President Barack Obama has emerged from the worst week of his presidency “smaller and weaker.” The staggering economy, the downgrade of America’s credit rating, and an unpopular debt ceiling agreement made Obama look “weak, dazed and over his head,” former President George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove wrote in an Op-Ed in The Wall Street Journal
“Every president faces bad news. Not everyone becomes smaller and weaker as he does. Character makes itself known in moments of hardship,” Rove wrote. “Americans respect presidents who are strong leaders, decisive and credible. In recent months, Mr. Obama hasn't shown strength.”
Rove argued that some of Obama’s problems come from “his compulsive need to blame others.”
“For example, in response to the unprecedented downgrading, his administration lashed out at Standard & Poor's and the tea party movement. Implying — as he did in remarks to veterans at the Washington Navy Yard last week — that the economy's poor performance was related to the Arab Spring and the Japanese tsunami made him look foolish.”
Rove wrote that there were a number of steps Obama could have taken to calm Wall Street, including waiting until markets closed before speaking, acknowledging the need for more fiscal discipline, pushing proposals that Democrats and Republicans support, and advocating reforming the tax code.
“Off-camera, Mr. Obama could have taken two other important steps. First, stop teeing off on congressional Republicans whose help he needs to accomplish anything this year. And second, attend far fewer fundraisers until Congress goes out in December. He must rescue his presidency by spending more time on his job, not his politics. These steps, however, are probably beyond the president. This West Wing is almost completely focused on the president's re-election, not on policy.
“Because they cannot defend his record, Team Obama will attempt to "kill" their political opponents, as one Democratic strategist told Politico.com this week. These are difficult days for our president. Buffeted by events, he looks weak, dazed and over his head. And in 15 months, unless he finds some way to turn things around, he will be voted out of office.”
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