Rounding up the latest commentary on the state of the Obama presidency during the doldrums of the August news cycle we find a very different portrait of the messiah president Barack Obama. Once the articulate and charismatic messiah we were assured would slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planets, Barack Obama is now incoherent according to CNN critics:
The danger here is an incoherent presidency," said David Morey, vice chairman of the Core Strategy Group, who provided communications advice to Obama's 2008 campaign. "Simpler is better, and rising above these issues and leading by controlling the dialogue is what the presidency is all about. So I think that's the job they have to do more effectively as they have in the past [in the campaign]."As Jennifer Rubin points out they go on to twist the knife a bit by pointing to the superior communication style of . . . guess who?
Obama has faced a torrent of criticism for what was called mixed messages on the controversial plan. On Friday, Obama said Muslims "have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country ... That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances."
The following day, Obama told Ed Henry, CNN's senior White House correspondent, that he was "not commenting on the wisdom" of the project, just the broader principle that the government should treat "everyone equal, regardless" of religion. Then a White House spokesman clarified those comments.
"There is no question they are having messaging problems at the White House," Morey said. "They've lost control of the dialogue, and they've gotten pulled down by the extremes on the left and right. They've just not had a coherent set of themes."
While many poked fun at former President George W. Bush for mispronouncing words and stumbling through sentences, observers note that he rarely had to backtrack on his answers because he employed a simple and direct messaging approach.My how times have changed.
Obama's incoherent messaging has left one group feeling a bit chilly these days:
Democrats complain they were blindsided when President Obama weighed in on the Ground Zero mosque and handed the GOP a new club to beat them with.That Bloomberg was given advance notice of Obama's ill-fated speech on Friday while the members of his party were left out in the cold to fend for themselves speaks of incompetence at a minimum. How many planks did these Democrats walk for him after all? Rahm Emmanuel was left to do damage control as he fielded the angry phone calls of Democrats who felt blindsided by Obama's remarks. According to the NY Daily News report, Obama proceeded to make his remarks at the Ramadan dinner though no consensus had been reached among his advisors as to what his position should be. Emmanuel was reported to have been skeptical. Gee I wonder who leaked this story?
Capitol Hill Democrats, including those facing tough races, were not told in advance before Obama's Friday night speech defending Muslims' rights to build a mosque in lower Manhattan.
While Mayor Bloomberg knew ahead of time what Obama intended to say at the Ramadan dinner at the White House, New York Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand were kept in the dark, sources said.
Not every rat is leaving this sinking ship. He still has a few apologists willing to pretend he hasn't tried to walk back his big brave support for freedom of religion in the United States in favor of a more precisely-phrased support for freedom of religion in the United States. We all know he intended to signal that the mosque must be built even though he refuses to admit he was commenting on the "wisdom" of building the mosque. This is the profile in courage we call Barack Obama.
Still, Roger Simon suggests that Obama may end up a "one-term president" because he boldly refused to listen to the polls and weighed in on the mosque controversy. You see, he has taken seriously all that hope and change talk and maintained the idealism of a candidate:
The problem for Obama is that he appears to have taken seriously all the “change” stuff he promised during his campaign. And he has been unable to make the transition from candidate to president.This puts Obama in the company of such fine leaders as Dwight D. Eisenhower and Abraham Lincoln:
A candidate says, as Bobby Kennedy did, “Some men look at things the way they are and ask why? I dream of things that are not and ask why not?”
A president says: “What do the polls say?”
You can go back to the mid-1800s and find a lot of legislators saying that Abraham Lincoln should stop lecturing people about ending slavery and listen to them about keeping it.
And there were plenty of lawmakers who said President Dwight D. Eisenhower was “disconnected from the mainstream of America” when he ordered the 101st Airborne Division to go down to Little Rock, Ark., to make sure some black kids could go to school with white kids.