Presidentin’ is Hard

President Obama, shortly after announcing the beheading of James Foley

President Obama, shortly after announcing the beheading of James Foley

Sunday WTF:

Obama on golfing optics: Part of my job is ‘theater’

The president had been on vacation in Martha’s Vineyard Aug. 20 when he appeared before assembled reporters and pronounced himself “heartbroken” over Foley’s beheading by fighters for the Islamic State militant group in Syria.

Minutes after his remarks, Obama arrived at a golf course, where he played a round with several friends, provoking criticism from some political rivals, Democratic allies and media pundits that the commander in chief had not treated the moment with proper dignity and respect.

Obama and his advisers have generally dismissed criticism about his leisure activities, noting that all presidents have enjoyed pastimes that can help them clear their heads for a job that never really has off-hours. The president spent nearly two weeks in Martha’s Vineyard and played nine rounds of golf there.

“The possibility of a jarring contrast, given the world’s news, is always — there’s always going to be some tough news somewhere — is going to be there,” Obama said. “I think everybody who knows me, including, I suspect, the press, understands that that, you know, you take this stuff in. And it’s serious business. And you care about it deeply.”

The president emphasized that “the important thing is, in addition to that, is am I getting the policies right? Am I protecting the American people? Am I doing what’s necessary? And when it comes to the policies, when it comes to the actions we’ve taken, I have no higher priority than keeping the American people safe. I think I’ve done a very good job during the course of these last, close to six years, doing so. And I intend to continue to meet that responsibility or meet that duty, for as long as I have the privilege of holding this office.”

I would certainly agree that Obama is a bad actor. Whatever happened to the smartestest POTUS ever? The charismatic speaker and unnaturally gifted politician? The guy who had his own Greek temple built just so he could give a speech?

Is Obama really so detached that he didn’t realize that it wouldn’t look too good to give such a serious announcement and then head straight to the golf course? Is there no one in his administration who didn’t tell him it was a bad idea?

I honestly don’t think Obama gave a fuck until the backlash started. It was just another Marie Antoinette moment, of which there have been many. Obama is like the Richard Dawson character (Killian) in The Running Man – charming and affable in front of the camera, a total asshole the rest of the time.

His handlers said he had to make a statement on ISIS and the Foley murder, so he got on stage, read his lines, and then dropped the POTUS mask and headed for the golf course.

Lots of politicians are two-faced. Almost all of them, actually. The problem with Obama is that both the fake persona and the real one are both incompetent assholes. It’s not that the emperor has no clothes, it’s that the clothes have no emperor.

Even worse, he still has over two years left to go.

We are so fucked.


About Myiq2xu - BA, JD, FJB

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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70 Responses to Presidentin’ is Hard

  1. The Klown says:
  2. The Klown says:

    I’d like to see him try bullshitting Megyn Kelly.

  3. The Klown says:
  4. The Klown says:
  5. The Klown says:

    This is a whole new level of obsequious sycophancy:

    President Obama has always been a terrible political actor

    Harvey Milk once famously said: “Politics is theater.” Barack Obama has, intentionally, never grasped that fact.

    Obama, whether you like him or not, is one of the most naturally-gifted politicians the country has produced in a very long time. To oust Hillary Clinton in a Democratic primary as a freshman senator and go on to win two presidential elections convincingly — all by the age of 51 — is a resume that few will ever be able to match.

    And yet, for all of his abilities and accomplishments, Obama simply has ever been willing to embrace the theater end of politics, the idea that sometimes how things look matter as much as how they really are.

    The latest example came late last month when, minutes after delivering a statement proclaiming himself “heartbroken” over the execution of journalist James Foley by the Islamic State, Obama went out and played a round of golf on Martha’s Vineyard. On Sunday, in an interview with Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press”, Obama came close to acknowledging that that decision had been a mistake. He said (in part): “I should’ve anticipated the optics. Part of this job is also the theater of it….it’s not always something that comes naturally to me. But it matters.”

    It definitely does not come naturally to him. I still remember vividly a forum featuring then candidate Obama at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in the late fall of 2007. (I was helping to moderate the event for MTV. And, yes, I was once hip.) At the event, a young woman stood up and, in tears, told of how her father had been deported. It was heart-wrenching. I could easily imagine Bill Clinton wading into the crowd, hugging the young woman and, in the process, creating a bit of political theater that would have made the national news. Obama stood in the middle of the theater in the round and delivered a totally proficient — and professorial — discourse on the problems with the country’s immigration laws. It felt like an opportunity missed.

    So, why, knowing that theater matters in politics, has Obama not spent at least some time over the intervening seven years between that Coe College event and today working to get better at it? Two big reasons.

    First, Obama is, by nature, something of an introvert and a private person. (George W. Bush was too. Clinton, not so much.) The hugging, five-slapping and baby-kissing that comes to mind when most of us think about “politics” is not the sort of stuff he revels in. Remember that his political power was built on speech-giving; all of the most important moments in his political career were speeches: his “dumb wars” speech in 2002, his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, his Iowa Jefferson-Jackson dinner speech in late 2007, his Jeremiah Wright speech in spring 2008 — and so on and so forth.

    Second, Obama’s 2008 presidential candidacy — not to mention more broadly how he imagines his space in the political firmament — was a reaction to Bill Clinton, the last Democrat elected to the nation’s highest office. (That fact was affirmed by the fact that he was running against another Clinton for the nomination.) Bill Clinton loved — and loves — the theater of politics; he also happens to be a master at it. Obama, in defining himself against the Clintons — Bill and Hillary — purposely rejected what he considered empty acts that might look good but ultimately accomplished little to nothing.

    For many of his most ardent supporters, Obama’s unwillingness to play the game of politics endears him to them. He believes in deeds not words, they argue. Fine. But, as even Obama said on Sunday, how things look can — and often does — influence how things are.

    Six years into his presidency — and 53 years into his life — it seems unlikely to think that Obama will fundamentally change his approach as it relates to the theater of politics. But, there was not only an acknowledgement that he had mishandled the Foley situation but also a rare glimpse into his emotions in the interview with Chuck. After noting he was near tears during a conversation with Foley’s parents, Obama said: “I think everybody who knows me, including, I suspect, the press, understands that that, you know, you take this stuff in. And it’s serious business. And you care about it deeply.”

    The question is whether he will show not tell more often in his final two years in office.

  6. Cynthia Ruccia says:

    two looooooong years…….sigh…..

  7. 1539days says:

    Of course, Obama waits until he’s done golfing for a while, then goes into optics talk. The fact is that after we pointed out how offensive it was to golf while the world was burning, Obama’s butt monkeys claimed that one golf game wasn’t going to delay any action. When the response to that was the bad optics, the administration pretended that Obama’s optics were the only problem.

    It looks like Obama doesn’t give a shit because Obama DOES NOT GIVE A SHIT. That’s not optics, it’s a president who is transparent. Obama has always been transparent, but he was obscured behind the media’s skirts for 5 years. Now both of them are tired of this masquerade and are just trying to get through the next two years.

  8. Lulu says:

    A large part of Obama’s problem is that he cannot stand to be surrounded by anyone who is competent or isn’t an ass kisser. He may have started out with competent people (I think that is questionable but at least they weren’t blithering idiots) but now have been weeded out to the only the ideological and/or stupid on staff. They are so cut off from reality, general public opinion, Congress, and everything else that they have reached the point that they are not functioning. I think it is hang on to the office for two years and kick every can down the road. Playing golf for him is the equivalent of pulling the blanket over his head.

    • 1539days says:

      I think Obama can stand competent people as long as they agree with him. Since Obama is incompetent, all the competent people finally had to tell him he was wrong and were dumped from the O Team.

      • Lulu says:

        I think a lot of them quit when the quitting was good too. Having been associated with this administration is not the resume enhancer they thought it was going to be. There is going to be a huge problem for the next administration with the Obama-ites burrowed into the civil service. I could advise them on how to get rid of them.

    • DeniseVB says:

      Notice who he plays golf with, lowly staffers who have no choice. Then there’s his shady buddies on the vacays. He doesn’t use golf for ice breaking like former Presidents usually did.

  9. Constance says:

    I so hope the Republicans win the Senate. That will put the brakes on a lot of Progressive shenanigans. The problem really isn’t Obama, it’s Progressives that hate American culture. There are thousands more where Obama came from and the political and media structure is still in place to push them to the front of the line. The whole elitist Progressive movement is what’s wrecking the USA.

  10. DandyTIger says:

    At first I was dismayed and disappointed that the race for senate control is so close. I mean, holy crap, do you want Obama and the Dems to continue the insanity? Then I thought, maybe the voting public is rightly cynical and knows the Repubs are exactly as insane, and know it doesn’t matter as much as they’d like you to think. E.g., immigration issues, corruption, IRS, etc. The establishment of each party wants pretty much all the same things. I’m starting to think people are wising up about all this. They’ll probably vote Repubs in power in the senate just to mess with things, but it’s not because the Repubs will fix anything. Because they won’t. In a twisted way it gives me hope.

    • 1539days says:

      In 2010 it was a no-brainer that Republicans were going to make big gains because of the Tea Party. The party might have gotten even closer to 50 had a few butthurt primary losers not actively campaigned against their party’s nominee. The GOP got beat in 2012 thanks to the new IRS rules and the fact that Republicans in power liked it that way.

      This year we have Republicans who spent their money trying to keep Tea Party candidates off ballots and the Democrats who suck on ice. I’d rather give the Republicans the Senate because they can’t do nearly the damage that the Democrats could do with it.

    • The Klown says:

      The only thing the GOP has to offer right now is they aren’t the Democrats.

      • Lulu says:

        I want to see “churn” in political offices. These assholes act like they own the offices. They don’t. There needs to be more in and out of office. Too many of them are like leeches and simply never let go. I always think of Robert Byrd being rolled in on a gurney to blink once for Yea. When you are 75 get the fuck out for crying out loud. Arguments about institutional knowledge etc is baloney. Look at senile mean old Dirty Harry for what happens.

        • 1539days says:

          The reason I believe in term limits for Congress is that people are ranked by seniority. The Robert Byrds get to earmark disproportionate amounts for their voting district which gets them more support and donations in their “local” election. It discourages voters for changing them out for someone with no seniority and no influence. Term limits would provide a level playing field.

          The alternative would be to repeal the direct election of Senators. It would make state legislatures (many of whom are term-limited) the ones who decide who is appointed as their Senator and that could increase the autonomy of states.

          • Lulu says:

            I have mixed feeling about term limits. We do need senior people in Congress who know what they are doing. What many people don’t realize is just how much dead wood is in Congress. There are members who never do anything except show up and vote party line with no expertise in anything except occupying a chair. Then there are members who are experts in the military, budgets, foreign affairs, etc from both parties. I am tired of old, stupid, senile, worn out old farts running things just because they managed to hang on long enough to be senior committee members and think it is their entitlement to do so.

      • Constance says:

        I agree. But not being Progressive Democrats is a big selling point even if it’s the only one you have.

  11. SHV says:

    ” The establishment of each party wants pretty much all the same things….They’ll probably vote Repubs in power in the senate just to mess with things,..”
    Unfortunately there is currently no alternative to the Uni-party. I would vote for a real conservative or a real liberal but those people no longer exist. The only reason to vote is to hopefully find a few people, who for whatever reason, will attempt to throw some sand in the gears of big government.

  12. Lulu says:

    The Dems were organizing a means to fight back against the turning electorate with the hordes flooding the border. They were in the middle of getting big business to come in and support a “edict” which would include cheapo paid foreign workers work permits to undercut American skilled labor and making some headway. Then Obama dropped all of it to go on vacay. It turned completely with no push back while he was screwing off. “But once Obama returned to the White House on Aug. 24, the ramifications on the midterm election dominated the internal debate.”

    • DandyTIger says:

      He can’t even do corruption right.

      • HELENK3 says:

        are you saying he would screw up a one car funeral?

        • Lulu says:

          While driving the hearse he would stop at a burger joint, feed his face, then take a cab to the golf course. His schedule, his urges, his lack of discipline and concentration come first. You can see it when he gets whiny and petty. This is why he can’t work with anyone but sycophants who don’t push him. He turns into a crabby baby.

  13. DandyTIger says:

    New talking point: We’re so happy we have such a smart president. He’s smart enough not to divulge his secret strategy for dealing with ISIS.

    There are no words.

    • 1539days says:

      Not only does he talk like he doesn’t have a plan. He acts like we don’t have a plan, either. Boy, are they going to be surprised when Obama strikes. But we have to wait until 2017, because it could happen at any time. Sure.

    • Anthony says:

      Yah, I got that from a couple of Obots too when I was bitching about that stupid statement.

      I said “You know what would’ve been even smarter? If he said “We have a strategy that we’ll be implementing immediately” and then left the stage and went to the war room instead of the fucking golf course.

  14. votermom says:

    OT I binge watched From Dusk Till Dawn the tv series on netflix. A lot of gore & silliness. I didn’t even know there was a tv series. Fun for those who remember the movie with George Clooney.

    • 1539days says:

      It’s on the El Rey Network. It’s the channel created because Maxine Waters complained there were not enough minority owned TV cable channels.

      • votermom says:

        I don’t know if we have that channel. The series was fun, in a very twisted way.

      • lildoggy4u says:

        I have one of thiose channels. Its an OTA station called Bounce. It has black celebrities saying things like “television our way” with the obvious implications. Its awkward because they play some good mainstream movies. Yea, they may star Denzel but I’d watch the channel anyway. I don’t see the need for a special channel for watching good AA actors. They also beg you to call your cable company to demand they be put on cable’s lineup. I watch it because its NOT on cable. I cut the cord long ago.

  15. leslie says:

    I sent that Heimlich cartoon to my sibs – they are all obots to one degree or another. We’ll see if anyone responds. I think they believe if they don’t respond, I’ll stop sending them. Won’t happen. I’ve been sending them cartoons, op ed pieces, poll results, etc ever since 2008.

  16. HELENK3 says:

    finally got my computer and tv straightened out. the modem from the server had to be replaced.

    DID YOU SEE MY EAGLES?????????????
    doing the mummers strut all through the place

  17. HELENK3 says:

    my favorite judge and her opening statement last night.
    judge jeanine

  18. mothy67 says:

    I think Greta is the real deal. 2008 things got very ugly in western PA. I was spit on and called names
    I did not like obama so it was fine to attack me? Early on I had the kid with me. TOO much for a child. I continued to fight but I left her at home.
    Pigs spit on me !!!!!!!!!!!!! They could not shut me up then and they will not do it now.

    • DeniseVB says:

      Greta had a rant on FB today about the weekend Obama went to DC during his vacay. There’s no evidence any of it was for official business (the “meeting” he had was teleconferenced, coulda done that at MV). Just to party ? Hee, hee. I love when she’s fired up.

  19. DeniseVB says:

    Hee, hee ….

  20. HELENK3 says:

    Victor Davis Hanson gives us something to think about

  21. Lulu says:

    Since the UK/Scotland separation polling tipped over 50% I am reading the long knives coming out at the residents of Scotland. How dare they! The Scots and the Welsh are the hillbillies and white trash of the UK by long nasty tradition. The UK version of Vile Progs, which is essentially the same as it is here, are attacking their culture (and making threats) rather than making valid economic or governing arguments. And the queen would have nowhere to vacation as Balmoral is in the highlands! I have no idea if separation would be a big fiasco but getting out from under the thumb of such nasty “progressive” bigots screaming your inferiority would be tempting. As usual the progs have some of their facts wrong. Screaming headlines of 300 years of unity down the drain! are in every media even in the US. The countries were combined in 1603 when James got the English crown upon the death of Elizabeth I in addition to being the reigning king of Scotland. That is 400 years. Math is hard. That is when the hillbillies invaded London (not counting the Viking hillbillies and the Anglo Saxon hillbillies).

    • votermom says:

      Canada’s independent but they still let the Queen visit.

      • Lulu says:

        I think she got a clue when the polling hit 51% that she would own a castle in a foreign country and might need a passport to go visit her own property. Her mother was born in Scotland. She should not have let “her government” trash the common people there with nary a word. The comments from the English officials and public are really nasty, elitist and bigoted.

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