Can This Presidency Be Saved?
Published on: June 17, 2011
show comments
  • I hope Obama is a one term president. For the sake of humanity, freedom and dignity of mankind, this dude has to be a one term president. He’s been a disaster.

  • WigWag

    Professor Mead outlines in some detail President Obama’s failure to lead when it comes to domestic policy (or is it “leading from behind”) but his failure to lead on the foreign policy front is, if anything, even more egregious; and it’s not just the 5 wars (or mini-wars) that he’s managing. While the ramifications for his reelection of his foreign policy failures may not be as great as the ramifications of his domestic failures are, they have equally dangerous consequences for America’s place in the world.

    The list of foreign policy disasters wrought by (not inherited by) President Obama is truly horrifying.

    In the Middle East in the two years since Obama was elected, Hezbollah has emerged victorious in Lebanon. There’s no better phrase for this than snatching defeat from the jaws of victory; after all the Green Revolution and the expulsion of the Syrians happened during the watch of George W. Bush. Obama continues to fiddle while Syria burns and instead wastes time, money and effort in a backwater like Libya. The overthrow of Assad would be a huge strategic victory against Iran but Obama is to bleary-eyed to know it. Obama has unnecessarily antagonized the Israelis (our only true ally in the region); by siding with the Palestinians over and over again he has caused their position on peace talks to harden and made negotiations impossible. Despite the fact that he literally genuflected to the Saudi King, American relations with Saudi Arabia are worse than ever. American allies like Jordan and Bahrain are teetering while America’s premier enemy, Iran continues to develop fuses for nuclear weapons. Egypt has gone from blockading Gaza to allowing Iranian naval vessels to transit through the Suez Canal. Instead of serving as a check on Hamas, Egypt is now the main interlocutor for Hamas with the Palestinian Authority. Turkey (despite Professor Mead’s fondness for the country) is moving decisively in an anti-American direction and we are now faced with the prospect of having a NATO member befriend almost every enemy the United States has in the world.

    How an Administration can have failed so decisively in the Middle East in a mere two and half years is almost inexplicable but things are just as bad with American foreign policy in other parts of the world.

    America’s relationship with a nuclear armed Pakistan is collapsing and the Obama Administration doesn’t seem to have a strategy for dealing with it. Throughout the Muslim world, especially Pakistan but also Egypt, Sudan and even Indonesia, Muslims attack and murder Christians without the United States uttering so much as a peep. In non-Islamic nations such as the Philippines, Nigeria, Ethiopia and even Malaysia, Christians are also victims of brutal attacks by Muslims, yet so anxious is the President to win the affection of the Islamic world that he remains silent.

    Our European partners continue to commit demographic suicide and fail to meet their commitments to the common defense of the West yet the only Administration official with the guts to mention this looming disastrous problem, Secretary Gates, is retiring. The reset with the Russians (which is important and could bear fruit if done correctly) has accomplished nothing. The former Warsaw Pact nations in Europe that are staunchly pro-American are disrespected by the Administration (e.g. the way the cancellation of missile defense was handled by Obama) while he kowtows (in practice if not rhetorically) to the English and the French. Wasn’t overthrowing Kaddafi their idea? Weren’t they going to handle it before they literally ran out of bombs to drop? The Poles are so pro-American that they will literally fight almost anywhere that the American President requests them to go. One of the few things they ask in return is to be able to have their citizens travel to the United States without visas the way citizens of most European nations can. Instead, when it comes to this simple request they find the door slammed in their face by Obama. How about letting Poles into the United States without visas and instead start requiring visas for French citizens who want to travel here?

    In South America, what Professor Mead (and the American Interest) mistakenly calls a budding superpower, Brazil, brazenly ignores American foreign policy sensibilities (e.g. their behavior on the Iranian nuclear issue). At the same time Hugo Chavez solidifies his alliance with Iran and accepts financial and military aid from Iran. In Central America, the Mexican drug wars continue unabated and illegal Mexican immigrants continue to flow into the United States.

    It is hard to imagine a poorer or more disastrous foreign policy record. To think that America’s position in the world has deteriorated so much in two short years is staggering. It’s certainly enough to make a reasonable person nostalgic for “the decider.”

    If anything, Obama’s leadership in the realm of foreign policy has been even worse than his leadership in domestic policy.

    Heck Obama is so bad he actually makes you nostalgic for Jimmy Carter.

    It’s time for Obama to go.

  • nadine

    WRM said, “The President of the United States has to own this conversation. His vision, his initiatives must dominate the political scene.”

    But he cannot. Obama has spent his adult life as an Alinskyite, a stealth Socialist, living with the knowledge that his vision is rejected by at least 80% of America but determined to achieve it regardless.

    So the vision that Obama puts forth for public consumption is mostly insincere, and is continually undercut by his weird little asides about ATMs or whatnot. These asides may be revealing about his cluelessness regarding the workings of a free market economy. But they do nothing whatsoever to further the sense that Obama knows what he’s doing.

    It’s becoming clear that Obama simply has no idea why the economy refused to respond positively to the trillion dollar government slush fund that he dubbed “Stimulus”. It’s also becoming clear that Obama doesn’t have a Plan B.

  • Thrasymacus

    In your view, can government leadership do anything useful in this transitional period, or is it just a question of softening the blow at the price of drawing the misery out?

  • Bruce B

    For the sake of America, we’d better hope this presidency can’t be saved.

    Dr. Mead wrote: “Nobody at this point really knows what the President stands for.” That lacked insight, Dr. Mead. We will give you a pass because you are usually brilliant. People do know what he stands for; huge government, more dependency, more taxation, more regulation and Marxism. It’s why he’s far more unpopular than the polls you cite. Americans don’t respond well to Marxists. Furthermore, Obama defends and tries to expand the blue social model as it is breaking down. Everybody but Obama and some hard core leftists in the Congress, as well as his czars and bureaucrats knows it is over for that model.

    He was apparently good at community organizing and campaigning. Beyond that, it became apparent to most that he is incompetent. Some have wondered if maybe he isn’t incompetent, but is achieving exactly what he wants, which is a weaker more socialist America. If that was his goal, which I suspect it was, the incompetence charge will not stick. He’s been wildly successful.

  • Luke Lea

    Nice, balanced article. Hate to see what the comments are going to be like.

  • nadine

    Wigwag, I agree with you wholeheartedly. The Obama Doctrine is no longer a mystery: it is to kick allies and coddle enemies. The only remaining mystery is whether the ensuing American decline is merely the natural effect of this policy, or whether it was Obama’s goal all along.

  • Luke Lea

    As for ATMs, I believe that is a synecdoche for the more general problem of labor-saving technology leading to what used to be called technological unemployment, which is a real phenomenon. In the 19th century it was mainly on the farm — McCormick’s reaper, the modern tractor, chemical fertilizers — and led to the eight-hour day. In this century much of it has taken place in the home in the form of modern appliances, which led to tens of millions of former housewives entering the workforce. Perhaps an update of our wage-and-hour laws is in order? A six-hour day with time-and-a-half for overtime makes a lot of sense in two-earner families, especially when children are involved. It would raise real hourly wages (by artificially restricting the supply of labor) and thereby spread the fruits of new labor-saving technologies to ordinary working people, that 80 percent of the workforce the Dept. of Labor classifies as “non-supervisory hourly wage workers.” Just a thought.

  • KLSmith

    “The President of the United States cannot be … a fence-sitter, a finger-pointer.”
    You must mean “should” not be; because that is exactly what he is.
    While I admire your intelligence and articulateness, it seems to me that you are lacking a gene for cynicism. Are you truly that naive and still hoping that Obama will be the man you thought you were voting for? It’s getting a little late in the game.
    Take two aspirin and admit to yourself he is not who you thought he was.

  • Jack

    I do not know from where WRM gets his information, though if I had to guess, probably from a variety of MSM and academic sources.

    What I see in the Obama administration is a willingness to corrupt language in order to justify policies. “Man caused disasters”, “kinetic military action”, “religious extremism”, only serve to bring confusion to already (and just by definition) confused and very dynamic circumstances.

    When discussing life and death decisions clarity is what’s required. Would anyone at this stage of the game make the argument that clarity is a characteristic of Obama’s thought process?

    I would argue that Obama has clarity only when it comes to campaigning. In the campaign process, Obama identifies his enemies, uses every tactic available, never hesitates to lie, deceive or use rhetorical devices. He knows who his friends are and has no hesitation about identifying his enemies, as long as they are American citizens.

  • Bill Carson

    “Why did the stimulus fail? What did the President learn from this failure and what will the President try next? The White House has been so busy bobbing and weaving it has not communicated a simple, clear story about what went wrong and what happens next.”
    *********************************************
    Whoa, pal! We have had an explanation. Don’t say that we haven’t. In fact, Obama and his henchmen have declared the “Stimulus” to be wildly successful. All the lackey who speak for Obama have all said that it was so wonderful it should have been larger!

    So recognize that we we’re not just dealing with an incompetent administration, we dealing with a lying, incompetent administration.

    And now, haha!, we can add criminal to this list when we read that Obama’s top legal advisers told him that we are engaged in “hostilities” in Libya and that he is in violation of U.S. law in his war there. The Left would have gone wild to start impeachment proceedings against Bush on this. They’re quiet now, as they defend this lying, criminal, incompetent administration. Shall I go on?

  • Jenny

    Obama is a failed president because he believes big government is the answer to every problem. The federal government has been inept and downright corrupt under both parties. Now, our nation is so in debt we may never recover and the politicians in Washington offer nothing but the same old failed solutions.

    It is time to remove the federal government from their stolen governing role. The founding fathers never intended for the federal government to get involved in social programs; the states, our laboratories of Democracy, should take over those roles. States are mandated to have a balanced budget, the are more responsive to their constituents, and having 50 unique approaches to solving our societies needs would prevent a “one size fits all” failure.

    If Texas is successful, then they should become the model for America. If California’s approach works, then they will become the model for other states. We are simply beyond the point where we can continue to allow the federal government to risk our future by pursuing the same failed policies.

  • judithod

    What strikes me as Obama’s most serious liability is his inability to transmit any compassion for the millions of us who are jobless, losing homes to foreclosure, etc. Not once has he expressed concern for his fellow Americans that he was elected to serve, not even a Bill Clinton I-feel-your-pain speech. And he has never modeled any personal sacrifice to indicate to Americans that he is “tightening his belt” just like them. Instead, he continues trolling for campaign bucks, hosting celebrity parties, golfing every weekend, and setting a record for frequent flyer miles on Air Force One. The guy is oblivious to the state of real life for real Americans.

  • MaxMBJ

    Obama is a failure because he trusts his instincts which, unfortunately, are the product of a lifetime of pampering and academia. If you notice, every time he says something off the cuff, it’s a gaffe. Recent example: the shovel-ready joke. Others include the police acted stupidly, bitter clingers, spread the wealth around, and now the ATM thing.

    He is always surprised by the reactions he gets because he really can’t believe he could possibly be wrong on anything. Stupid Sarah Palin, on the other hand, has great instincts. Instincts are the mark of what’s really inside the person. Give me the woman from Wasilla. She may not be able to talk like our brainiac president, but she knows what the essence of our country is and she will fight to preserve it.

  • K2K

    wigwag states Obama’s foreign policy failures well.

    too bad Mr. Mead still does not realize that Obama does not really stand firmly for anything, except I do believe he loves his family. Ryan Lizza’s profile of Obama as slick Chicago pol in July, 2008 New Yorker was prescient. Too bad Lizza got no echo beyond being banned from the Obama campaign.

    As to the economy? Obama has no interest in that, never has, never will. Must be very confusing to him why pixie dust can not create 14 million jobs. presto!

    The dilemma is that America is engaged in two-to-four year “counter-revolutions”, since Nixon, who begat Carter, who begat Reagan, which did give us sort of a 12 year window of confidence/stability (divided government begets compromise?)until Clinton begat Bush43 who begat Obama who will beget????

    Obama can never inspire an America he does not believe in. He is a post-modern transnational multi-culturalist in a world increasingly nationalist, yearning for stability.

  • r larson

    “The problem is only partly that the President’s policies don’t appear to be working.” Partly? You’re kidding, right? I think that nearly every policy of Obama’s that we have heard of stands outside American tradition. Add to that they all arise out of left-wing ideology, so they are bound to fail.

    American’s believe in their nation. Obama does not, so he goes overseas and denigrates the United States. Not a good policy.

    He limits oil production in the Gulf of Mexico, causing the price of oil to skyrocket (even in an anemic economy where demand is low). Not a good policy. He follows that up with allowing the EPA to enact regulations that will put coal companies out of business and cause electricity rates to rise. Not a good policy.

    He bails out failing companies with tax-payer money to help out his union friends. Not a good policy.

    He gives us trillion dollar deficits and wants to give us more of them. It doesn’t take someone with a Ph.d in Economics to understand that is not a good thing. It makes people nervous and anxious. Not a good policy.

    He tells us that if we spend hundreds of trillions of dollars to stimulate the economy all will be well. The facts have told us a different story. Not a good policy. Add to that that everyday we learn more and more about where that money went, government and government union employees, and Obama becomes just another politician paying off his friends. Not a good policy.

    I could go on and on. But it seems that at every juncture, most people think one way and then we have Obama telling us something different. After a while we lose sight of the day to day details and form a belief,a template, that he will stand opposed to what most of us think. And there is no surprise here; he does oppose what most people think. He is a man of the left and the United States is not a left-leaning nation.

    His policies on the economy are complete failures. Everyone outside the five counties surrounding Washington DC knows this. Obama probably knows it as well. But he is a true believer. He will stick to his ideology, which undermines the US at every point, and become a one-term President. So, in the end I like Obama for one reason: he will not compromise on his ideology, no matter what the facts, and hence, his continued failure is assured. His continued failure will lead to his defeat in 2012.

  • PerryM

    NO!

    There are 2 reasons why Obama is president today:
    1) Obama was a blank slate that the Lame-stream press could paint for each audience

    2) The GOP ran an old [gentleman] who couldn’t wait to “cross the isle” and do business with wacko Libs

    This time around everyone knows The Obama – Mr. 9% unemployed and Mr. $5 Trillion blown.

    Hopefully the GOP will run the Anti-Obama – someone who is totally opposed to EVERYTHING Obama does – EVERYTHING.

    It’s going to be a GOP landslide – and it will suck down the wacko Libs in the Senate and congress and the presidency is GOP again.

    Read it and weep – either sad or happy but weep you will………..

  • Anthony

    The president plays many roles: chief legislator, chief executive, commander-in-chief, head of state, etc; most importantly, the president is the guardian and representative of U.S. capitalism. WRM’s query Can This Presidency Be Saved infers dismal disappointment with Obama’s ability as top salesman of the system. That is, Obama both domestically and internationally does not reassure an understanding of America’s ideological/social/fiscal/cultural interest; leaving aside the veracity of that proposition, President Obama has governing problems. His problems are contained in a world in transition in which at this moment in history U.S. has hegemony. Domestically and internationally our president entered office with sparse preparation. Therein lies signal component to floundering presidency.

    The 2008 election held promise for many Americans and that promise induced many to overlook candidate knowledge and purpose for American “themes and ideals.” WRM says perhaps man is not up to the hour; the 2008 electorate ignored same observation for cultural icon status. Now, many in electorate are disappointed in the actual man yet historically Obama’s success has come from “standing for nothing” but permitting admirers/dissenters to project their positions/sentiments onto an Obama persona; while Obama split the competing differences if possible.

    “Republican primary field remains both uninspiring and polarized….” Obama lost control of narrative. Will any selected, once nominated, republican capture the lost narrative and have us believe that our social problems and economic difficulties will be solved with enough vigor and resolve? Perhaps, the problems are of a magnitude greater than the resources of both political parties to command in the American interest.

  • mike

    Please don’t save this presidency. Just let it fail and we will start all over. The people and the MSM should have known about his Marxist background. I did, and guess what? I listen to Rush and Fox News. I certainly did not get my info from the NYT.

  • Stan Lippmann

    Every time Obama spends a million dollars to fly his wife to a Broadway play, and every time he lobs a cruise missile at a university, he is wasting the blood, sweat, and tears of one entire life of an American taxpayer. How stupid could he be?

  • Herkimer

    Mr. Obama’s problems are derived from his party. The Democratic party had grown distressingly vapid, bereft of effective new ideas which would be practically suited to contemporary and future problems. The President himself has admirable qualities, but has not had advisors with policy ideas suited to the times. The Democrats are mostly beholden to unions, trial lawyers, and advocates for more government such as environmentalists and academia. FDR inherited a small Federal government and made it much bigger. Obama inherited an excessive Federal government and chose to expand it, because this served the wishes of his political base. In contrast, Bill Clinton was willing to doubt many of the navive ideas of the Left. Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were Governors of Southern States, Carter was a Naval officer and farmer, they were much more aware of Main Street America and businesspeople. Mr. Obama has not been a governor or run a business, rather was shaped by law school academia. He is a very bright guy, but these are tough times and he leads a party impoverished of practical ideas.

  • teapartydoc

    Boy, this slurpee tastes good! I think I’ll have another.

  • Rick in NYC

    The President has misled no one. He stated clearly who he was and what he believed in. That his resume was thin was of no significance. He was and is a community organizer, for he believes he can organize communities, and that he is, truly, The Smartest Guy In The Room.

    The unimpeachable fact that he is in way over his head should have come as no surprise and if the American people fall for the sophistry of a class warfare demagogue again, shame on them. Shame, therefore, on us.

  • Boritz

    This is a much less intereting question than can America be preserved in some form recognizable to those residents still to the right of say Castro.
    I have zero interest in whether or not this presidency can be saved. The benefit of that would be what?

  • DavidinOC

    What does it say about the Democratic party that no one is willing to step up and take him on in 2012? No RFK or Eugene McCarthy out there? Keep your friends close and your enemies closer- so Hillary is willing to bide her time until 2016?

  • Dick

    When you are totally unqualified, it would be extremely difficult to grow into the job.

  • Boyd

    “the Republican primary field remains both uninspiring and polarized.”

    More appearance than truth on polarized. What else would they be doing at this point than trying to seperate themselves from the pack? As to uninspiring, you might call Bachmann or Cain many things but uninspiring? I don’t think so.

  • Mike Mahoney

    In a word, No. The changes required would have the left looking at him as a turncoat and the right as a Trojan horse. He is toast.

  • JPL17

    “Obama…believes big government is the answer to every problem.”

    Unfortunately for the country, this includes problems that don’t exist….

  • Gorgo

    Simply put, President Obama set out to destroy this country – and to the extent that he can, the free world. (Britain, Israel, Honduras, etc.)

    He’s doing a good job of it.

  • Blacque Jacques Shellacque

    “Can the Obama Presidency still be saved?”

    Why should it be?

  • Stu in SDGO

    For Luke Lea, pls explain why you continue to drink the Obama koolaid. Tell us all the good things that Obama has done, policy-wise, that makes you such a lemming. In fact, name just one Obama/Democrat fiscal policy that has had a positive impact on the American economy. Hypothetical question: if a president actually was trying to damage the U.S. economy and prolong if not deepen the recession, please explain what differences in fiscal policy would he implement different from Obama? For that matter, please list all of the constructive criticisms that Democrats proposed for winning the Iraq War from ’03 – ’08 (while they were undermining Bush’s conduct of the war). (crickets chirping)

  • Sam

    One of the earlier comments referred to Obama as a “stealth Socialist”. The reality is even more horrific, he is a stealth revolutionary. The reason Obama doesn’t articulate his vision is because he does everything by stealth. The reason nobody can see his vision is because it is too horrific to contemplate. Obama would welcome a severe debt crises which would cause the existing social and economic structures to disintegrate. If he can just use his charm, elegance, and elequance to slip into another 4 year term while the system is crashing, he can then rebuild the country to fit his vision of eurosocialism instead of the vision of the vast majority of Americans

  • Mike

    I stopped reading when you said “a more than respectable 47.6% approval rating.”

    More than respectable? Put down the kool-aid.

  • And that is why so many of us love Gov. Christie. The man says what he means and means what he says. I loved the way he put that woman down when she questioned him about where he sends his children to school. ” Madam, that is none of your business.” No P.C. double-talk and lies for him.

  • CWWJ

    I think it is astonishing that Obama’s approval ratings still hover around the 45% mark (although lower among likely voters). But then I tend to gravitate toward conservative news outlets where criticism of the president predominates. The same polls, however, show that the people do not like any of his policies. The public still rejects Obamacare and many want it repealed; concern about jobs and the direction of the country remains high; most folks think the government is too big and tries to do too much; and there is genuine concern about debt and deficit issues.

    Puzzling too is why the extreme left still gives him high approval ratings when he has unapologetically embraced (and expanded)virtually all of George W. Bush’s war on terror policies, the very policies he ran against in 2008. He continues to blame Bush for the financial meltdown but has never told us specifically what Bush policies led to the crisis. (The crisis was the result of a variety of systemic failures whose political origins long pre-dated Bush).

    So there seems to be a disconnect between public dissatisfaction with the Obama administration and Obama himself. One reason: the major media still supports him almost unequivocally. He gets a free ride from news outlets that mercilessly skewered Reagan and Bush on a regular basis. The three new wars added to the previous two are just one example. Guantanamo, renditions, military tribunals and the Patriot Act are others that were anathema to the press pre-Obama, but are simply overlooked today. Failure to abide by the War Powers Act that would have provoked fury in the media under Bush draws a yawn today.

    The difference between the re-elections of Ronald Reagan in 1984 and Bush in 2004 and Obama’s re-election campaign of 2012 is that the former had to run against media hostility, while Obama will likely have the same fawning support of the major media they gave him in 2008. Barring a serious calamity occuring in the next 15 months, that unwavering media support will be a big advantage. In spite of the rise of conservative news outlets in recent years,
    it is still not a level playing field.

  • forrest

    One term was one too many for this Marxist aristocrat. He obviously needs more time to golf so let’s give it to him. He’ll have more fun being a loudmouthed ex-president like Bill and Jimmy anyway, then he can hyperventilate to our enemies about how bad America is without having to take any responsibility, although it seems he does that already.

  • 1200fps

    Since when have democrats shown leadership on anything? When they’re pushing their dream agenda (healthcare, immigration, gun control) they do it like weasels, twisting arms and sneaking tricky clauses into the laws they write.

    They’ve got no record to run on. Expect to hear whiny, nonstop Bush blame and mediscaring (with no alternative plan) for the next 17 months.

    Look, when harry reid openly says producing a budget would be a bad political move, you know that you are never going to get leadership and integrity from this bunch.

  • jaafar

    Anyone who ever thought that Barack Obama was a “visionary leader” is an idiot. Period.

  • Steve C.

    Jejune

  • Ross

    “Nobody at this point really knows what the President stands for – at home or abroad.”

    That reminds me of before the election when liberals mocked everyone who tried to say that we didn’t “know” who the real Obama was. It looks like the naysayers were justified in their warnings.

  • EJM

    Prof. Mead, this is another well-written and sincere article. However, you could have saved yourself a lot of words. The simple answer to the question in your title is: No.

  • glenn

    It’s not that the Prez doesn’t know (about the economy, about foreign policy, about immigration etc.) He doesn’t care. The Obama presidency is about Barry having President of the United States behind his name.

  • John R

    Bruce B. is absolutely right. We do know what Obama stands for and what he wants for this conutry and it is clearly a far higher level of socialism than anyone could have invisioned given is campain retortic. What we do not know is WHO he is, and I for one am sure I want to know, he has been president for three years and still does come close to what most people would consider a “stand-up” person, someone you can count on or would stand shoulder to shoulder with times get tough. He has made one good call (bin Laden) and that was only accomplished by with the help of some “training wheels”. All of his other decisions come down to throwing taxpayer dollars at every problem. His silience on the Boeing fiasco in the face of unemployment and lack of jobs is beyond the outrageous. He does not have a clue and he is out of bullets. Thank God he does not know how to triangulte, he is a pure leftist ideologue and nothing more. 2012 PLEASE, NOW.

  • Richard

    Resurrection of the first coming of Obama has been cancelled due to abject failure, as well the absence of any substance. Pigs and lipstick come to mind. Immutable arrogance does not abide any hoped for change in Obama.

  • jay

    Obama’s whole life story screams of several worldviews that he has consistently used to govern. As others have said, these world views are not shared by the majority of Americans so Obama has lied and/or obscured his vision for America since becoming a serious contender for president. His views:

    1. (economy) The poor must get a larger share of national resources. The best way to do this is to redistribute the income of the wealthy. This is Obama’s calling and his number one priority. Once the House went Republican he could not make progress on this vision until 2013, so he moves to priority number 2.

    2. (re-election) Say whatever must be said to convince people to re-elect him and get the Democrats back in power. Do whatever must be done unless it infringes on priority #1.

    3. (social policy) Obama’s third priority. Make the Democrat donors happy as long as it doesn’t infringe on priority #1 and 2. With a blatant attack on the wealthy he needs something to rally his donors so that he can keep buying elections. That’s what headline snatching social stances like gays in the military gets him.

    4. (foreign policy) This is a distant fourth priority, and Obama has frankly little time for it. Usually, Obama remains completely at the mercy of his advisers and is always torn between their policy suggestions and making commitments that infringe on priorities 1 and 2. Large financial and/or political, diplomatic commitments to anything or anyone are nothing more than distractions for the President. Obama has tried to score points for priority number 2. After all, Obama has tried his amateur, shallow, what-you-read-in-the-New-York-Times-yesterday approach to the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Also, when the formidable political opponent Hillary Clinton threatened to bolt over potentially embarrassing herself in front of the Benghazi rabble and making promises she couldn’t keep, Obama was forced into Libya. However, having been forced into Libya, the President is perhaps the least enthusiastic and most distracted US commander in chief in our history.

  • Scott

    “Can this Presidency be saved?”

    Why would anyone in their right mind want it to be saved? That is a better question.

    The pertinent questions are 1) what is it about the mindset of the citizenry that ever convinced them this man would be anything other than what he had always been, and 2) why weren’t more people paying attention?

    This man, Obama, has done everything he said he would do in his attempt to “remake” America.

  • Real American

    This presidency isn’t worth saving. The country is, however, and getting Obama and his socialist gangster government out of power is the first step towards recovery.

  • xrayiiis

    Why are you being so kind to Obama Dr. Mead? You want to give him the benefit of the doubt when there is no doubt. His agenda is clear: He wants to destroy the evil capitalist behemonth that is America and build a socialist utopia from the ashes, and it does not matter how much misery the people suffer as a result. The end justifies the means.

  • Mark

    Read “Radical In Chief” by Stanley Kurtz, and you will realize that Obama is not a failure, according to his political ideals. He has been wildly successful.
    I ask you, would Obama had done anything different if his goal been to destroy America from within, rather than to support and defend, as his oath of office requires?

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    Obama is married to and part of the moribund Blue Social Model, and as such has no vision of what comes after the BSM’s demise. He will flail around not understanding why the stimulus failed, why Obamacare failed. He will make all the standard Socialist excuses, “It wasn’t implemented properly”, “It should have been bigger”, “The counter-revolutionaries, Bush, Republicans, Tea Party, etc… prevented us from success”, never recognizing that the BSM is anti-free enterprise, unjust, and undemocratic.

  • jmp

    True, his personal approval is in the high 40s. But, his approval on most issues are poor, esp. on the economy. And, the right track/wrong track average at RCP.com is 30%. 30%. No way in [Heck] a president gets reelected with that figure. That figure tells you that most of us think the country is going to [heck], and we don’t vote for more of the same in that situation.

  • M. Report

    Nothing short of the Second Coming
    could save the situation, and Obama
    has no halo; that is Photoshopped in.

    Run the thought experiment for yourself;
    If, by some miracle, all the problems
    facing the US vanished, except for the
    national debt, could the country produce
    enough new wealth to pay it off ?

  • AK

    “Young, energetic, blessed with a stylish wife and a vibrant family, he holds Kennedy-class cards when it comes to touching enduring American themes and ideals.”

    Okay, stop. Stop stop stop. The rest of this column is generally fine, but can we please get off the idea that Michelle Obama is “stylish”? She’s a fashion disaster. No one will say it, but she dresses like an Australian’s nightmare. Since you’re making a Obama/Kennedy comparison, allow me to interject with this: “I knew Jackie Kennedy. Michelle Obama is no Jackie Kennedy.”

  • RickBurgoon

    I disagree — Mr. Obama is NOT a failure…if the metric is benchmarking socialist-oriented nonsense that requires evidence of failure to put it in the dark corner of the basement for another 25 years after he is booted from office. By that measure he is an amazing gift to Americans who may not really think there is much difference between the parties. Im tired of the nonsense about Bush — its not like Obama was granted the job. He begged for it. He got it. And now every time HIS policies tank, he blames Bish. If this was a business, that kind of idiot would be fired. We have no need for a Wimp-In-Chief. His policies have failed. To argue contra is simply to deny intellect and assume nothing but childish passion. Health Care will be declared unconstitutional, as will his “dictatorial” approach to Libya. His handling of the economy will make Carter look Reagan-esque. BUT the great news is NOW Americans that are 35 and younger can see the impact of silliness in the WH, and while this generation values style over substance, it is they who are being hurt the most and who will respond accordingly. They, unlike our President, will grow up and put away childish things, like a view that we can tax less people to get more money, without cutting things that have gotten so out of hand that we fund them simply to fund them. Like graduating from college, you can only avoid the real world for so long — we are in Mr. Obama’s senior year, and the dorms are already booked for next year. Its time for him to think about his first real job out of college, his internship learning experience has cost this country dearly. With that, I also hope the press grows up — the press frankly has created a self-imposed affirmative action program for Obama, lowering the curve for success and raising it for failure, not based on the content of his character, but the color of his skin. He is a failure, and we should NOT be afraid to state it simply becasue he is the first half black/ half white President whose mom was barely out of high school and whose father talked alot but didnt really do much but drink and infuse his family with Marxist nonsense. That may allow him t “connect” with those who do not ascribe to traditonal families, but Reagan’s family was no picnic either and he did far more with much less — nobody ever wrote books for Reagan. Obama makes those of us old enough to recall Carter to do so with a bit of pity for Carter in as much as we thought we would NEVER see a President as horrifiec as Carter. Obama has changed that. Obama is all smoke and circus mirrors, thats what matters most.

  • Renfield

    Future chroniclers of Obama’s one term will peg the summer of 2011 as the point at which his presidency was coming apart at the seams, all the arrows pointing downward.

    WRM: You’re a fine writer, and I always read what you have to say. I especially enjoyed your “Great White” (hope, father, elephant, shark, whale) analogy a few days ago. I am confident that your incorrect use of “effect” instead of “affect” above was pure oversight.

  • Mark

    Au contraire, Professor: Obama has *no chance* of convincing the voters that the GOP will make things worse. Your first 13 commenters have described the situation with far more clarity and realism than you did in your essay.

    Obama is a disaster, a human wrecking ball, can’t you see that by now? It’s not going to get any better. His destructive ideas are globally discredited, his instincts are Marxist, his integrity is nil, his character is puerile, and so of course his record as President is disastrous.

    His only real ability is rehearsed demagoguery; a skill woven with tissues of deception and dishonesty; and which always withers and collapses under fire. The only reason he’s been able to maintain his facade at all is because he takes so much time off from the job.

    As the 2012 campaign comes into sharper focus, you will see his rage and wild desperation increasing as he flounders in his speeches. His teleprompter can not help him now.

    Obama simply doesn’t have what it takes to be a successful President. He never did, and no fantastic “saving” is going to occur.

    We simply must endure until 2012 and minimize the damage; hopefully then a true leader can start to repair this horrendous damage he has done.

    You think the GOP field is weak? Wrong, their candidates already are much stronger than in 2008. Any one of them would be a godsend compared to the catastrophe-in-chief we have now.

    I’m still amazed that the Democrats chose this [person] instead of Hillary.

  • Engineer

    There is one meme in the comments from Nadine, Jenny, Wigwag and others that pins a big part of Obama’s problem on the assumption that his policies are considerable further to the left than the current electorate. Judithod makes the observation that the “cool” Obama of 2008 have evolved into a remarkably non empathetic chief executive. I think there is merit to both of those observations. However, I would also suggest that presidents as diverse as FDR and Ronald Reagan have used their position of influence in the White House to forcefully argue for change and been rewarded with a public that, over time, moved in their direction. In sharp contrast, the more Obama tried to persuade people that Obamacare was the answer, the less popular the specific legislation became.

    I would suggest that Obama is simply not a very good politician in a hostile or mixed environment. He has excelled at working within the Democratic matrix of primary, Chicago and illinois politics. He was able to exploit anti-incumbant sentiment in 2007/2008 on both sides of the aisle insofar as Hillary was to be the second coming of a surrogate Bill Clinton. But he’s not been able to persuade people to his side. He’s not been effective in working across the aisle to identify compromises where both sides trade off less important points in order to gain more important points. When he has resorted to regulation to implement policies that were unable to command sufficient congressional report, that has only provoked backlash against the appearance of an imperial executive.

    Clinton shows how this can be done with a sharp tack to the center and accomodation of selected Congressional priorities. But Obama campaigned on being different from Hillary Clinton (and by inference Bill Clinton) and I think this is a case where the candidate was not just giving us a white lie: Obama is no Clinton.

  • One term loser…

    Interesting article. I would disagree, however, with the underlying premise of your position; as I read it, that Obama is a passive responder to outside events that impair the middle class and Obama’s electoral prospects unless he both develops a plan to address these events and convince the public that its a sensible plan and he’s got the skill to implement it.

    I take a more pessimistic view of Obama. His campaign for the office was one of practiced deception; he was then and is now a rigid left wing ideologue unwilling to shed his radical socialist principles and govern in a pragmatic manner. His campaign, then consisted of deceiving the public with the help of a pliant and biased press, that he was a centrist, wedded to no ideology and willing to confront entrenched interest groups, whether on the left or right, in developing solutions to the many problems that afflict America. His campaign was so steeped in deception and the absence of specifics that he served, in essence, as a mirror, upon which that broad swath of the pubic could project their hopes for a competent presidency not beholden to left or right policy rigidities. It was a massive confidence game, no sooner than his assuming the office, the mask was dropped and the rigid ideologue appeared. Everything he has done, or refused to do, has been in service of radical left wing urban politics. He does not appear to care one bit about the economic destructiveness or idiocy of his policies, that his cabinet has not been fired by him and that his move to the center post – shellacking was only transitory, rhetorical and bereft of substance proves that this fraud simply cannot adapt and shed the demands of far left politics. The examples are legion, his energy policy is one of great harm to industry and the economy, his trade policy is a farce outsourced to big labor, he’s unleashed his fellow radicals to regulate and burden businesses large and small, all in the service of some misguided belief that past administrations were far too passive. The economic damage from his actions is plain to see, interventionist big spending policies he supported led to the collapse and are preventing any economic recovery. We have a case of first impression – instead of Schumpeter’s ‘creative destruction’, we have destruction without creation.

    Which brings me to my point – the economic decline afflicting America is not the consequence of world decline, I would say that world decline is the consequence of American decline (they depend, after all, on our generosity and our willingness to consume). Obama’s proven himself to be at ease with (or indifferent to) the economic ruin that attends his unbridled spending, taxing and regulating policies, and these policies are the source of much of the world’s stagnation (check out Canada’s economy – far stronger than America’s, they may be socialist in orientation, but they recognize that you need to generate wealth in the first instance if you want to redistribute it, so they access their resources with abandon, unlike America).

    In short, Obama’s not a passive responder to world economic decline as you posit, capable of shifting to address this problem and convince the electorate anew of his competence and leadership, avoiding the fate of Jimmy Carter. Instead, world economic decline and the decimation of the US middle class is the result of far left policies put into action, and greatly accelerated by Obama. Worse, Obama’s proven totally unwilling to abandon these policies notwithstanding the clear economic ruin they represent.

    Consequently, I think your hope or proposal that Obama move to address these problem is simply misplaced. The most he will do is some more boring contradictory ‘teleprompter orations’ but the substance of his policies, the real problem, won’t change a bit.

    One term loser.

  • Hugh Manatee

    Of course Obama can save his presidency. All he has to do is become Sarah Palin. Or Rick Perry. Or Michelle Bachmann. Or Mitt or Rudy or Ron or Tim or Herm or Newt.

    If, on the other hand, he continues with his Vladimir, Karl, Joe and Mao act, he (and we) are doomed.

  • Walter Russell Mead asks “Can this presidency be saved?”

    I can understand that question being asked by members of this administration, but it’s a peculiar question being asked by a disinterested observer. With all due respect, a more objective question would be: “Should this presidency be saved?”

    A more useful analysis would have focused on whether the trajectory of this administration is good for the country and the world. Mr. Mead is writing as if the goals, philosophies and strategies of this administration were a mystery. No administration has ever been composed of automatons lacking either a vision or the will to strive to achieve that vision. To write an article like this with the implicit assumption that the Obama presidency is capable or willing to transform itself strikes me a disconnected from reality.

  • Excellent comments here, I’m sorry to say it, but they are better than the article.

    judithod has hit the nail on the head. Wig Wag is wrong about only one thing, Obama has gone out of his way to alienate us from Britain too. This is a disgrace as Britain is, like it or them or not, our mother country.

    And I’m afraid Mr. Mead has completely missed the point. Obama did not run for office to make America a better country. He ran to “fundamentally transform” America. He doesn’t like America. He doesn’t like Americans.

    With the slavish devotion and corrupt aid of the mainstream media, this radical left wing man fooled enough of the people one time to get himself elected president.

    The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and the problem with this pudding is NOT that it lacks a theme, it is that is is pure poison.

    Winston is absolutely correct, this dude has been a disaster.

  • Bill Carson

    Just to add to #13 above, I read recently that the Obamas buy meat that costs as much as $300/lb. for themselves and their supporters to feat on at the White House. I think the meat is some kind of Japanese specialty for very rich people.

    Isn’t it odd that a woman so wide in the beam and buying such expensive foods for herself at taxpayer expense is happy to tell us to eat vegetables. She kinda reminds me of some other woman in history. Now, what was that woman’s name. Anyway, it was something about eating “cake” and her first name just may have been Marie. I think something bad happened to her at the end of her life…

  • Patrick

    There is no remote broom closet in the White House where, any day now, Obama is going to discover a ready supply of intelligence, experience, courage and character. He was a useless angry black radical socialist when he walked in the door, and he’ll be one when he walks out for good in about 18 months. In between he is doing great damage to this country at home and abroad, and whether it’s coldly deliberate or an “accidental” consequence of his bumbling ineptness is a pointless debate. He’s responsible, and he is by any measure incapable of the necessary personal and political course correction. Still caught up in your own crumbling version of “hope and change,” WRM? Is the fantasy becoming painful yet?

  • Spysmasher

    You are ALL WRONG. It’s obvious Obama’s goal is to downgrade and destroy America, and by this standard he is quite successful! Let’s stop pretending his just incompetent or dumb. He hates America, and is destroying it as revenge for its supposed sins of colonialism and capitalism.

  • Gina

    I can only hope and pray that his presidency not only fails but dies in an impeachment ASAP… the sooner we can get him out of office the better. He has bastardized our constitution…he’s made a mockery of our White House… he is no better than the ridiculous Weiner that just resigned from Congress. Go home obama… go home.

  • everyone

    you cannot reform an empty fool, and obama is at best empty

    methinks he is a deceiver

    never have i felt this before

    here’s how you reconcile obama’s conduct:
    obama doctrine = fall of US/rise of muslim brotherhood

  • Qiao

    Mead writes good pieces and this one is no exception. My impression was always that he’s a Democrat who voted for Obama; I just looked it up and it was a good guess.

    What I find remarkable about his recent essays is the a priori assumption that Obama is a patriot — questionable, given his past associations (Wright, Ayers, Khalidi), his pronouncements and behavior abroad (kow towing, bowing to Saudi despots, the delusional, ahistorical Cairo speech, Berlin “citizen of the world,” state dinner for Hu Jin Tao, soul shake with Chaves, American is as exceptional as Greece) and his scuttling of relationships with America’s traditional allies (divulging British nuclear secrets to Russians, scuttling missle defense in Poland and Czech Republic, supporting extraconstitutional coup in Hondouras, forsaking freedom fighters in Iran, sycophantic coddling of a murderous tyrant in Syria). Mead is naive if as a historian he chooses to ignore the possibility that Obama, given his ideological background, resents America, American exceptionalism, and that as president Barack Hussein Obama wanted to bring the United States of America down a few notches in stature and power. I could go on to criticize Obama’s lack of character and maturity, his political viciousness, but what’s the point. He’s an embarrassment to the Republic, a destroyer of economic opportunity, and the nation will do its best to forget him as quickly as possible and pretend the whole thing never happened. Has it occurred to anyone that he may choose to not run for a second term? Anyone care to take that bet? It’s indeed a shame that the first soi disant black president had to be so mediocre, full of resentment, and so hostile to the success and reputation of the United States, and to freedom in general Turns out he was just another white liberal promoting failed policies. Just not as patriotic.

  • georgechapogas

    if his presidency is saved the country is lost.

  • Foobarista

    The key to understanding Obama is that he’s a passionate elitist. He responds to elite opinion and operationally uses the elite machinery of the government bureaucracy to advance elite goals and elite concerns. Where elite and ordinary opinion or interests contradict, in areas like AGW, Obama comes down on the side of elites, favoring higher energy prices and “green” subsidies over actions that would drop prices such as more drilling, getting rid of ethanol, etc. This is also why it was so easy for him to favor banks over others, since so much of the American top elite is in finance.

    Once you realize that Obama sees himself as a lawgiver and dealer of punishments, with a worldview shaped by new-left academic elites, you’ll understand him completely.

  • Glen

    This is a puzzling post from Professor Mead.

    Previously, he has delivered a devastating indictment of the so-called Blue Social Model. And here, he correctly identifies one of President Obama’s chief challenges to be charting a course for the American people towards its evolutionary successor.

    But President Obama stands as one of the most entrenched defenders of the Blue Model. Indeed, it is fair to question whether or not he even recognizes its vulnerabilities. So how can someone so committed to the status quo become a champion for change? Or for hope?

    Sadly, this is probably nothing more than one of Mead’s periodic attempts to maintain some level of currency within the academy, which attacks any questioning of the prevailing wisdom with a ferocity reminiscent of the Catholic Church in Galileo’s time.

  • John

    >>> He must first and foremost stand for something

    The problem is that everything he stands for is exactly what is crushing our economy.

    I mean, his first order of business is to “spread the wealth around”. People who create “the wealth” hear: Stop creating wealth. Stop hiring employees. Is it any wonder 20% of our population is underemployed?

    Moreover, look at his definitive article, “the” wealth. Not his wealth or her wealth or their wealth, “the” wealth. He refers to it like “the atmosphere”, something that is simply there every morning when you wake up, owned by no one in particular and just waiting for you to find something to do with it.

    Barack Obama stands for big government, efficiency crushing unions, a regulatory stranglehold, tax dollar wasting “green” stupidity, hostility toward business and the creation of private wealth and the furtherance of a nanny state where we must all supplicate ourselves and our freedom in the name of “the common good”.

    The best thing Barack Obama could do to help the country would be to jump off a bridge. He can’t fix the problem, he IS the problem.

  • Is Mead looking at the same Prez and Admin. we all are? Apparently, Mead has forgotten the horrors and aversion by Americans to Obamacare. The Stimulus failed and failed and will fail as it always does. There have been tax hikes and spending that have doubled in just 2.9 yrs. In foreign policy, he has kow towed to Mexico and the cartels. There is no safe border control and border states are in running gun battles with criminals. He has dissed the Brits and Israelis. Does anyone really trust this naif to protect America against the Islamofascists? There is no domestic energy policy except listening to crazed enviros, Greenies who think the Delta Smelt is more important than Fresno farmers. Regs have choked any recovery. BTW , there is no RECOVERY. Unemployment is a horror. Under W it was 4.8%, now it is 9.1 % and could be in cement as long as this Socialist in Chief is in power. Can he be saved? Only in Jesus, Mead because in reality, anybody who loves America, does not want this Admistration to be saved but to be defeated roundly as well as his Dem Senate in 2012.

  • twolaneflash

    [Invocation of the Deity], I hope not! I pray this administration is doomed, destroyed, defeated, and driven to Hell in the only handbasket it has left us.

  • TexasDude

    Obama put forth exactly was he was about long before the election.

    What people have done, including the author this critique, is ignore his clear leftist intentions.

  • Mrs. Davis

    you are lacking a gene for cynicism. Are you truly that naive and still hoping that Obama will be the man you thought you were voting for?

    WRM is a PK (preacher’s kid). That’s why he’s so charitable and when he admits to the truth about Obama it is so, dare I say it?, [darning].

  • Richard Aubrey

    I suppose one could wonder whether anything with even a modicum of potential to “save” the presidency would be agreeable to Obama.

  • tpaine

    There is no saving the Obama Presidency. At this point, he and his fellow travelers will lose Herbert Hoover size.
    To change course, he would have to follow Ronald Reagan’s lead of cutting taxes,cutting federal spending, reducing regulations (which, even then, led to more energy production) and securing a strong dollar.
    In short, exactly the opposite of what he’s been doing. How does he do that with a straight face?
    Answer: he goes on another vacation/fundraiser and does nothing.

  • JohnLeeHooker

    there is NO surprise here, the odumbo presidency can NOT be saved because there was nothing to it in the first place:

    when elected, he had NO RELEVANT EXPERIENCE

    since then, he’s proved he has NO RELEVANT SKILLS APART FROM LYING

  • Jay Kitsap

    Change is on the margins and small incremental changes can make a big difference in direction and momentum. What did O’s Labor Department do to make it easier for honest businesses to retain and hire workers – nothing. What did it do to make it harder – a long list. Net result – less activity – Duh!

    What did the energy department do to help get oil or power companies to invest – everything to put roadblocks in the way.

    What has he done to help US companies decide to keep or hire in the US – nada, he helps his union buddies. I’m sure Boeing will go overseas the next time.

    He must be a joy to work for, his 2nd economic team is now basically out the door. That gives a lot of confidence.

  • Gregor Samsa

    Obama lost me in the first half of 2008 (after getting my vote in the primary). The sooner his remaining true believers acknowledge what I saw then, the better we’ll all be.

  • valwayne

    Obama’s Presidency cannot be saved. He and his extreme left wing ideology have already inflicted far to much damage. He may be able to raise a billions dollars and use it to dirty the Republican up enough to get himself reelected, but Obama has done everything wrong and made everything worse.

  • Yahzooman

    I think BH Obama is going to be a failed president.

    But it’s premature to think that now. At this point in Lincoln’s presidency, he was a failure … the turning point came in early September ’64 with Sherman’s capture of Atlanta, a victory that lifted spirits throughout the North and revitalized the Lincoln campaign. The Republicans warned the voters, “Don’t change horses in the middle of the stream.” Also, leaving little to chance, federal officials arranged liberal furloughs for Union soldiers — a source of significant support for Lincoln (80% of Union soldiers voted for Abe).

    McClellan managed to capture 45 percent of the popular vote, certainly a respectable showing, but the electoral tally was a landslide for Lincoln.

    Reagan was teetering in 1983 until things started to turn around. But the meager growth forecast for this year and next is different from the mid-80s. So there’s serious reason to doubt that the country will be in a “Morning in America” mood by 2012. Remember that the optimistic White House growth projection for next year of 3.6 percent is precisely half of the 1984 growth rate of 7.2 percent. The economy was roaring back for Reagan’s reelection, not puttering, as Obama predicts (and the professor points out)it will be for his own.

    I think the GOP will mount a serious and solid campaign. But don’t count out BHO just yet.

  • Harold Seneker

    It is clear who Obama is, and what he stands for. He is a socialist, and a liar. The only uncertainty is whether he is merely a European-style, welfare-state socialist, or something further left than that.

    It is also clear there is one thing he is not. He is not for America. For that reason, he must go. January 20, 2013 and a new President cannot come soon enough.

  • Trent J. Telenko

    WRM,

    Nothing is going to save the collapse of the Blue State social model.

    At best, it’s fall can be managed to buffer the bad effects on Americans.

    The Domestic issue at hand isn’t the Obama Administration’s re-election, or the collapse of the Blue State social model, as it is the active wrecking of Red State model by Blue State politicians who are facing the economic, demographic, and loss of national political power consequences of their actions.

    Exhibit A:

    Union, Texas Congressional delegation agree: The EPA is threatening the Texas economy

    http://pajamasmedia.com/tatler/2011/06/18/union-texas-congressional-delegation-agree-the-epa-is-threatening-the-texas-economy/

    The whole carbon tax scheme can be seen as another attempt by Blue State politicians to transfer wealth and sabotage the economic dynamism of Red States, to kick the can down the road a little longer for the continued existence of the Blue State Social model.

    Now that the Obama Administration is using the EPA to do its latest round of Blue State-Red State wrecking, the Red States owe nothing to Blue States in general and their social system in particular.

    Given the likely Obama Administration regulatory/bureaucratic actions between now and 2012, rather than being interested in managing the collapse of the Blue State social system to minimize the dislocation to Blue State American citizens, it very much will be in Red State politician’s interest to accelerate that collapse.

    The people voting for the Blue State social model don’t vote for Red State politicians because those voters don’t live in the same states, so doing something like removing Federal state and local tax exemption will disproportionately hit the high income financial sector in NY City, the Tech firms in California and Washington, benefit small business & manufacturers in Red States, and raise Federal revenues at the same time.

    That is a pure win/lose political power shift.

    The political model at hand for a post populist wave 2013 Federal government is what you are seeing in Wisconsin today. Except the Red/Blue issues will be the State & Local Tax exemptions, the continued existence of public employee unions, the continued existence of the EPA, a restructure of Title VII (AKA removal of the disparate impact doctrine), the removal Federal subsidies of NGO’s and increased Financial/Tax oversight of the non-profit/not for profit economic sectors.

  • eon

    Obama fails for another reason, namely his personality.

    On his best days he comes across as a lackadaisical stand-up comic, who thinks everyone else should be as impressed by his one-liners as he is.

    On his worst days he is a petulant child who throws a tantrum whenever an adult (like Benjamin Netanyahu) contradicts him, no matter how politely. Or just when reality fails to fall in line with his self-referential worldview.

    In between, he plays golf and re-reads his two autobiographies.

    Sorry to state, but the President of the United States is an immature, egotistical narcissist with no evidence of maturity. And only minimal contact with reality, which he deeply resents. (Reality, that is.)

    I believe the Democratic Party and the “mainstream” news media owe the American people an apology for not realizing this early on, and giving the Democratic nomination in 2008 to somebody else. In fact, anybody else.

    clear ether

    eon

  • sinz54

    Obama has trouble connecting with the American people, because they speak a language he doesn’t accept or even understand–the language of national pride.

    Americans are truly mortified that the world’s only superpower appears to be drifting, unable to act effectively in the world, unable to get its economic house in order. But to too many on the Left, it’s just America getting her comeuppance for alleged past sins.

    Obama’s advisers allude to the “phase” America is going through, without telling us where they think we’ll be once the “phase” is concluded. What they really believe, of course, is that America’s days as the world’s superpower are coming to an end, and that we must accept second-rate status because China is overtaking us and the rest of the world hates us anyway.

    If you think that’s weird, it was reported in what was supposed to be a sympathetic article in The New Yorker.

    We heard this same declinism in the 1970s. And Americans rejected it, looking for a way to restore America’s leadership and national pride. And they found it.

    That’s what they are looking for again.
    But Obama and his left-wing supporters can’t deliver it. Because they don’t believe in it themselves.

  • hkinsey3

    If ever there was a president who deserved a second term….this one ain’t him. We need another Reagan to come in and take the reins and get America back on the track that our forefathers started us on 250 years ago. We need an Obama every now and then so the people can appreciate the Reagans that come along.

  • Likely_Suspect

    Chicago style politics have now been shown on the national stage, backroom deals, paybacks, cronyism, and “screw you if you don’t have money for my campaign.” We have to vote these thugs back to oblivion, downsize this Leviathan government & open up the playing field for business to prosper. Just about exactly the opposite of what has happened since Obama took office.

  • joanne

    Thank [the Creator] for all the truthful and logical thinking from these comments, Obama is a one man destruction crew who is destroying our country. It’s nice to see that people have his number. The left insults the rest of us for not bowing to this “king”. His mask is off, and his arrogance and ineptitude is on display for all to see.
    May he crawl back under a rock in 2012.

  • Eric Kirkbright

    Can this Presidency be saved? Short answer, No..

    And its the wrong question to be asking at this point in time anyway.

    After the last 3 presidents, the more pertinent question is “Can American’s ween them selves from dependence on the Presidency?”

    Depending on transitional figures has led to constant redefinitions of constitutional powers.

    As Americans we should have been depending on the definitions of constitutional powers. Not electing officials with patent disregard for them.

  • Morgan

    Is 47.6 percent approval really “more than respectable”? Strangely, I don’t recall that kind of argument when Bush was at those numbers.

  • You have answered your own question:

    “Americans are realistic enough to understand that the breakdown of the blue social model is a messy process and that perhaps no president can deliver a pain free transition to the next stage.”

    This is exactly true, and Obama is absolutely committed to continuing and expanding the disastrously failed “blue social model.” The guy is a third grade idiot that doesn’t see that reality is chewing him up. The electorate will do the spitting out in 2012.

  • I suggest let’s not worry about whether this presidency can be saved, but whether this country’s economy will get better. Having said that, I’m not even sure things would be much better if John McCain had been elected in 2008.

  • KFK

    The question to ask is why? Why did the complex system that is the U.S. polity generate this leader at this time? Demonstrably unsuited for the job, in temperament, experience and skill, our system has nevertheless catapulted this individual to this role at this point in history. One would expect that virtually any D would win against Bush. I would humbly suggest that the leadership of the D’s evaluate their process. I would also humbly suggest that the intellectual and media elite might conduct a similar exercise. Complex systems are viable if they are resilient and adaptable. Conscious complex systems can evaluate their role in the system and make adjustments to improve resilience. Let’s hope these respective components of our system learn from this experience. As someone recently opined – they own this outcome.

  • Gary DeYoung

    You’re asking the wrong question, Mr. Mead. Who cares if his presidency can be saved? His presidency is not important. The question is whether the United States can be saved.

    If it is the failure of the “blue social model” that has driven this nation and many others to the brink of financial ruin (and I agree that it is) then the reason that Obama’s presidency can’t be saved is that he’s such a steadfast liberal idealogue that he’s impervious to reality. He simply refuses to acknowledge the implosion of an unsustainable welfare state, instead preferring to believe that we can simply raise taxes on the productive to eliminate our staggering national debt. And on top of that, amazingly … we get another huge new entitlement of the sort that has already brought us to the bring of financial ruin.

    For the sake of all of us, let’s hope his presidency can’t be saved.

  • Whadaham Ny

    At a time when Democrats and the Obama administration need seniors’ support, Why Government surplus food for Food pantries has been cut is beyond comprehension: Low income seniors rely heavily on this help. Note that the life expectancy rate in rural counties has dropped recently-coincidence? I don’t think so.

  • If you think the extremist Obama has been bad the last three years. Just imagine if he gets re-elected. He WILL finish what he’s started. The down-fall of America!!

  • Westie

    At one time I had some respect for WRM, no longer! After all this time if he cannot figure out a worthless 2 bit Chi-Town Community Organizer that is a lazy bigot than WRM is as dumb as anyone else that voted for Obama. Just go away, idiots, we will fix this and you need to shut [vulgar term deleted] up!

  • Roboticfarmer

    “President Obama’s predecessor made many mistakes, but something is at work here that is much bigger than the faults of the Bush administration. ”

    OH…you’re a bloody genius Mead. How about he is a Marxist ideologue with zero conscience the impact he has on this country or any other. The imperative is the ideology all else be [dratted].

  • Stew Pidlib

    Obama [sarcastic comments follow].

  • NewzKnight

    Shoulda Coulda Woulda Obama 2012

  • BlacKSaint

    Most of American friends in the world dislike Obama & consider him a light weight and un-trustworthy. Our enemies laugh at him. Either Friend or Foe respect him. He is one of American,s biggest failures as President both at home and abroad!

  • BlackSaint

    Liberalism is a mental disease that always ends up destroying Nations and countries, if not contained! Liberal never learn, for every action there is a reaction. When you start rewarding people for being lazy, stupid, criminal, corrupt and invading the Nation it begets more of the same until it becomes un-sustainable. Liberals are never ending in their quest to buy more votes with tax payer money by rewarding more vices until the vices far outweighs the good and that my friends in the end of the Nation!

  • msj

    Wake up folks. Obama has been a tremendous success at achieving his goals for America. It’s just that most people will not admit, even to themselves, what his goals are.

  • Treshall

    The reason we see no empathy from Obama is because the malignant narcissist is incapable of empathy. Abandoned by his socialist mother and Marxist father, unable to form normal attachments and emotional responses, Obama evolved into the cold, calculating, self-absorbed, egocentric, obfuscating, spoiled rotten must-have-his-own-way, finger pointing dictator-in-training we see today. As dismal a prospect as his continuing presidency presents, worse still is the thought of it continuing to 2016. By then (or even sooner), America as we know it will be gone, crushed beneath the heel of this heartless monarch wannabe. [Divine Providence assist us].

  • Turn MD Red

    You all miss the point. Obama is not really the president – he is the figurehead for a committee of Socialists determined to bring America down to the level of the rest of the world. Anyone who thinks he actually makes decisions is fooling himself – Obama plays at being president and says what he’s told to say (i.e., reads what others put on his teleprompter). When he’s forced to go off script, he’s helpless and clueless. He is utterly despicable.

  • Treshall

    The malignant narcissist cannot feel empathy.

  • I can understand that question being asked by members of this administration, but it’s a peculiar question being asked by a disinterested observer. With all due respect, a more objective question would be: “Should this presidency be saved?”

    A more useful analysis would have focused on whether the trajectory of this administration is good for the country and the world. Mr. Mead is writing as if the goals, philosophies and strategies of this administration were a mystery. No administration has ever been composed of automatons lacking either a vision or the will to achieve that vision. To write an article like this with the implicit assumption that the Obama presidency is capable or willing to transform itself strikes me a disconnected from reality.

  • Pabst Blue Ribbon

    zero is good at campaigning, where mouthing platitudes and demonizing your opponents are effective tools to win. Governing is quite different because actual results are necessary to maintain power. Only dictators are capable of the deceipt required to remain at the top with so much misery among the proles.

  • DPowers

    “Can the Obama Presidency still be saved?”

    A better title for your article is “WHY the Obama Presidency cannot be saved!”…not counting your next to last sentence were you still hang onto some kind of fantasy-like, misbegotton “hope” or “change” about him.

    Just face facts already! The man IS who he IS…he’s NOT a “leader”, he’s LOST his ablity to inspire (if he ever had it for almost half the country), as NOBODY takes his lies or his posturing seriously anymore (even the hardcore Lefties see right through him) and, most important, HE CANNOT CHANGE!

    He will go down in history as one of the worst one-term Presidents we’ve ever had!

    [Prayer for divine assistance] for the next 17 months!

  • One grows so weary from repeating this: Obama is not African-American (read black). He is the first biracial U.S. president, just as much white as black. Actually, dubbing him black due to his being partly black is akin to the old Jim Crow laws when any amount of black made one totally black. However, back then Liberals considered that a very bad thing. Now it’s a very good thing. How did that reversal happen?

    Whatever. He isn’t black.

  • Very well written and all that, but can I be honest here? Obama is an incompetent Marxist who doesn’t have a clue what America stands for. He has shown zero world leadership for the cause of freedom. He sat back and watched as brave Iranian patriots were raped and slaughtered. He dawdled a month as Qaddifi consolidated power, when he could have been toppled with a feather had we struck timely. He pressures and abandons friendly democracies such as Israel, and he favors hostile entities such as the Palestinian territory.

    Domestically, he has only hurt the economy, with his retrograde energy policy, his inept handling of the Gulf spill, his corrupt stimulus bailouts, and by nationalizing healthcare against the strong wishes of the American people.

    He has loaded his administration with those he is comfortable with – leftist radicals.

    You get the idea. If it weren’t for a sold-out fawning press unwilling to investigate his past associations and his campaign finance shenanigans, we would not be sitting in the Oval Office between golf rounds and McCartney concerts.

    Will this nation ever wake up?

  • Keith Smith

    Obama’s second term is shovel-ready.

    Senator Present has zero experience or wisdom for this job. Something he could not hide forever.

  • Emma

    Of course they’re unforced errors: the man is an ignorant individual who has never worked for a living and didn’t grow up in America.

  • Bonfire of the Idiocies

    Does anyone really expect him to change anything? Truthfully, the man thinks he’s doing a great job and if there’s a “problem”, it’s due to the fact that we’re a bunch of idiots.

  • lukuj

    For the good of our country, I hope the Obama presidency CAN’T be saved. His policies are incorrect and destructive and self-serving. He seems to operate more out of revenge and disgust for the country and all of its citizens who don’t agree with him than a real desire to do what will work. He is more committed to his own liberal philosophy than he is to doing what will work, and what will work is surely not what he wants to work.

  • Ellen K

    It appears that this presidency is run on the sole concept of a contrarian view of anything done previously. We have alienated long time allies, ignored the economic backbones and dismissed very real concerns in those areas that are bread and butter issues. The problem is that Obama didn’t really garner a clearcut majority. Instead he pieced together a quilt of demographic subsets and promised each group that their goals would be foremost. He did this without bothering to see where such actions were absolutely impossible due to conflicts.And he ignored that most of the programs promises were classic Democrat Big Government programs that he knew would cost far more than the cooked numbers given to the CBO would demonstrate. That this is a failed presidency is not the problem of inherited issues, it is one of a curious lack of leadership. At times this president seems to be nothing more than a figurehead for decisions being written by committee. That’s not what we need in times like these. We need a hero. We need someone willing to solve problems without having to worry about where their egos lie. Right now, I don’t see that candidate out there. But I hope they get here soon. We cannot sustain the type of biased and destructive government that we have seen since 2008.

  • David Minnich

    “the most recent RealClearPolitics poll average has him at a more than respectable 47.6 percent approval;”

    LOL – and his disapproval is 46.9%, statistically even. In the likely voters polling, he is underwater. Hardly a strong position. All the GOP has to do is put up a comfortable, competent candidate and they will win.

  • Chris Foster, DC

    Wonderful comments from everybody! Especially the lengthy one from WigWag… very well laid out.
    Now, the problem is, we all know Obama has failed in everything but campaigning, but the liberals refuse to “get it”. I, personally, get so frustrated when trying to talk to a liberal and show them some logic. They don’t dwell in that realm.
    I’m just reading Ann Coulter’s new book, Demonic. If you really want to understand why making sense to a liberal is so impossible, her discussion (pretty much the whole book), explains “mob behaviour” and how liberals fit that mold PERFECTLY. What’s great about the book is it is well researched and based greatly on the works of Gustave Le Bon, the “father of mob psychology”.
    I’m not here selling books, I’m mentioning this because it is a good source for understanding why liberals would never comprehend what all of you have posted above! Bravo!

  • Kevin Stephenson

    With Michele Bachmann’s Monday night debate revelations in New Hampshire, her very dominating strong stances on spending seems to have earned her a hard look at Primary voters.

    As a Rasmussen poll of the race after her debate in the state, shows Congresswoman Bachmann placing right behind Romney and therefore gaining Mrs. Bachmann enough voters backing her to secure a Second
    Place standing, for the Nomination.

    If Bachmann’s strong 19% against Romney’s 33% standing holds, I would assume that more conservatives knowing that she just might win the nomination will start choosing her as their 1st choice candidate to secure the G.O.P. Nomination and giving Romney a real scare.

    Below is the Rasmussen Poll with full details.

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections/election_2012/election_2012_presidential_election/romney_bachmann_cain_lead_the_pack_among_gop_primary_voters

  • Lavaux

    Pixie dust? OK, then another metaphor is in order.

    To the left, the economy is like a Greek god. They don’t understand why it blesses some and curses others. What’s more, they don’t understand how to sway or control it. Sure, the left’s high priests (e.g. Keynes) have manufactured numerous rituals and chants to convince the capricious god to shower them with blessings. Yet the god just seems to do what it does, priestly coaxing notwithstanding, and best not get cursed.

    Obama is a regent of the left. His trillion dollar sacrifices to the economy god kept faith with the stimulus ritual prescribed by his high priests, and they should have worked. Yet somehow, the god has cursed him, and neither Obama nor his high priests know why. Maybe the economy god is a racist.

    Whatever the case may be, with the chants and rituals not working, Obama is out of tricks and excuses. Worse, the peasants know that they’ve got to start paying off the money Obama borrowed to sacrifice to the economy god, which will be all the harder because the god showered them with curses rather than blessings.

    Not all is lost, however. A group of infidels is preaching that the economy god does not exist. Instead, the economy is the peasantry, and what it does depends on what they do. When they submit to the primitive and ruinous superstitions of the left, they suffer. But when they throw off these ruinous superstitions and start thinking cause and effect, they begin to realize truths such as lending money to people who can’t pay it back is a good way to lose money, and lots of it.

    Liberated by such truths, the benighted peasantry bestow faith in themselves and become infidels. Anger at the false gods, their high priests and the ruling elites whose authority relied on the discredited mythology grows. Talk of revolution, of a new day when peasants are free to secure their own blessings through their own hard work and thrift, becomes commonplace.

    That’s where we are.

  • noahp

    Stop with the politics Mr. Mead. I know, I know…the prospect of being shunned by your liberal associates is daunting. But if in your role as pundit you cannot speak the truth as you see it, then I suggest silence.

  • bluestravelerr

    It appears that he doesn’t care if he gets a second term; his goal is to get as much of his agenda implemented as possible, hoping that it will grow like a snowball going downhill, with or without him. A second term would just be a bonus.

  • Steve Worboys

    “President Obama started off with great advantages in the pixie dust department. As the first African-American president, he embodies important American qualities simply by being himself. Young, energetic, blessed with a stylish wife and a vibrant family, he holds Kennedy-class cards when it comes to touching enduring American themes and ideals. He was (and can still be) an ideal representative of America to itself and to the world, a symbol of hope for national and global reconciliation and renewal.”

    Talk about pixie dust. This paragraph embodies the kind of magical thinking among intellectuals that led to Obama in the first place.

  • SamAdams25

    The author is overly optimistic in failing to acknowledge that Obama is a pathological narcissist that is incapable of admitting that his policies have failed, much less learning from it. He apparently still believes that he is the most brilliant mind on the planet and is somehow being cheated.

    It is my opinion that Obama places his ideological goals ahead of the good of the country. That is to say, he believes that the pain and suffering of the American people in the near term is justified by the relative good that his policies and agenda will bring in the future. He is willing to subject the American people to hardships that are not unavoidable in order to bring about his “progressive vision”.

    He is so convinced of this that, in his arrogant hubris. he feels justified in grossly misleading the public about his true intentions. Unfortunately for Obama, the American people are not as gullible as he seems to believe. They have seen, time after time, that he tells us one thing, while we see that reality is something different altogether. He is insulting our intelligence.

    I don’t believe that our great country can survive another four years of Obama. The damage done already will likely take a decade or more to repair. We must not allow him four more years to destroy our country.

  • Why did WRM ignore the role that the fawning traditional media play in whitewahing Obama’s weaknesses and editing in non-existent strenghts ? As I recall , Dr. Krauthammer said that calling Obama an empty suit was an insult to clotheshangers . Obama sold himself to the nation with a fictional narrative that cannot endure the challenges of these times .His ” Dreams ” cannot handle his reality .

  • Harvie

    I just want to point out that President Obama never said that stimulus will keep unemployment below 8%. It comes via a Jan. 9, 2009, report called “The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan” from Christina Romer, chairwoman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, and Jared Bernstein, the vice president’s top economic adviser even before he took oath of office.
    But everyone needs to understand that report was created based on data from November and December but we lost millions more jobs by the time Stimulus was passed and implemented.

  • sherekahn

    Obama’s flippant answer, “maybe you trade” (your vehicle for one that gets better mileage)illustrates just how out of touch he is. Try trading a gas hog for a more fuel efficient vehicle right now and you’ll get the shock of your life. Also, what if you’re unemployed or underemployed? And how about getting anything financed right now?
    Easy for a man whose reported income was $1.7
    million and riding in gov’t vehicles on gov’t fuel but what about the rest of us?

    Out of work? Go back to college. Great answer if “someone” is going to support your family for 4 years. Not all of us have such
    connections with wealthy muslims.

    If people vote for this joke again, they’ll get exactly what they deserve. Unfortunately, the rest of us who don’t deserve it will be right beside them.

  • A Hick

    No, his presidency cannot be saved. He lost it at the outset when he failed (perhaps due to a combination of timidity and being too beholden to the financial system)to rally a likely willing nation to take on the banks, force a repeal of Gramm Leach Bliley and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act through Congress. Dealing with healthcare before breaking the financial oligarchy in order to reset the economy ruined him.

    You knew he was toast when Geithner got the Treasury job and Larry Summers got brought in.

  • John Selig

    It’s not too soon for Reagan’s heir to saddle up and bring back morning to America. Mitt Romney is the man! That man in shining armor, sitting on the white stallion upon the Shining City on the Hill will save us from the Muslim evildoer and his socialist-Marxist evil deeds. God bless our exceptional country and its commonsensical patriotic hard workers.

  • “the promise that his health care proposals wouldn’t effect anyone”

    affect

  • blessed with a stylish wife

    Uh. You might want to rethink that one.

    =====

    Obama can’t save his Presidency because his frame of reference (Frank Marshall Davis) is wrong.

  • chan

    Obama is not saying anything because he has nothing to say, he never had. A once in a century coincidence brought to the presidency at such a critical junction a nice guy which his main qualities (even per this write) were his “stylish wife, vibrant family, his young age” and the color of his skin (…“As the first African-American president”), sorry but this is hardly enough even in good times, and these are not. So let’s face reality the white house is vacant and no pep talk by a journalist can change that.

  • Al

    Whole lotta words here to say something very simple: Obama is a [deleted].

  • PD Quig

    Rush said it best (and earliest):

    “I hope he fails.”

  • russ in nc

    Obama is a political experiment. Essentially the experiment goes like this: “We’ve survived horrible presidents in the past 200+ years but will we survive THIS?”

  • cedarhill

    The condensed version of this article is “If you can lie effectively, you’re golden.”

    Good analysis though. After all, it’s all about the Goebbels “narrative”. Almost makes you want to stand up and start shouting “My Father! My Father”. German-Americans can use their ancestral language.

  • Kristen McFarland

    After looking at the biography of the author, I must conclude his hyothesis isn’t purely rhetorical…he would actually wish Obama to succeed..although he does admit Obama has failed in important areas of governance..I do believe despite the high-flying Yale euphemisms and support for this juvenile man-child, Dr. Mead has a large sized problem wiht results..and after almost three years, the consequences of following this ‘Pied Piper’ like so many rats, America’s best solution to this is to get out of the way while Obama crashes & burns and while the rest of us attempt to salvage what he has done to the country, so blatantly and so clearly…whoever takes over upon the conclusion of this disastrous presidency will have much to overrule, override and dispense with..getting rid of innumerable duplications, so much bureaucratic waste and too many government employees and programs will be the job of the next CEO of America….

  • Jeff P

    Obama is not a leader he is a [a noxious individual] That is all . He couldn’t lead a kid to the candy store

  • Rick

    Saving Obama’s presidency would require further sinking the American people in debt, wrapping extra chains around their necks. He isn’t worth saving. If America is going to be saved, it has to get rid of socialism.

  • Albert Gaynor

    In order to solve the current economic problems
    Obama would have to veer away from his core
    beliefs which would include redistributive
    income principles. He would have to believe
    that tax reductions lead to enhanced returns on
    investment, a fundamental requirement for
    expanded economic activity. He would have to
    believe that smothering regulations are a wet blanket on physical plant expansion and
    new hiring. He would have to alter the mind
    set of most of the people in his administration who mostly believe that profits are a dirty word and that corporations are evil. In other words to get
    the economy moving again it would require as
    radical a change in mind set that it is possible to conceive. Obama learned at the
    knees of Marxists. He studied from the playbook of Alinsky. Sadly, it would require
    that Obama not be Obama. What odds would you
    give that that would happen?

  • crystal williams

    i guess no one has anything go to say about obama HE IS OUR PRESIDENT so get over it he’s doin his job well,when he got in the chair everthing was a mess is no way he could fix things in one day or even a year.when thing was messed up befor he got there it was nothing said and all u guys want him to fail.lol people in this world still livein with the mind set from back in the days this is 2011 people thing has change .he got my vote and always will ,he doin a great job !!!

  • Dr Irish

    He seems bogged down in the minutiae of policies – most of which don’t seem to be working very well.”

    this mustbe a joke. This man is completely unengaged. He doesnt have the work ethic to be involved. He is a lazy do-nothing that outsourced the first 2 years of his presidency to Nancy Pelosi and David Obey. He is an economic illiterate that truly believes that ATMs are the reason for high unemployment even though they have been around for 40 years.

    No the truth is he is not smart, he has no experience and he is lazy.

  • Anthony

    I reiterate, the President plays many roles: chief executive, chief legislator, commander-in-chief, head of state, party leader, etc; most importantly, the President is the guardian and representative of U.S. capitalism (home & abroad). WRM’s query Can This Presidency Be Saved infers dismal disappointment with Obama’s ability as top salesman of U.S. system (domestically & internationally). That is, Obama does not reassure and reflect for many an appreciation of America’s ideological/fiscal/cultural/social interest; leaving aside the veracity of that proposition, President Obama has governing problems. His problems are contained in a world in transition in which at this moment in history U.S. has hegemony. Domestically and internationally our president entered office with sparse preparation. Therein lies signal component to floundering presidency albeit with context.

    The 2008 election held promise for many Americans and that promise induced many to overlook candidate Obama’s knowledge and purpose for American “themes and ideals” (not a bad thing considering country’s disfiguring legacy, perhaps the wrong man). WRM said perhaps man is not up to the hour; the 2008 electorate ignored same observation for cultural icon status. Now, many in electorate are disappointed in the actual man. Yet, historically Obama’s success had come from “standing for nothing” but permitting admirers/dissenters to project their positions/sentiments onto an Obama persona, while Obama split the competing difference if possible.

    “Republican primary field remains both uninspiring and polarized….Obama lost control of narrative.” Will any selected, once nominated, republican presidential candidate capture lost narrative and have us believe that our social problems and economic difficulties will be solved with enough vigor and resolve? Perhaps, the problems are of a magnitude greater than the resources/abilities of both political parties to command in the American interest.

  • Carol Cross

    I want a second term for Obama. How he’s managed to do so much with the right whose only goal is for him to fail—no matter what that does to the public–is amazing!

  • Kenny

    Pixie dust?

    Forget it, Mr. Mead. What ever pixie dust B. Hussein Obama and his leftwing handlers had was used up getting that incompetent elected in the first place.

    And now that Obama has had to actual accomplish something for the first time in his life, the scales are quickly falling off the eyes of the country, and they’re horrified at the sight they behold.

    Their Emperor is indeed naked as a jay-bird.

  • PD Quig

    Comment #46 is why I am convinced that this country must crater before it can heal. There are too many economic and foreign policy illiterates who are so ideologically blinkered that they are incapable of understanding what is going on before their very eyes. They held the reins of power for most of the 20th Century and succeeded for nearly 100 years in forcing their dead vision of the world down our throats. They were out of power for only a decade or so, but during that time they so hungered for the raw power to inflict their heinous social order upon us that they did everything they could to destroy Bush 41. I am no fan of Bush, but if the media had done half the reporting on Obama that they did on Bush, there would be no President Obama. Obama is a liar, a socialist, and an arrogant fool. A press that did its job could have exposed this in a few days, but instead they spent all their reporting budgets on digging up dirt on Palin and other Republicans. I can’t wait until the Baby Boomers die off and take their generation’s hypocrisy, unethical behavior, and supreme selfishness to [an undesirable long term venue in the afterlife) with them (and I was born in 1951). Our demise is the necessary predicate for curing this country’s ills.

  • Gunther

    It’s too late for the President.

    I do agree that a president with credibility could turn things around.

    The problem is that this president does not have credibility — he is known for not telling the truth and has a fatal character flaw in that he is incapable of admitting a mistake.

    Witness his silence on his Libya stance now that “days not weeks” was proven wrong, yet he fights congress on authorization. He publicly takes credit for the Bin Laden assassination yet still pursues persecution of the CIA agents who gave him the ability to do so. And he cannot admit that the Health Care bill was a mistake. Oh, and look at the two faced energy policy.

    Unfortunately for him, I couldn’t trust anything he promised. He’s a proven liar. And that’s sad.

  • ge205

    Socialist this and marxist that..blah blah blah. Seriously, if you take those words and replace them with “imperialist” and “capitalist pig” some of you sound EXACTLY like minions spouting slogans from North Korea.

    Getting back to the article, the author is right about what is wrong with the administration. Obama promised a new type of leadership, and he is delivering the old type of leadership. Like Hick said, Obama is too beholded to the financial system. Some conservatives might think Obama is a left wing socialist, but the fact is that Obama was elected because he could raise a vast amount of money. He is the product of our system which relies on ungodly amounts of money to be elected.
    Reelect Obama or elect a Republican..nothing is going to change for the good of the average citizen.

  • M57

    Since this administration (with the exception of the killing of Bin Ladin, which I understand was accomplished despite the Commander in Chief’s waffling) cannot point to a single success story, it’s not clear why it should be saved.

  • Phantomorphan

    Can it still be saved? Not as long as Obama keeps being Obama. One joke that’s going around now says it all: If you voted for O in ’08 to prove you’re not a racist, you’ll have to vote against him in ’12 to prove you’re not an idiot.

    I’m still hoping he’ll resign; even Biden would be an improvement.

  • Anthony

    President Obama generates consternation but do his decriers have the same consternation for a decidely concentrated political system of which he is a part? And which, whether Democrat or Republican, despite tension and occasional hostility will continue public policy utilizing Napoleonic tactics to keep U.S. populace off balance.

    U.S. history has shown that a president with a firm knowledge of the mechanics of government and the balance of forces in society can successfully assert the priority of the general interest over the special interest; this president can come from either party with the support of engaged Americans.

  • W Krebs

    So, let me see if I’ve got this straight, Professor Mead. You propose that President Obama should go out and give his version of the “malaise” speech.

    Well, why not? It worked so well for President Carter.

  • Marke

    The difference between the Obama we expected and the Obama we got was so great as to constitute a lie. Nobody likes to be lied to. That is why all your responders, like me, are so dismayed, angry, and gloomy.
    Still as Tom Peters held forth if you’re at-bat enough times you’re bound to get a few solid hits. So what good things happened? 1) Continuation of the “Bush Policy” in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Libya. 2) Avoided liquidity lock-up with bank bailout. 3) Temporarily, at least, saved a bunch of jobs by bailing-out GM. 4) Demonstrated once and for all that socialism doesn’t work anywhere (we were the last to try it, but Marx always thought the US was the most promising place). 5) Eliminating Osama Bin Laden.
    What are the big external problems? 1) Integrating the insecure, retrograde, angry, hostile, and terroristic Islamic world into the Global world. 2) Integrating Fascist-Communist and Mercantilist China into the Global world. 3) Paying for it (the British did it with borrowed money for 400 years, but extracted tribute, and we don’t do that.)
    What are some of the big internal problems? 1) Intellectual honesty. 2) Establishing a stable and perceptively “fair” distribution of wealth without destroying entrepreneurial spirit, financial discipline, and market-based pricing and valuation. 3) Recognizing, analyzing and fostering a new service-sector paradigm (manufacturing is going the way of agriculture 10% of the workforce can manufacture everything we need, what do the rest of do?). 4) Paying for it (diets are always hell).
    Can this presidency be saved? He seems to have learned to solve external problems fastest, possibly because they haven’t required changing as many previous beliefs. To successfully address the big internal problems he would have to change many of his core beliefs. This requires humility, courage, abandoning life long friends, and brutal honesty. That’s a very tall order and, even if done, might not be supported by his political base.

  • bandit

    The problem is ATM’s. When millions of Americans try to take out more money they are correctly checking their balance.

  • Corey

    Obama won in 2008 because he was unknown entity. He voted present as to hide his true feelings about any difficult issue.

    He spoke in empty rhetoric and platitudes that allowed voters to project their hopes on to this blank slate.

    He rose expectations sky-high and when it came time to deliver, he fell flat.

    2012 he is a known-entity now, and Americans can sniff out an empty-suit. Its pretty obvious even to a casual spectator of politics that he possess no leadership abilities… I really don’t think he stands a prayer at being re-elected, especially with how weak this economy is. He promised that he knew what was wrong with the economy and begged the America people for the job, and pushed forward with his policies, that now in retrospect show that instead of helping, they actually did nothing, with the benefit of owing A LOT more money in the process, so we can summarize that his policies actually hurt greatly.

    yea Obama in 2012? I wouldn’t bet on that horse.

  • Mike M.

    I agree that the president has to lead, but Obama’s fundamental problem is that he is simply not a leader. His own administration has openly admitted that his preference is to “lead from behind”, which of course is an absurd contradiction in terms.

  • You’re always worth reading.. But FYI: controlling the narrative takes more than speechmaking. Obama is no FDR because he never called on Americans as FDR did…
    http://www.dissentmagazine.org/atw.php?id=293

  • Steve B

    His strategy was to become president, now what?

  • Internet Blowhard

    Can Obama’s presidency be saved? No it cannot, the current administration is incompetant and full of crooks or time serving partisan hacks.

    A more relevant question is Can the United States be saved before the endless spending and dollar printing destroys the country and turns it into Greece or far more likely Argentina.

    My money is on NO.

    The United States of Zimbabwe – Change your getting.

  • What a gracious and eloquent way of describing President Obama as an bumbling idiot.

  • nobama

    Once Humptey Obama fell off the wall, all the king’s horses and all the king’s men… well, you know the story.

  • AD

    “His strategy was to become president, now what?”…

    paraphrasing “The Candidate” (1972)!

  • D Davie

    This article is the biggest conglomeration of [unpleasant stuff] I have ever tried to wade through. Gave up.

  • neil salmon

    Okay, I.m in the middle of a right wing extremist internet posting , I voted for obama believing in all that hope and change which instead became a spineless wimpy president who sells out at every chance to the oligarchs and plutocrats really running this so called democracy , I won’t vote for republicans or obama , where is there a FDR type leader when this country really needs a real leader in the white house ?

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2017 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.