Monday, December 28, 2009

He Doesn't Get It: Obama Is Slipping, and Not Only in the Polls (added: Damage Control of the "Christmas Incident")

Does he get it? This is Ed Lasky at the American Thinker: "Obama's Image: What a Difference a Year Makes."

Paraphrasing Winston Churchill: Barack Obama is no longer a riddle wrapped inside a mystery inside an enigma . . . . Now he's a "cynic wrapped in a hypocrite inside a bully." Doh!

Read Lasky's article--excellent.

The Damage Control of the "Christmas Incident" Continues

Obama can't seem to get this right. The Napolitano walkback wasn't enough. Now he's come out again (and again in suitcoat without a tie, which clearly says, "I'M ON VACATION, DAMMIT!"

Once more, with feeling. Actually, this is one of the most flaccid, passionless speaking displays from Our Greatest Orator evah, except that he shows a definite undercurrent of irritation, as if he's pissed to have to come out again and tell all these morons that they need to just accept the party line on terrorism and STFU and let him get back to the beach.

Ouch--look at the set of his mouth. And is it just me, or does The Won look pale (heh), pissed, and exhausted in this photo? Is someone deliberately "lightening" these photos? Sometimes he looks quite black, sometimes he looks gray, and sometimes, like here, he looks pasty white. He sure doesn't look like a guy who's on a two-week Hawaiian beach vacation. Maybe there's a reason why Candidate Obama's medical records were a state secret. Hey, BO, back off a little on the gym workouts. You also look like you could use a burger. Just sayin'.

Here's a transcription of Obama's second whack at spin-doctoring the attempted blowup of jetliner over American soil. Yesterday [which was Monday--the attack was Friday, which is three days, Bro] I updated the American people on the immediate steps we took [his patented up-inflection on took and pissed off half-sigh], the increased screening and security of air travel [increased security--are you joking, BO? And the increased screening--nobody gets up out of their seat for the last hour of the flight--as if the last hour of the flight is the only time a terrorist could set of a bomb?] to keep our country safe in the wake of the attempted terrorist attack on Christmas Day, and I announced two reviewssss, a review of our terrorist watch list system [this is Janet Napolitano's job, but evidently she thought Bush's system was fine since she's been in her job for eleven months without doing anything] and a review of our air travel screening, so we can find out what went wrong, fix it, and prevent future attacks. [Easy, right?] Those reviews began on Sunday [well, I'm on still vacation, but you can bet your butt that Janet's vacation is finished] and are now underway. [Why didn't those reviews begin 11 months ago?] Earlier today, I issued the former [did he mean formal?] guidelines for those reviews, and directed the preliminary findings be provided to the White House by this Thursday. [Interesting that he says "to the White House" and not "to me".] It's essential that we diagnose the problems quickly, and deal with them immediately. [It's after the fact, BO. What's so "essential" about working on the problems now that wasn't essential months ago? Is this the first time it occurred to your administration that a terrorist could blow up a plane?] More comprehensive formal reviews and recommendations for improvement will be completed in the coming weeks, and I'm committed to working with Congress and Homeland Security communities [huh?] to take all necessary steps to protect the country.

So he had nothing new to say this second time around. It's not clear why he bothered, except that he evidently was feeling the heat for being too uninvolved in the business of the country and too overinvolved in his two-week Hawaiian vacation. The NYT, the Obama Paper of Record, wrote, The visual contrast of a president on vacation while there was anxiety about air travel also drew fire. Although aides issued statements describing conference calls with counterterrorism advisers, pictures of passengers enduring tougher airport screening were juxtaposed with reports of the president picnicking at the beach and playing sports. Which is maybe one reason most presidents in the past have stayed either at the White House or at Camp David for the Christmas holidays.

Then there was this from Jennifer Loven, President of the White House Correspondents' Association, and as HotAir's Allahpundit says, Good Lord, Barry if you've lost her. . . . here's what she wrote:

Until Monday, the president had not been heard from publicly since the Christmas Day scare. He was ordering stepped-up security measures and after-action reviews behind the scenes, but also enjoying his Hawaiian vacation with games of golf, basketball and tennis and trips to the beach.

He drew questions about his level of involvement by not getting his first briefing on the incident until two hours after it was all over - and then only for 15 minutes, when he departed for the gym.

Aides defended the low-key approach as purposeful, designed to not glorify the attempted attack with undue presidential attention and perhaps encourage other terrorists.

In the spirit of Saul Alinsky, whose playbook is under the pillow of every ObamaTeam member, we return to Alinsky's Rule # 5: Ridicule is man's most potent weapon.

Obama took three days to address the bombing of Northwest Flight 253. At American Thinker, William Tate gives us the Top Ten reasons why it took Obama three days to respond to the terror attempt:

Number 10: My teleprompter was on vacation this week.

Number 9: Polishing a Nobel Prize takes longer than you think.

Number 8: It was Bush's fault.

Number 7: The waves here in Hawaii are bitchen, dude.

Number 6: Janet Napolitano said the system worked great, even if I couldn't get email on my Blackberry for a while there.

Number 5: This sort of thing just ain't supposed to happen on my watch.

Number 4: It was Bush's fault.

Number 3: Axelrod never told me I'd have to work on the holidays.

Number 2: I was busy celebrating Festivus.

And the Number One excuse Obama can give for taking so long to respond to the attempted attack on Northwest Flight 253:

I was busy looking for my birth certificate.
Others at the America Thinker are calling Obama "the Bizarro President": All that matters to him is that he gets to use health-care to define his presidential legacy and the luxury to enjoy every single perk of the office as much as he can, 9-irons, expensive beef, and multi-million dollar vacation homes included. But much is at stake, and while this nation needs a real leader who is ready to commit to do anything necessary for its well-being, we instead got the Bizarro President, not The One.
Obama just doesn't seem to get it.

Update. Oh my, this is bad, even worse than I originally thought. Not only has Obama lost Jennifer Loven, he also seems to have lost that uber-Obama-slobberer, Maureen Dowd. Say it isn't so, Mo.

Here's Dowd's op-ed at the NYT: "As the Nation’s Pulse Races, Obama Can’t Seem to Find His."

Here are some exerpts:

If we can’t catch a Nigerian with a powerful explosive powder in his oddly feminine-looking underpants and a syringe full of acid, a man whose own father had alerted the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, a traveler whose ticket was paid for in cash and who didn’t check bags, whose visa renewal had been denied by the British, who had studied Arabic in Al Qaeda sanctuary Yemen, whose name was on a counterterrorism watch list, who can we catch?

But in his [Barry Obama's] usual inspiring/listless cycle, he once more appeared chilly in his response to the chilling episode on Flight 253, issuing bulletins through his press secretary and hitting the links. At least you have to seem concerned. . . . Heck of a job, Barry. Ouch!

Update #2. The wheels are definitely coming off Obama's wagon. The New York Daily News' assessment of Obama's handling of the recent airline terrorist attempt says that he lacked urgency and decisive leadership. His initial Monday response (76 hours of empty space, that, unfortunately for ObamaTeam, was filled by the inane "the system worked" remarks of Janet Napolitano), says the NYDN, was "too long in coming, too cool in delivery and too removed from the extreme gravity of the plot"--not unlike his initial "shout-out" about the terrorist shooting at Fort Hood.

Continues the NYDN article: What the public was left with was a never-to-be-repeated case study in crisis mismanagement. It's time to get a grip, Mr. President. . . . Obama's description of Abdulmutallab as an "isolated extremist" was remarkable and disturbing. This radicalized young Nigerian is nothing of the sort. He operated, in fact, as an Al Qaeda-recruited, Al Qaeda-supplied, Al Qaeda-directed foot soldier - as, to put it directly, an enemy combatant, and not as the criminal "suspect" of Obama's description.

While the NYDN seems willing to give Obama a pass on "inherited" botched security screening procedures and "unwieldy" databases [you can't review procedures or fix a 500,000 name database in eleven months?--hell, the Empire State Building was built in eleven months--but I digress] the people at NYDN do hold Obama accountable for his own anti-terror appointees and policies--you mean Obama's appointments weren't Bush's fault, too--how can that be?  

Things the NYDN does hold Obama accountable for, although the list ought to be longer:
  • his costly and wrongheaded order to try key Guantanamo detainees in civilian courts, including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, architect of 9/11, in Manhattan Federal.
  • his determination to release selected detainees into foreign hands and hope for the best [but don't forget--BUSH DID IT TOO]
  • Napolitano, who will never live down her declaration that "the system has worked really very, very smoothly over the course of the past several days." Or her previous clanger that the 9/11 hijackers had entered the U.S. through Canada. Or her euphemistic airbrushing of terrorism as a "man-caused" disaster.
Update #3. I was sure that it wouldn't be too long before we heard from Dick Cheney. George Bush won't speak out against Obama, but Cheney has no compunction against airing his opinions of ObamaTeam in public. He has an interesting take quoted in Politico on Obama's reasons for downplaying the airliner attack: that Obama "is trying to pretend that we are not at war. He seems to think if he has a low key response to an attempt to blow up an airliner and kill hundreds of people, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if he gives terrorists the rights of Americans, lets them lawyer up and reads them their Miranda rights, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if we bring the mastermind of 9/11 to New York, give him a lawyer and trial in civilian court, we won’t be at war. And why doesn't he want to admit that we're at war with terrorists? Because it doesn't fit with the view of the world he brought with him to the Oval Office. It doesn’t fit with what seems to be the goal of his presidency — social transformation — the restructuring of American society.”

Politico continues in the article, criticizing the "conservative" response to Obama's lame response to the air attack: As indicative of what they contend is Obama’s world view, conservatives passed around the recording of a statement Obama made on Nov. 21, 2007, while taking calls on New Hampshire Public Radio: “I truly believe that the day I’m inaugurated, that not only does the country look at itself differently, but the world looks at America differently. If I’m reaching out to the Muslim world, they understand that I’ve lived in a Muslim country and I may be a Christian, [an aside--what a neat little rhetorical sleight-of-hand: "I may be a Christian, but then again I may not be." Very clever. Honestly, I think the guy is a Muslim, but regardless--he's no Christian. But that's for another post.] but I also can understand their point of view. …The world will have confidence that I am listening to them, and that our future and our security is tied up with our ability to work with other countries in the world. That will ultimately make us safer. And that’s something that this administration has failed to understand.”

That's the end of Politico's article, so I'm not sure exactly where they were going with that last paragraph. It's not enough to "listen" to radical Islamicists; it's not enough to "reach out." Bush, as highly ridiculous and wrong-headed as the Leftists wanted to make every one of his policies, every statement that came out of his mouth--even so, he kept America safe after 9/11. We're a nervous country right now (have you heard about the "suspicious vehicle" that closed down Times' Square today?); Obama needs to cut short his vacation and come back to Washington--today. Go relax at Camp David if you need to, Pres, but you need to quit playing the entitled rich-boy beach bum and get back to working your day job.

Update #4. Great minds think alike (heh). Michelle Malkin, in a post from 28 December, asks "Why is Obama still in Hawaii?" Read her post here.

Ya sure gotta be glad that The Won is having such a great time on the Big Island.

Update #5. Not that he'll take the advice.

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