestration of a bipartisan healthcare summit to listen to ideas from Republicans and come up with a new plan. But days before the summit, Obama released his own version of a healthcare bill that was even more costly than the ones passed by the House and Senate.

Obama’s strange way of approaching governing goes back to his first days in office, when he announced that he would close the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay even though he had no idea where the prisoners would go.

More recently, Obama let Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. designate Manhattan as the location of a civilian trial for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed without checking with law enforcement officials to see what impact such a trial would have on the security of the city.

Obama’s lack of basic executive competence should come as no surprise. Beyond his own campaign and his senatorial office, Obama never ran anything.

Only one of the measures Obama proposed as a U.S. senator was enacted: a bill to “promote relief, security, and democracy in the Democratic Republic of Congo.”

It would be difficult to imagine a more mediocre record. Yet with the help of fawning reporters, Obama managed to parlay extraordinary speaking and political skills into a presidential campaign built on hot air.

In his memoir, Obama wrote an extraordinarily revealing passage. He recalled how being a community organizer taught him different ways to motivate the powerless and work the government to help them. As his chief example, he cited an effort to remove asbestos from Altgeld Gardens, an all-black public housing project on Chicago’s South Side.

After three years working as an organizer, Obama could say he helped obtain grants for a jobs program and got asbestos removed from some pipes in the project. But as the Los Angeles Times noted, the “large-scale change that was needed at the 1,998-unit project was beyond his reach.” To this day, most of the asbestos remains in the apartments.

Despite this failure, Obama devoted more than 100 pages of “Dreams From My Father” to his experiences at Altgeld Gardens and surrounding areas.
“When classmates in college asked me just what it was that a community organizer did, I couldn’t answer them directly,” he wrote.

Instead, he said, “I’d pronounce on the need for change. Change in the White House, where Reagan and his minions were carrying on their dirty deeds. Change in the Congress, compliant and corrupt. Change in the mood of the country, manic and self-absorbed. Change won’t come from the top, I would say. Change will come from a mobilized grass roots.”

Thus, Obama admitted that he accomplished very little but that he was able to cover that up with fancy talk.

Now Obama is bringing that same cynical approach to governing the country. Instead of electing a president, America has elected a sloganeer.

Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. View his previous reports and get his dispatches sent to you free via e-mail. Go here now.

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Most of us learned from our parents that you don t put the cart before the horse. That s most of us. President Obama apparently never learned that lesson. The latest example is Obama s orchestration of a bipartisan healthcare summit to listen to ideas from Republicans and...

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