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Maladroit Messiah?

Posted by The Curmudgeon on January 28, 2010

Messianic Misfires and Missteps

Hark back, gentle reader, to an earlier time. A time of great hope, when an electorate absolutely giddy with enchantment and anticipation welcomed the earthly arrival of The One.

It was during Year One of the Marathon Election Campaign of 2008 of the Common Era that the people rejoiced over the emergence of Him, the Great and Wise, He of the silver tongue. As His legend grew, lost souls flocked to Him. Brushing aside questions about His past, His meteoric rise continued without surcease. When He slew the Evil Queen (that would be Hillary), His ascension was all but assured. So great was He that even Chris Matthews gushed about having “felt this thrill going up my leg” as The Anointed One spake. And when He took His show on the road for His World Tour, the masses abroad likewise flocked to Him, so great were His charisma and gravitas. Some felt that the ridiculous formality of an election should be dispensed with, so great was His embrace. And after He was elected, many bemoaned the mandated delay as they eagerly anticipated His inauguration. When finally the inauguration was done, it’s said that even the seagulls must have been awed (yeah, really. ABC’s Bill Weir actually said that. On the air.) . And His greatness soared even higher.

Then…something happened.

Certain that even the International Olympic Committee would be awed by His greatness, He took wing aboard His personal carriage (we used to call it “Air Force One”) and set about to enchant them.

No dice. And no Olympics for Chicago.

The people gasped.

Taken aback but unfazed, He took wing to China to work His magic.

They seem to have not noticed.

So, He mounted his personal carriage and set out for Copenhagen to save the world from itself.

The world essentially yawned.

You’re kinda seeing where this is going—right?

The candidate that some actually hinted at being The Messiah (well…they drew a lot of comparisons, anyway) seems to be losing his touch.

Since his inauguration, Obama has campaigned for three candidates; all were from states that he’d carried in the 2008 election, and two were from solidly “blue” states.

All three lost. In fact, not of those contests was even all that close. In Massacusetts, it was downright embarrassing—and a clear slap delivered to Obama.

In the preceding entry, I deferred identifying what I considered to be the single most significant aspect of the State of the Union address. I do so now by asking a simple question: Did anyone else notice that a few of Obama’s pauses seemed to last just a little too long? Could it have been uncertainty? Or might he have been awaiting applause—that didn’t come as expected?

I detected an underlying sentiment among many of those present—even some within his own party. At several points during his address, it occurred to me: They’re not buying this crap.

Contrast this with those giddy days when love was in the air and He was on the rise.

When he first appeared on the horizon early in the ’08 campaign, Obama was a virtual unknown; few considered him a serious candidate. There were four key factors that propelled him to success: The media quickly adopted him as their clear favorite (much to the chagrin of Hillary Clinton), he trounced the odds-on favorite (Clinton) in the race for the nomination, and he happened to be running in an election that many believe would’ve been won by any Democrat running against any Republican. Most importantly, though, there was the man himself…his personal charisma—which won over the media and (ultimately) the voters. So persuasive was this man that it seemed he could claim that the sun had risen in the west and set in the east—and still carry the vote.

And now? He can’t get a Democrat elected in Massachusetts and his own party members are forsaking his agenda as quickly as they can. In a recent conference intended to shore-up his Congressional support, he attempted to reassure House members that the difference between the coming election and the debacle of 1994 was…”This time, you have me.”

Whereupon a six-term Congressman announced that he wouldn’t be seeking re-election.

How did this most charismatic politician since John Kennedy fall to this level?

I would suggest two key reasons. One: when one makes as many promises as Obama has (as do most politicians), one has to actually deliver on a few of them. He hasn’t. Not surprisingly, his credibility has plummeted as a result. More importantly, though, he’s been over-exposed. His charm and charisma were effective when they were new; now, people have become too accustomed to his presence to be swayed as they were through the early days of his administration. His narcissistic obsession with constantly focusing attention on himself (has he missed being on television even one day since his election?) has reduced him to being very ordinary.

Besides which, it was learned early on that this great orator could be reduced to a babbling idiot by simply sabotaging his teleprompter.

More and more frequently, he seems to be trying to will people to come around to his viewpoint by the sheer force of his presence; more and more frequently, however, he seems to be coming away from such encounters empty-handed.

Several months ago, Vice-President Joe Biden cited an alleged encounter with then-President George W. Bush (dismissed as untrue by Bush administration officials) wherein Bush is claimed to have commented on his role as leader. Biden claimed to have replied: “Mr. President, look behind you. No one’s following.”

Obama should take a good look over his shoulder.



5 Responses to “Maladroit Messiah?”

  1. Kip Ecclestone said


    I have been an Indepent for over 30 yrs now. i voted for Geo jr the 1st time and against him the 2nd time(i saw the Irag/Afgan thing as another Vietnam- remember I did that!!) i did vote for Obama, in hopes of some change.

    While i’m not really “enthralled: by Obama’s accomplishments to date, neither am I totally dismayed. Lets not forget, the President really doesn’t control anything! Even of he vetos, something can still become law.

    This country, which you and I both served(at the same time) has a lot of problems at present. Health Care has become a major issue, as has the “bailouts’ and the defict. All are TRUE concerns.

    Let’s remember where the 1st 700 Billion went(auto industries) and WHO approved it. Correct me(show me) if i’m wrong, but that was the Republican administration, at the time. Also,the bailout money for AIG was a “Republican approved” item( if we’d been high up in their chain, we would have gotten BIG BONUSES, while the “workin man” paid the bill

    Jim, I don’t know the answers. If I did, I wouldn’t be a retired army guy, spending my time fishin(Hell, I’m still pissed about the “Anti Internet Gambling law!!!)

    Your old Army bud,


    • Jim Seeber said


      Good to see you’re still above ground.

      “W” never was my ideal; I voted for him twice—though mostly because his opponents were scarier than he was.

      I disagree about the President’s power; it’s extensive—and growing. In my opinion, all the takeovers, bail-outs, health care “reform” that really isn’t…it’s all about centralizing power. The current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania is a megalomaniac. What he’s actually showed us thus far is disturbing; I suspect that the “what else is in store” that we haven’t yet seen will be terrifying.

      I viewed the initial bailout scheme as a justifiable evil, and reluctantly supported the effort. Personally, I’d have been content to see GM bite the dust were it not for the likely impact on the economy. I scratched my head a little and thought about the original Chrysler loan-guarantee decision (back in the Iacocca days), recalling that I was initially opposed to that, too; having seen similar concepts tried in the UK (where car manufacturers seemed to become little more than expensive wards of the state), I was extremely skeptical. However, the Chrysler loan (and Iacocca) turned things around, and the funds were ultimately paid back (ahead of schedule, in fact). Not long after this, a business-management class I attended was partly devoted to analysis of that loan. Based on all the existing models, it was the consensus of most reputable commentators that Chrysler’s failure at that time would very likely have triggered a depression (not recession; depression). Given the current economic climate, I also felt that GM’s potential collapse (along with Chrysler—the second time around) could well have proved equally disastrous and once again reluctantly agreed that biting the bullet was the best thing to do—though I don’t agree with the Obama regime’s essentially seizing control of corporate operations.

      The bailouts of financial institutions? Again, I was pretty much sickened at the original suggestion—but deeply concerned about the likely impact of such widespread and extensive failures. I believe it was necessary for the government to step in and stabilize the situation. There has been too little done, however, to address how it happened—particularly the role played by government’s subsidizing of risky loans. There should be more accountability here—but since the fingers seem to point most prominently toward Barney Frank, Christopher Dodd, and Bill Clinton, the odds of that happening seem dubious. Worse, the narcissist-in-chief seems to be seizing on the opportunity to expand his control of larger portions of the financial sector—even institutions that didn’t receive Federal bailout money.

      For Obama, it’s all about the power.


  2. Kip Ecclestone said


    I wanna change my plea!!


    Not only did I not get a COL(cost of living raise) on my Army retirement check, I’ didn’t get one on SS check either!!!

    And them “High Echelon MO-FO’s” rakin it in!!

    I’m really PISSED NOW!!


  3. Jim Seeber said

    Well. Part of that hoped-for change you voted for, I guess.


    …who knows he probably oughtta feel bad for saying that—but doesn’t

  4. Ed Z said

    Obama and the Democratic controled Congress advocated the bailout of GM and Chryler, Bush first he felt that bankruptcy would lead to liquidation of GM and Chryler.He felt it would worsen a weak job market and exacerbate the financial crisis. GM ended up bankrupting anyway.

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