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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Thomas Friedman, "Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio?": The End of a Grand Friendship

Thomas Friedman and his wife Ann are unlikely ever to be invited back to a state dinner at the Obama White House.

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio?" (, in which he observes the absence of Steve Jobs's leadership in US national politics, Friedman levels scathing criticism at the president:

"What is President Obama’s vision? I cry just thinking about the question. The Republican Party has been taken over by an antitax cult, and Obama just seems lost. Obama supporters complain that the G.O.P. has tried to block him at every turn. That is true. But why have they gotten away with it? It’s because Obama never persuaded people that he had a Grand Bargain tied to a vision worth fighting for.

. . . .

Obama has given the spending plan, but he has not produced a credible, this-really-hurts fiscal plan — and many Americans know it. The paucity of Obama’s audacity is striking."

A little slow on the uptake, Tom, but you're beginning to get the picture.

Saddest of all is that with the US mired in stagnation, Obama is already in campaign mode, seeking a scapegoat for failing to deliver on his 2008 promises. Although he might capture the imagination of the Occupy Wall Street buffoons, malingerers and Marxists by threatening to tax the hell out of Friedman and other multimillionaires, Obama is not going to emulate Jobs, create jobs or win reelection in this manner.

A "Grand Bargain" tied to a captivating "vision" from Obama? It never was and never will be. Indeed, Obama never proffered anything approaching a "Grand Bargain." Rather, it has all proven a "Grand Illusion," courtesy of Axelrod, Plouffe and friends.

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