In an interview today with George Stephanopoulos, Obama proved that he still doesn’t get it.
Here’s my assessment of not just the vote in Massachusetts, but the mood around the country: the same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office. People are angry and they are frustrated. Not just because of what’s happened in the last year or two years, but what’s happened over the last eight years.
Get it? It’s all Bush’s fault. The guy’s been gone for a year, and the rabble is still mad at him, and took it out on Coakley. Yeah, that makes sense.
Personally, I hope Obama keeps living in his little fantasy world, thinking that all the country’s problems belong to his predecessor, and he’s just the clean-up guy struggling against an overwhelming mess. The more he talks like this, the greater the Dems will suffer come Nov. 2.
UPDATE: Also from the interview:
We lost some of that sense of speaking directly to the American people about what their core values are and why we have to make sure those institutions are matching up with those values.
Uh, B. O., that’s the problem. The American people don’t need or want someone to tell them “what their core values are.” They already know that. They want somebody to listen to them explain those values. The sneering, dismissive treatment of the tea parties over the last year is precisely what has gotten the Dems in so much hot water.
There’s a lot finger-pointing going on following Scott Brown’s stunning defeat of the Democrat in Massachusetts, but the bulk of the blame is being laid at the feet of one man: Barak Obama.
Michael Goodwin, New York Post:
Obama went to Harvard Law School, but apparently never learned the lessons of the first Boston Tea Party. And so his arrogance and the heavy hand of big government sparked the second. A year to the day after he made history by taking the oath, he stands on the wrong side of a new American revolution.
Mortimer Zuckerman, The Daily Beast:
Obama’s ability to connect with voters is what launched him. But what has surprised me is how he has failed to connect with the voters since he’s been in office. . . . He’s lost his audience. He has not rallied public opinion. He has plunged in the polls more than any other political figure since we’ve been using polls. He’s done everything wrong. Well, not everything, but the major things. I don’t consider it a triumph. I consider it a disaster.
John Judis, The New Republic:
Obama now clearly faces not just a recession and two wars, but a political crisis. He needs to adopt policies that will boost employment, but he may not have the political clout to do so. He needs to restore the public’s faith in his own leadership, but it’s not clear to me how he can accomplish that.
This video has made the rounds on the internet. Awesome. Expect more of this sort of thing between now and November 2.
J. R. Dunn explains the linkage between China’s snub of Obama at the Copenhagen conference, and Barry’s earlier bow to the Japanese emperor. The sobering lesson: diplomatic protocol matters.
This only goes to underline the reason why diplomatic protocol exists in the first place — to exclude through ritual actions all possibilities that error, misunderstanding, or personal pique might interfere with matters of state. Obama has yet to learn this. His insistence on winging it, on reinventing established practice on his own terms, is potentially far more than simply embarrassing. It could be actively dangerous. His refusal to go by the rules may well have cost him the opportunity to pose as Savior of Gaia in Copenhagen. It may cost him — and the country — far more at some future time.
UPDATE: From Victor Davis Hanson, a prediction for 2010:
I think the overseas bowing, apologizing, and kowtowing will stop in 2010—it brought no tangible results. Indeed, Obama is one bow away from global caricature and humiliation.
Lisa Schiffren sees the shocking implosion of Tiger Woods’ persona as a metaphor for what’s also happening to Barak Obama. Both men were carefully groomed by outside interests who had a lot to gain by having them succeed. But eventually the mortal failings of both men came to light, in entirely different ways, and the carefully constructed images fell apart. And the betrayed public will exact a terrible revenge.
If I were watching the public disgust with the newly revealed Tiger Woods from an office in the West Wing, I’d be concerned. Because Barack Obama is about as completely manufactured a political character as this nation has seen. His meteoric rise, without the inconvenience of a public record, or accomplishments, and the public’s willing suspension of critical evaluation of his resume allowed his handlers and the media to project what they wanted to on his unfurrowed brow. . . .
Voters who believed in the Obama magic — both from the center and from the far left, are increasingly dismayed watching the human god fall to earth. This is a major problem because . . . the impulse of the betrayed is to tear their fallen deities to shreds.
I would offer one caveat to this outcome. A contrite confession, followed by genuine repentance (change), can go a long way toward rebuilding a tarnished reputation. Maybe Tiger can do it; I have serious doubts about Obama.
Dan Gerstein takes a hard look at Obama’s inner circle in the West Wing and sees a campaign organization, not a governance council. The stifling political mindset is setting up the Chief for failure.
The president’s top advisers are not just overly political, they are almost totally political. Indeed, this West Wing is stacked with “hacks”–campaign professionals who are acculturated to think, act and win in the hothouse environments of elections, not to govern a bitterly divided country in extremely difficult times.
Of course, this is precisely the opposite of what we were promised last year.
Nancy Gibbs worries that the Nobel Peace Prize just awarded our Dear Leader might hang like an albatross around his neck.
The Nobel committee cited “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” . . . But even his fans know that none of the dreams have yet come true, and a prize for even dreaming them can feed the illusion that they have.
Gibbs points to Greg Mortenson, who has devoted his life to building schools for girls in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as a far more worthy candidate for a peace prize — someone whose actions are more eloquent than any of Obama’s speeches.
UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds has collected some great zingers relating to this “accomplishment.”
UPDATE: How did Obama win the Nobel Peace Prize? He was the tenth caller.