Governing involves tough, unpopular choices and cutting deals with opponents. It requires doing things rather than talking about them!.
Obama is showing little appetite for this. Instead of being the commander-in-chief, he is the campaigner-in-chief.
After a disastrous summer that saw his approval rating drop more than any other president at the same stage since Harry Truman in 1953, Mr Obama has temporarily abandoned the campaign-style events promoting his stalled health-care reform initiative.
Now, he is stumping for Democratic candidates in states he won last year but which are now in danger. Last Wednesday in Hackensack, Mr Obama took to the stage to proclaim: “Your voice can change the world. Your voice can elect Jon Corzine, governor once again of New Jersey.” Change the world? Mr Corzine is a former Goldman Sachs executive whose political career was launched when he spent $57 million of his own money on a Senate seat in 2000.
And as he always does, Mr Obama blamed every economic woe on the Bush years, conveniently forgetting that Republicans are no longer in office and it’s been his mess for nine months now.
Campaigning and raising cash is what Mr Obama does best. Next week’s fundraising events in Florida and Virginia will bring to 24 the number of such functions he had headlined since entering office in January. During his first year in office, Mr Bush attended just six fundraisers.
Late-night comics, although unabashedly liberal and at a loss last year as to how to poke fun at the rather humourless Mr Obama, are having a field day portraying him as a do-nothing prevaricator obsessed with his own image.
“Obama agreed to commit an additional 40,000 troops to help fight Fox News,” quipped NBC’s Jay Leno. “Senior White House adviser David Axelrod told reporters that Fox News is just pushing a point of view. Well, yes, but at least they’ve got a point of view.” Mr Obama was elected on a promise of being post-partisan to Washington and transforming the country. Thus far, he has won the support of only a single Republican for his health-care plan and has shown himself to be as aggressive a Democratic partisan in office as anyone in the fabled Clinton war room.
All this says much about Mr Obama’s priorities at a time when he is sitting on an urgent request for 40,000 more troops to Afghanistan, seemingly unsure about whether the counter-insurgency strategy he announced in March is the right one.
And while our version of Nero dithers, a total of 46 US troops have died in Afghanistan in October in what is already by far the bloodiest year in the country since the 2001 US-led invasion.
With enough effort, resources and time, the marines are confident the Afghan population can be won over. But, with the platoon’s influence limited to a small area around their base, many soldiers wonder if the Taliban and Al-Qaeda may simply outlast them, or if the US and Afghan governments have the resolve to send enough troops to win. Top Republican senators have escalated their call for Obama to grant McChrystal’s request for more troops in Afghanistan, and one prominent Democrat warned that a failure to do so could jeopardize U.S. forces.Source:
Despite the urgency in Afghanistan and the decreasing morale problem, Obama procrastinates in his decision to grant or deny McChrystal’s request for 40,000 more troops.
Obama has said he would make up his mind in the coming weeks, and no announcement is expected before November. A senior administration official said the president is still working through and considering various options as has not settled on one. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the debate is ongoing.