President Obama’s recent “impromptu” news conference with former president Bill Clinton was yet another reminder to both liberals and conservatives just how far Obama’s star has fallen since he took office.
In a choreographed, yet downright awkward sequence of events, Obama surrendered the White House podium to Bill Clinton. He also seemed to imply that a date with the First Lady was more important that the business of running the country, which right now involves the growing challenge of coagulating his fractured party into a coherent force strong enough to ratify legislation extending the Bush tax cuts.
Should the great compromise fail to get through Congress before the end of the year, Obama will be looking at the political reality of having to sign a bill passed by the Republican-controlled House and a quasi-GOP controlled Senate in January, most likely in the form of a straight up or down vote, without any stimulus or estate tax concessions.
It seems hard to imagine Obama would veto a bill, raising taxes in an economy already on life support, but stranger things have happened, like his pursuing a healthcare bill that a majority of the country did not and still does not want.
What was particularly striking in the press conference was how Obama, the man once revered for his command of the English language, the great orator of our time, able to call down inspiration from the heavens at a moment’s notice, was in critical need of, well, a spokesperson. And that spokesman was none other than former President Bill Clinton.
Brought in to save the left from sabotaging the deal struck between the president and the GOP, Clinton clamored at the opportunity to once again seize the presidential podium and play president.
In an uncomfortable display of de facto government, Obama excused himself from the White House briefing room, leaving Clinton to take the reins. In a Q&A session that lasted almost an hour, Clinton deftly showed his political prowess and understanding of the issue at hand. But by so doing, he also underscored Obama’s deficiencies in articulating the details of his economic agenda to the American people.
Just last month, after the “shellacking” he and his party suffered in the mid-term elections, Obama claimed the problem was not him or his policies, but rather his lack of communicating key messages on central policy issues that have and will yet shape his presidency. So, does this mean we should expect Bill Clinton to be added to the White House Staff as the new communications director?
Of course, the liberal press hyperventilated over the triumphant return of King William to the White House. Pundits for the left extolled Obama’s decision to bring Clinton in to lead the charge to save the left from sacrificing economic recovery on their sanctimonious alter of principle as “brilliant.” Nonsense!
In a time when our economy is on the precipice of disaster and our government continues to drive deficit spending into an infinite abyss, we do not need a surrogate president. We need leadership — from the top. News flash to the Obama administration: you’re in charge now.
The injection of Bill Clinton into the White House press room and the national dialogue further weakens Obama and lessens the hope that this president is competent enough to lead us through the challenging days ahead.