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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Maureen Dowd, "Pope Trumps President": Obama Should Learn From a Soap Opera?

In her latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Pope Trumps President" (, Maureen Dowd describes an ABC television soap opera named "Scandal" (I am not familiar with it) and then asks, regarding America's real-world crisis:

"Why hadn’t President Obama used a pretext to lure John Boehner, Ted Cruz and Harry Reid to the White House, locked them in a bunker and kept them there until they hammered out a deal to save America’s reputation?"

Well, if you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I have been calling for round-the-clock negotiations to end the shutdown crisis for some time (see: But this is not a real-world presidential administration, owing to the fact that President Obama does not know how to govern. He is expert at campaigning and reading from a teleprompter; however, he still hasn't learned to govern.

As observed in Dowd's conclusion, even David Axelrod acknowledges this shortcoming:

"David Axelrod admitted to The Boston Globe’s Matt Viser that the Obama team should have involved Obama more in interacting with Capitol Hill from the beginning, so the aloof president who breezed through the Senate could learn how the velvet-and-vise game is played. Instead, negotiating with the Hill was outsourced to Rahm Emanuel, who makes Pope seem like a defeatist.

'If I rethink it,' Axelrod said, 'maybe we were too reliant on Rahm and should have engaged the president more in those early months and years.'

When the ship of state turns into the ship of fools, we all sink."

Maybe they "should have engaged the president more in those early months and years"? But why would they possibly want to do such a thing, thereby depriving the president of his alibi that he learned about something only "when it came out in the news" (see:

In a recent Washington Post opinion piece entitled "Panetta rebukes Obama’s handling of shutdown" (, Ruth Marcus also noted that Leon Panetta has become cognizant of Obama's failings, although Panetta is a bit more candid than Axelrod:

"Leon Panetta served in Washington with nine presidents, starting with Lyndon Johnson. He has been a member of Congress, Office of Management and Budget director, White House chief of staff, director of the Central Intelligence Agency and secretary of defense — the last two under President Obama. He is a man who knows Washington and knows how to choose his words. So Panetta’s implicit rebuke of the president’s hands-off approach to the budget crisis at a breakfast Monday was striking.

. . . .

'We govern either by leadership or crisis. . . . If leadership is not there, then we govern by crisis,' Panetta said at the start of the session, sponsored by The Wall Street Journal. 'Clearly, this town has been governing by crisis after crisis after crisis.'

. . . .

Then, to Obama. 'This president — he’s extremely bright, he’s extremely able, he’s somebody who I think certainly understands the issues, asks the right questions, and I think has the right instincts about what needs to be done for the country.'

Next came the 'but' — without a name but with a clear message. 'You have to engage in the process. This is a town where it’s not enough to feel you have the right answers. You’ve got to roll up your sleeves and you’ve got to really engage in the process . . . that’s what governing is all about.'"

"You’ve got to roll up your sleeves"? That's odd. When Obama was campaigning in 2012, his sleeves were always rolled up (so were Romney's). But I suppose that in today's Brave New World, it's all about imagery, having little or nothing to do with substance or reality.


  1. Well, it's time Americans learn that empty suit shouldn't be president. President of anything, but most certainly not of a country.
    This what we have in the White House. Now they blame Rahm. Of course.
    Rahm is a dancer. What was he doing there?
    And the most important thing - what Obama is doing in the White House.
    Lesson one. Children must be told: "Yes, you can be one President, if ..." And this if is important. It is important to teach that certain qualities, certain knowledge, certain character traits are required for the job.
    One can't just danced into the White House blowing kisses to the crowd. Oh, apparently one can.
    We are in trouble.

  2. I am really angry.
    Obama is clearly behind. Behind ladies skirts, or a dancer's pants, hiding.
    He says this it's superior leadership. I am not buying.

  3. and yet here you are, NYT, secretly agonizing over how to word your NYT endorsement of another empty suit, Wilhelm de Blasio, for the mayoralty of New York City. Today he rallied the muslim vote, because he knows the Jews are too scared to NOT vote for the new 'Democrat' who has zero management or governing experience.

    NYC already spends >22,000USD per public school student, double the national average. And, that is just one of Bloomberg's legacies. Does the NYT think this is worth noticing?