Theodore's World: "I am the President Obama" ~ the honeymoon is officially over

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June 28, 2009

"I am the President Obama" ~ the honeymoon is officially over

Boorish and Arrogant Obama " I Am the President I WON!"

For President Obama, the honeymoon is officially over

FOX News

NY Daily News

by Michael Goodwin

Yesterday, the White House press corps called the end of the Obama honeymoon.

One job of journalists is, to borrow a horse racing phrase, to "call the turns" of developing news. Yesterday, the White House press corps called the end of the Obama honeymoon.

By peppering the President with forceful questions on Iran and other big topics and by challenging some of his slippery answers, reporters captured the changing tone in the country. Like the end of a real honeymoon, blind infatuation is giving way to a more accurate view of reality.

The reality is that polls show rising doubt about President Obama's handling of the economy and wide disapproval about exploding deficits. The reality is that even many Democrats worry the White House health plan is messy and unaffordable. The reality is that ranks of independents who voted for him find Obama far more liberal than they expected.

It's also true that many news organizations have embarrassed themselves with fawning Obama coverage and are the subject of growing ridicule, including from Obama himself.

Those facts all probably played a role in the unprecedentedly aggressive tone of yesterday's news conference. More than anything else, Iran - where the President had been a timid fence-sitter while a democracy revolution was blooming, then being crushed by a thugocracy - galvanized the press to probe. Six of the 13 questions dealt with Iran.

"What took you so long?" was the most important one asked of the Obama presidency. It came from reporter Major Garrett of Fox News (where I am a contributor) and put an exclamation point on the President's failure to respond sooner with appropriate condemnation.

Obama finally found his voice yesterday, saying in his strongest language yet that the world was "appalled and outraged" at the violence against demonstrators. And in calling the video showing the death of Iranian icon Neda Soltan "heartbreaking," Obama succinctly expressed the world's emotion.

But in answering Garrett's question with nonsensical insistence he had been consistent, the President damaged his credibility and missed a chance to explain how his thinking has evolved since the June 12 election.

He blew another chance when a reporter asked whether criticism by Sen. John McCain and other Republicans had forced the tougher stance. "What do you think?" he said, getting defensive and saying, "Only I am the President of the United States."

It's a bad habit, a sign of weakness, to pull rank, yet this White House does it repeatedly. Obama brushed back calls for changes in stimulus spending by saying, "I won," and his press secretary said, "We won," just the other day to a question.

The notion that victory carries a blank check is fantasy. Especially in a polarized country with a nonstop media blitz, a mandate must be re-won on every major issue.

Obama knows as much, which is why he has been running a continuing campaign since the inauguration. Whether he's conducting town hall meetings in St. Louis or France or asking for prime-time coverage, Obama uses the bully pulpit and his charisma to aggressively push his agenda.

By and large, the approach has worked. Thanks to full Democratic control of Congress, Obama mostly gets his way, and his personal popularity has remained strong.

But his health plan could be in trouble over the cost and impact, and unemployment keeps rising beyond White House estimates, a fact the President conceded yesterday. He also conceded that stimulus spending has been slower than he wants, which I took as a jab at Vice President Biden's supposed management of the issue.

The result is that the public hasn't seen much economic gain and, combined with the growing debts and prohibitive costs of Obama's health and energy plans, voters are getting significantly more skeptical about the President. Iran added to the doubts.

The press corps gets it. For Obama, the hard part begins now.

The definitive, final, once and for all, Obama's-honeymoon-is-over story...

Foreign Policy

written by David Rothkoph

Mark it on your calendars. It was in June 2009 that Barack Obama's honeymoon officially ended. And to be more specific, it was this past week. Through some mysterious alchemy, this was the week that Bush's economy became Obama's, Bush's wars became Obama's, and the ups and downs of a real workaday relationship with the press also introduced Obama to a more accurate sense of what life was like for Bush and for all his other modern predecessors.

While the change is clear for the reasons I will note below, no one should lament the end of the honeymoon, even though it may be hard for Obama and his colleagues in the Administration not to.

Of course, people have been writing about the end of Obama's honeymoon since the day he arrived in office. But let me offer 10 solid pieces of evidence that it was over by this week. And I say this despite the unnerving fact that the Daily Kos seems to agree with my assessment...and shored up by the fact that NBC's Chuck Todd, CNN's Jack Cafferty, CQ, the Huffington Post, the New York Daily News, and a host of other media outlets all seem to agree by having grappled with the issue...or, depending on how you look at it, succumbed to the conventional the past week or 10 days. Just goes to show: even the conventional wisdom is right every once in a while.

Media herd mentality aside, here are 10 reasons (in no particular order) why a reasonable person might conclude that we have entered a new chapter in the Obama presidency in the past few days:

1. Ask not for whom the poll tolls...

The most common reason cited by pundits for saying Obama's entered a new phase was polling data, like an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll citing growing doubts about the administration's economic policies. He is seen as the author of budget deficit increases (even though he is responsible for only a tiny fraction of projected shortfalls), an expanded government role in the economy and moves in Detroit that have a majority of voters uneasy...which also suggests that we're on Obama Time now in the economy. It's his to fix or screw up further.

2. Can we be frank?
Sometimes a hot dog is just a hot dog. But sometimes visions of July 4th frankfurter diplomacy with representatives of the Iranian regime, among others, suggest real foreign policy short-sightedness. Hadn't anyone thought through what might happen in the elections? Of course, the cook-out kerfuffle was just pigs in a blanket compared to the administration's tentativeness in response to the unrest in Iran. It might have been the right call at first, but the Iranian crisis quickly revealed that even charming, smart presidents get hamstrung on issues where there are few good responses and none without some negative consequences.

3. No matter who is president, Kim Jong Il is still nuts...

Kim Jong Il has spent the past month reinforcing the preceding point. "You may be Mr. Charisma," he says via his missile tests and nuclear experiments, "by I am Mr. Certifiable Loon. Which in the rock-paper-scissors of international diplomacy means I win every time." All of a sudden, Obama finds when it comes to North Korea...and a host of other places...sitting in the Oval Office makes him look and act a lot like his predecessor no matter how much he wishes it weren't so.

4. Speaking of nuts, what about U.S. trade rhetoric?

One sign that the sweet glide is over is when after you mete out a policy here and a policy there, you look back and discover none of it makes any sense. In the past week USTR Ron Kirk has threatened to go after the EU if they offer more financial help to Airbus and a few days earlier the US was threatening to go after China for the Buy Chinese provisions in their stimulus package. But, um, aren't we subsidizing Detroit and don't we have Buy America provisions in our stimulus package? As my daughters would say, "awkward!"

5. Obama's doctor and his financial guru turn on him in one week...

At the height of the economic crisis, Warren Buffet was the sage that helped win the election for Obama. Then this week he demonstrates that troubling candor and independence that made him so widely respected by going starkly off message. He joked that despite recent eye surgery he doesn't see any "green shoots" in the economy. He also called it a shambles. Then Obama's own doctor went after the health care plan. Et tu, Bones? Keep your friends close, they say, and your enemies closer. But what happens when they start to sound alike?

6. Kissing up to a president who smokes is like kissing an ashtray...

The president insists he is only an occasional smoker. Doesn't matter. Smoking is gross, sets a bad example and is so 20th Century. It may have been cool in the parking lot at Punahou, Mr. President, but not in the Rose Garden. The nastiness over questions for the president on this subject also really captured the testy relationship emerging between the president and his former groupies in the press corp, best described in a New York Times account that made you feel "if this is how testy he gets this early in the game, what should we expect when he's been stewing in office for a few years?"

7. Fixing health care can be dangerous to your political health...

Health care is the one area of the U.S. economy most urgently in need of a major structural fix... and that's saying something. But, according to one senator with whom I spoke, "the health care battle is certain to leave blood on the walls...and that's just among us Democrats." It has shredded formidable pols in the past (place a call to Foggy Bottom if you don't recall) and while an Obama win is likely in the long-run, it may drain the energy from other pursuits.

8. Warming is global but all politics are local...

Among those casualties of health care reform is likely to be getting a climate bill out of the Congress this year. The Administration is pulling out the stops (to their credit) behind Waxman-Markey... but insiders say what with health care in the way, a deal in the Senate is unlikely before the Copenhagen summit in December. The U.S. will therefore go in saying "this is what we might be able to do" which could be a great negotiating ploy or a real problem if it pushes China and the developing countries to say, "we won't commit until you do... and even then we'll need a long runway to hard limits." This is a signature issue for the president and it looks like it won't happen till 2010 in the best case.

9. Hillary's fracture was not the first in the administration...

Hillary falls and breaks her elbow...and some people in White House offices are amused and making jokes. In fact, some folks in the State Department are doing likewise. Why, because the one big happy family fantasy that every administration enters with is starting to morph into a more typical reality. First leaked shots against Jim Jones. Then same against HRC. Even early signs of jockeying to replace what some see as a likely Jones departure in a year or two. (Go for the Trifecta on Rice, Steinberg and Holbrooke to win, place and show. But who finishes first? Only Dennis McDonough knows for sure.)

10. The "politics of change" succumbs to politics as usual...

The honeymoon is over when you have to roll up and put away your old campaign slogans. As the big donors start measuring the curtains for their embassies worldwide, it's clear that "the politics of change" has been overtaken by the big fund-raising events which feature the president slipping through loopholes in order to appear to turn away from lobbyist money while actually raising bucks for the party the old fashioned way.

And, of course, because the intractable problems keep piling up in the president's inbox and the responses to them inevitably make them the unwanted property of this president rather than merely a legacy from the last, I could easily make a much longer list. Pakistan is an incurable and deepening mess. So's Afghanistan. Our guy on the ground in Baghdad is calling the departure of U.S. troops a victory for the Iraqi people. Our strongest vote of confidence in the Middle East comes from Hamas leaders who are absolutely certain to screw us the minute negotiations get tough. The global economy is still on life support. California is tanking.

Other signs the days of moonlight and violins are over? You can only buy one puppy per term of office. (I think it's in the constitution.) Michelle can't carry him forever. Biden fatigue. And of course, the number one reason of them all: it's just plain time for the honeymoon to be over anyway.

Examiner White House Correspondent

March 18,2009

Before taking off for two days in California, President Obama made remarks on AIG on the South Lawn and declared himself both angry and responsible.

"Ultimately, I am responsible. I am the president of the United States," he said. "We've got a big mess that we're having to clean up. Nobody here drafted those contracts. Nobody here was responsible for supervising AIG and allowing themselves to put the economy at risk by some of the outrageous behavior that they were engaged in. We are responsible, though. The buck stops with me."

February 4, 2009

Obama answered critics of his proposed stimulus package.

"In the past few days I've heard criticisms that this plan is somehow wanting and these criticisms echo the very same failed economic theories that led us into this crisis in the first place," the president began.

"The notion that tax cuts alone will solve all our problems; that we can ignore fundamental challenges like energy independence and the high cost of health care, that we can somehow deal with this in piecemeal fashion and still expect our economy and our country to thrive," he continued. "I reject those theories, and so did the American people when they went to the polls in November and voted resoundingly for change."


Wild Thing's comment......

Nobody’s free to disagree with Obama.

‘I’m the president’ -Obama

Sure you are, we’ll just ask your teleprompter

Obama keeps saying “I am president”......”I won” if that means we must all bow down and worship him......instead we are free to ask tough questions and disagree.

How many times is this freak Obama going to remind us that “he” is the president! Did anyone ever hear of a CEO telling his underlings repeatedly that “HE IS THE CEO and BOSS?” NOPE! Thought that would be your answer! Ever hear Clinton, or George W., or George H.W. or Ronald or Richard remind us or anyone else that they were the POTUS? NOPE! Didn’t think so! Not that I remember anyway.

Posted by Wild Thing at June 28, 2009 05:55 AM


On the stroke of midnight, 30 September 1993, the resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC ceased to be my "boss." That is when I was transfered to the Fleet Reserve after twenty years of Service. For a ten year period, I was subject to recall to active service as are all members who end their active careers with less than thirty years of Service. On 7 July 2003, I was placed on the Permanent Retired List. This was about three months less than thirty years of Service. It was called "constructive time" in the old days. But my thirty was complete. With that being said, I no longer answer to anyone in Washington DC. They are supposed to answer to me and every other citizen of The Republic.

Posted by: Glenn Cassel AMH1(AW) USN RET at June 28, 2009 08:21 AM

Almost forgot, since when do I have to answer to some popcorn fart the left hired to do a man's job?

Posted by: Glenn Cassel AMH1(AW) USN RET at June 28, 2009 08:22 AM

Excellent article from David Rothkoph.

About dayum time the honeymoon was over! Only 1301 days until we can install someone in the WH that can fix the mess the "quicker f^uker upper" has made. 1301 days... But who is counting...

Posted by: BT in SA at June 28, 2009 11:21 AM

I had hopes that real questions were to be asked during press conferences with TOTUS, 'cept for Major Garrett of FOX, it's zip, nada. The rest are pushing his agenda.
Glenn Cassel, well said, like you, my post active duty 10 year period has long since passed. The term CIC only applies to the Military, not to civilians, thank you for all those years of faithful service.

Somehow the populace uses that CIC term for all of us, as if we we personal chattel for the simpering baboon from Kenya. Not only is he not my CIC I don't now, nor ever, will recognize him as the president.
Who's to blame? GOP subterfuge and voter apathy for starters. The enemy within has been there since 1932 but we the people kept on buying the mantra that there was a difference betwixt the two parties in the so called two party system. Where is it spelled out in the Constitution that there has to be a two party system? Both sides sold out at the end of WWII, one to the Soviets, both to the UN.
Experience: In a political coup, the company founder was forced out, he ran his stock options on the market doubling it's worth then he picked up his marbles and left, leaving the company debt ridden and managed by elitist fools. For 9 years my former employer had one like Obama at the helm, he spoke, we listened, that was the extent of internal communications as we were no longer recognized as assets but as liabilities in some bean counter's ledger book, quite a change from the free exchange of ideas prior to his arrival. For him the future was going global, demanding 3 year payoffs on huge amortized expenditures, double digit returns on investments domestically and a moratorium on domestic spending and hiring, no pay raises or benefits enhancements either. He was putting it all on overseas investments. His MBA policies ruined the organization, as a result that company is now owned by British Petroleum, a marketing name only in the U.S. Gone just like my country.
The question is who owns us George Soros?

As for 2010 GOP candidates, who are you gonna trust? Better off to go to any tent city and draft some of them, they don't want the job , it is those who do that scare the hell out of me.

Posted by: Jack at June 28, 2009 12:01 PM

obama is the spoiled child who never grew up. His constant reference to "I am the president" is like that child saying "it is my ball and I'm going home if you don't let me win". I am sure he has a bagful of psychological problems. Sadly, we all get to pay for his shortcomings.

I hope that eventually the press loses it's self constraints and goes on a feeding frenzy over the many obama flaws. Once they get started, they can really do the damage.

Posted by: TomR at June 28, 2009 12:25 PM

So Why don't he go home.

Posted by: Mark at June 28, 2009 01:59 PM

AMH1 Cassel-- What an amazing co-inky-dink. That was MY Fleet Reserve Transfer date, too!

Posted by: Rick at June 28, 2009 03:52 PM

Hi Tom R.

obama is the spoiled child who never grew up. His constant reference to "I am the president" is like that child saying "it is my ball and I'm going home if you don't let me win".

Well, let's keep trying to not let him win and maybe he will take his "ball" home to Kenya and stay there.

Posted by: Bob A at June 28, 2009 06:27 PM

Glenn Cassel AMH1(AW) USN RET, DITTO
and a big ole YESSSSSS

"They are supposed to answer to me and every other citizen of The Republic"

LOL " popcorn fart"...hahahha good one.

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 28, 2009 06:50 PM

BT in SA, Hi good to see you. I agree
David Rothkoph did an awesome job.

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 28, 2009 06:52 PM

After the age of 25 or so, most of us could assemble Obama's personality from all the featherweight, narcissistic, panty-waist momma's boys we've seen along the way.

The guy is brittle; he'll shatter under the slightest pressure (Sweet Sarah Palin, for instance, turned him into a snivelling pixie) He co-opts his critics with false humility and fatuous self-analysis, and his self-image is mirrored in the mob of droolers and shills at his feet. Once they turn on him, he's done.

Rank Obama sweat lickers like Matthews and Olberman, Maher and Stewart won't change, but the reality of perpetual failure will overtake the rest of the J-school dopes of the MSM. Even ABC learned that there's a lingering taste for truth in the land.

Posted by: Rhod at June 28, 2009 06:53 PM

Glen Cassel:
You sir, have my respect. Your service and citizenship are appreciated.
King b.HUSSEIN obummer hasn't earned any respect from me, nor from any clear headed American.
These days, many, many people are sobering up and asking the mirror: "I voted for WHO?" And America will have to suffer the hangover. With the apathetic public that is the American Populace, I fear that we are truly screwed. Which is worse, Dhimmitude or Socialism? It is a coin toss to see which will come first.
Where was Michael Jackson when Barry Soetoro was a tempting 8 or 9 year old?
nuf sed

Posted by: Frankly Opinionated at June 28, 2009 11:09 PM

Jack, thanks for sharing about that.
Good point too about the ones that don't
want it to be trusted more.
I got a snail mail from a guy in Flordia
running for oh gosh some office and I read
what he felt on different issues. I saw two
out of 10 that were totally rino on his
part, so I called his office and told
them I would not be voting for him and why.
It was like talking to a wall, well um but
you agree with the other 8 right? hahaa
Yes that is what they said. I said so what.
What if the two he is rino on would be
socialized medicine and this vile Cap and
trade crapola. The woman had no comeback
so I just said see you at the polls but
same your stamps on sending me anything again.

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 29, 2009 12:43 AM

Tom, your so right..."has a bagful of psychological problems. Sadly, we all get to pay for his shortcomings."

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 29, 2009 12:46 AM

Mark, I want him kicked out and sitting
on the lawn waiting for a cab to take
back to Chicago. Please oh plesase go
away Obama.

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 29, 2009 12:48 AM

Rick thank you for serving our country.

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 29, 2009 12:50 AM

Rhod, thank you so much!!!! You said it
so well and so true.

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 29, 2009 12:52 AM