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The Beginner

I try to be fair when discussing a new President. The fact is, I have not had one in my lifetime that really got me enthused at first. It may seem strange, since I am such a supporter now, but the main reason I was supporting W in 2001, was because he was not Al Gore. I despised Bill Clinton when he first took office, only raising my opinion of him after a few worthy accomplishments. Reagan won me over quickly, but even there at first I did not know what to expect from him, whether he would deliver on his promises. I saw Carter for the charlatan he was as soon as he decided to run. I liked Ford as a person (who didn't?), but was never excited about him as President. And so on.

But in every case, there were at least clear indicators of how the man would lead. W Bush, Clinton, Reagan and Carter had been governors. The elder Bush had been in government service for many years, as had Ford and Nixon and Johnson. The only guy who was clueless in office at the start was Kennedy.

Oh yes, the "Camelot" President. In some ways, this is hopeful for President Obama. Kennedy pushed hard for Civil Rights, he pushed significant income tax cuts, and JFK was the muse for the moon missions. On the other hand, Kennedy badly bungled the Bay of Pigs crisis, his response to a steel strike was to all but nationalize the industry, and in general Kennedy's term was a mix of going along with Congress' policies-in-place, and getting the US deeply involved in Vietnam, although it took LBJ to really lock us there. Barack Obama is like John Kennedy in that he is a man of image far more than substance, that he lacks the political pull to compel Congress to give up its lust for spending, especially earmarks. Even if Obama means well, it is difficult to imagine him overcoming an entrenched DC machine and the Machiavellian workings of his own party.


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Comments (7)

Earmarks are easy. Just ref... (Below threshold)

Earmarks are easy. Just refuse to sign bills that contain them. They stick out like a sore thumb. He was ostensibly a Senator, so he knows how the machinery works.

What he lacks, like everybody else in Washington, is the will to put a stop to them.

Which is why Congress has a single digit approval rating.

I would like to compare Con... (Below threshold)

I would like to compare Congress' collective IQ today to a Congress of some yesteryear. It seems we've been electing dumb and dumber for a while now. Some of them are not even bright enough to handle being corrupt in an intelligent way.

Want to see how The One wil... (Below threshold)

Want to see how The One will lead? Look at his past 'leadership'.

Let's face it, we're fucked!

What King Barry The Hopeful... (Below threshold)

What King Barry The Hopeful has failed to do in any significant way is lead anything. He hasn't stood up to Reid or Pelosi on anything of substance. She called him out about trying President Bush for war crimes and he hasn't responding so far as I know.

He's already hedged on Gitmo (after swearing to close it tight on day one, the best he can do is wait for 4 months?), and I feel that might be just the beginning. Could Barry's mold be more akin to Carter's than Camelot's? Only time will tell.

I can hardly wait until the... (Below threshold)

I can hardly wait until the Obama years are over.

I agree with what you have ... (Below threshold)

I agree with what you have said but, I will give Kennedy credit for his military service. The BOP was a mistake but, he changed his policy toward the Soviet Union quickly. I believe he saw the threat of communism in Asia and saw the need to oppose it but, had trouble bringing the State Dept.(for one) along. AND he cut taxes and understood how the economy works far better than Obamalala does.

"I try to be fair when disc... (Below threshold)

"I try to be fair when discussing a new President."

Hello, coffee? Meet monitor.






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