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Fournier Frets About Obama’s Ability To Govern

From the National Journal:

Obama Channels Clinton’s Worst Day in Office, Raises Doubts About Relevancy

Like Clinton in April 1995, Obama struggles against forces out of his control.

By Ron Fournier | April 30, 2013

A president is in trouble when he’s forced to defend his relevancy, as Bill Clinton did 18 years ago, or to quote Mark Twain, as Barack Obama did Tuesday. “Rumors of my demise,” he said at a news conference, “may be a little exaggerated at this point.”

Not wrong–just “exaggerated.” Not forever–just “at this point.” Parsing aside, Obama channeled Clinton’s April 18, 1995, news conference by projecting a sense of helplessness–or even haplessness–against forces seemingly out of a president’s control.

For Clinton, it was ascendant House Speaker Newt Gingrich and the GOP’s takeover of Congress five months prior, a vote of no-confidence for the first-term Democratic president. “The president is relevant here,” Clinton insisted in the East Room.

In other words, Democrat Presidents have been blaming the Republicans for their failings for over 18 years. (Since 1995.)

For Obama, his nemesis is a far-less charismatic and influential House Speaker John Boehner, as well as the intense weight of structural problems that favor Washington gridlock. These include the Senate filibuster, hyper-partisan House districts, polarized media outlets, and a fast-changing electorate that is sorting itself in political tribes

As much as we’d like to believe otherwise, a president’s powers to fix problems are limited. That is certainly the case on an issue such as Syria, where Obama has no good options, and doing nothing in response to evidence of genocide is probably his worst alternative…

He can’t turn back time to stop the Boston Marathon bombings, or even to be sure that federal investigators did all they could to prevent the attack.

This is what passes for journalism in the age of (covering for) Obama.

“This is hard stuff,” Obama said. And he’s right. But the president risks losing the public’s faith when he waves the white flag too often, especially on problems that can be fixed. Blaming the GOP and larger structural problems don’t help the country, much less his legacy.

Here is the problem: Even if you concede to Obama every point of his Tuesday news conference, a president looks weak and defeated when he shifts accountability to forces out of his control.

Is Fournier saying Obama has looked weak since he came into office? Since that is all Obama has ever done.

Clinton had a different problem 18 years ago, when a reporter asked whether he worried about “making sure your voice will be heard” over the obsessive media coverage suddenly given to Gingrich. “The Constitution gives me relevance,” Clinton replied. “The power of our ideas gives me relevance. The record we have built up over the last two years and the things we’re trying to do to implement it give it relevance.”

It was, by most accounts, the lowest point of the Clinton presidency. The next day, domestic terrorists bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, and Clinton’s strong response put him back on track for reelection in 1996.

Is Fournier yearning for a similar tragic event, that the news media can rally around to save Obama’s Presidency?

This is where perceptions of Obama and Clinton differ. After the Boston bombings and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings (not to mention the assassination of Osama bin Laden), few voters would doubt Obama’s ability to respond to crises.

Really? Even after Benghazi and Hurricane Sandy?

But with so much of his agenda stalled 100 days into his second term, Americans might wonder about his ability to simply govern. Judging from Tuesday’s news conference, Obama has his doubts, too.

Clearly, Mr. Fournier missed the entire purpose of yesterday’s press conference. Obama was pretending to be powerless in order to escape any and all blame for his recent failures.

That way Obama can demonize the Republicans before the mid-terms, and thereby win the complete control of Congress. After which, he can ram through the rest of his agenda (and more) totally unopposed.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Wednesday, May 1st, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Fournier Frets About Obama’s Ability To Govern”

  1. Liberals Demise

    Where was this bozo 5 years ago. All here know what an incompetent boob he (Dinglebarry) truly is.
    Unable to govern a simple tricycle.

  2. captstubby

    “We must learn to look at problems all-

    sidedly, seeing the reverse as well as the

    obverse side of things. In given conditions,

    a bad thing can lead to good results and a

    good thing to bad results.”

    Q UOTATIONS FROM

    C H A I R M A N

    MAO TSE – TUNG

  3. Blaming the GOP and larger structural problems don’t help the country, much less his legacy.
    It’s good to see that the media’s laserlike focus on keeping Obama blameless for all things surpasses even the need for proper grammar.

    It speaks volumes that the only concern is for Obie’s legacy. For 5 years, the man has demonstrated a monumental lack of every skill necessary to be a leader. He is dishonest, incompetent, uninspiring, and has shown repeatedly that he’s not as smart as he thinks he is. He’s not as smart as I thought he was, and I thought he was an idiot from the beginning. If where we are after 4 years of this clown is any indication, Obama’s Legacy to us will be or ultimate demise as a country.




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