President Barack Obama’s shameless fundraising tours in the midst of a world in chaos have brought immediate comparisons to Ronald Reagan. Led by his erstwhile advisers, such as Michael Deaver, who understood imagery, Reagan would have been back in the Oval Office, looking presidential and sounding like the statesman he was. Reagan would likely have brought his government together, State Department, NSA, Pentagon and CIA and taken an assessment of how it could all impact on American economy and lives. He would likely have given a national address, reassuring the nation and signaling to the world how we expect civilized people to act.
On the surface, Obama’s actions are incomprehensible. There is no explanation. Obama appears transcendent, not responsible for his own administration and uncaring about the world around him.
It has been the Obama style from the beginning. The economic crisis was the fault of the previous administration. When his own stimulus program could not produce one of the one million jobs he promised, it was replaced with more of the same and blame of Congress for failing to immediately enact more of what wasn’t working.
The president declared that he had no responsibility for the IRS, which was blatantly being used for political purposes. He had nothing to do with the failed health-care website and the fact that the Department of Veteran’s Affairs was corrupt on his watch. What ever happened to Harry Truman and his Oval Office motto, “The buck stops here”?
It wasn’t just that the president wasn’t in charge of anything, or seemed to know anything, or should be blamed for anything; it was also, when we found out differently, that he didn’t apologize. When we learned, for example, that the $678-million, no-bid, health-care website was awarded to Michelle Obama’s buddy from Princeton, the White House ignored it all. When a news agency asked about it, they were accused of racism. (Michelle Obama and her friend were both members of the Association of Black Princeton Alumni.) When the president’s hand-picked political lieutenant at the IRS claimed she had lost her emails, the president defended her.
Sometimes, these juxtapositions can get downright comical. Recently, General Motors was fined millions of dollars by the Justice Department for faulty ignition issues when, in fact, at that time, the company was owned and being run by the U.S. government. Should the Justice Department fine itself? When Obama ran for re-election, he bragged about saving the auto industry. But he has no responsibility for the company he bought? The president is too big to fail.
On closer examination, Obama’s recent actions make sense. He is angling for his post-presidential role. He will either be the secretary general of the United Nations or he will be some NGO equivalent. Thus, he spent the week campaigning for the Democratic Party and, ultimately, Hillary Clinton, whom he will need as an ally if he is to realize his ambition.
And the Federal Aviation Administration’s sudden cancellation of all flights to Tel Aviv – at a cost to Israel of millions of dollars? At first we were told that the president didn’t get involved in such things. And given the fact that the president isn’t responsible for the economy, the IRS, his own health-care namesake and the Department of Veterans Affairs, to name a few departments, then one could almost believe it. What does he do with all that free time? But if he is now on track for his post-presidency, then it makes perfect sense. The U.N. votes solidly against Israel, with only America on her side. Obama will need to have some more of these anti-Israel moments to shore up his support for any international role.
There was an awkward scene on CNN last week. Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg snapped at Wolf Blitzer. The CNN reporter had asked if the FAA decision had been political. Given Obama’s anti-Israel record, it was a reasonable question. And it has just been raised by a U.S. senator. A testy Bloomberg was outraged at Wolf Blitzer for daring to ask such a thing. It was another shameful moment. Bloomberg has taken a lot of heat for his slavish support of Obama, in spite of his record toward Israel.
The irony was that Bloomberg’s very appearance was proof of the politics of the policy. If Tel Aviv was safe, and Bloomberg could fly there, then why was it ordered closed to all American airlines? And if it wasn’t safe, why was it opened up again after the American people reacted to the FAA’s decision with outrage?
Oh, by the way, as someone who once worked in the White House, I can tell you that no one at the FAA would make such an unprecedented and politically charged decision without the OK of the president of the United States. Sorry.
It all points to this very likely scenario: We will have Barack Obama on the world stage for a very, very long time.