I could barely keep myself from falling asleep during President Obama’s Tuesday press conference. Rush Limbaugh led off his program describing it as “boring” and the answers to questions as “boilerplate.” I cannot recall a press conference that yielded less “news”.
In her weekly Wall Street Journal column Peggy Noonan wrote of “Obama fatigue” while ruminating on the opening of the George W. Bush library.
She noted that Bush’s popularity in the polls—in “a 50-50 nation”—was equal to President Obama’s; now at 47%. I’m betting we shall see Obama’s numbers continue to fall in the months and years ahead. Noonan put her finger on the cause. We are all weary and wary of Obama. And he is not even half-way into the first year of his second term.
Usually by a second term, a President has mastered the skills the job requires, but Obama not only arrived with the thinnest resume of any previous President, but he demonstrated his indifference to working with Congress and his contempt of the Supreme Court, referring to the latter as “unelected” when even school children knows they are appointees.
He left Congress to be manipulated by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. By the 2010 midterm elections, he had lost control of the House. By the start of his second term, even members of his own party in the Senate were refusing to cooperate.
In the first term Obama seemed to be everywhere including late night shows like David Letterman’s and daytime shows like “The View.” The mainstream media’s infatuation with him ensured that he was on magazine covers and, as President, he receiving front page headline news coverage. Less coverage, indeed, biased coverage, was given the turnout of an estimated million or more citizens to protest against the passage of Obamacare.
It has been Obamacare, his “signature” legislation that has greatly contributed to the disaffection that now follows the President wherever he goes. Many states refused to set up the exchanges required while others passed resolutions against its implementation. People began to discover that their premiums increased dramatically and, for some, their jobs either disappeared or were downgraded to part-time. Obamacare continues to contribute to the high rate of unemployed Americans nationwide.
The opening of the Bush library was a reminder of the thousand times Obama blamed Bush for all the ills he “inherited” upon taking office, but all Presidents encounter this problem and none spent their entire first term blaming their predecessor. It was a mark of Obama’s immaturity.
All Presidents encounter some kind of scandal in the course of their administration, but Obama seems to have had more of his fair share. “Fast and Furious” was covered up with an executive order and outright stonewalling. It involved a government-sponsored gun-running scheme to Mexican drug cartels with the intention of “tracking” the weapons. This is as hair-brained as it gets, but some of those weapons ended up killing a U.S. Border Patrol agent and many Mexican victims. Any other President would have been severely wounded, but the mainstream media managed to ignore it sufficiently until it went away.
This same process ensued following the September 12, 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya that killed a U.S. ambassador and three security personnel. So far, everyone in the Obama administration who was involved in the failure to initially provide sufficient protection and then, while the attack ensued for several hours, failed to come to their aid, has been given a pass by the media with the notable exception of Fox News.
I sometimes think that too many Americans are afflicted with Attention Deficit Disorder because scandals and repeated lies do not seem to be remembered for more than a week or so. In a society afflicted by a suffering economy, the immediate needs of one’s personal life overtake and blur concerns for the constant revelations regarding a succession of failure policies.
The calls for the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that would not cost the taxpayers a dime while at the same time generating tens of thousands of jobs, go unheeded despite repeated studies that confirm it not only wouldn’t pose an environmental hazard, it would contribute to the nation’s energy independence.
At the same time, Obama’s self-proclaimed war on coal is causing coal-fired plants providing electricity to shut down. At the same time, in Europe, “clean energy” projects—primarily wind power—are seeing their government subsidies end while new coal-fired plants are authorized and built.
The “new normal” in America is a $17 trillion national debt that exceeds our current gross domestic product earnings of just over $15 trillion. Under Obama, the government has run up a huge debt that has led to its credit rating being reduced for the first time in the nation’s history.
These and other factors contribute to the “Obama fatigue” to which Peggy Noonan alluded. Even the lavish lifestyle of the Obama’s no longer is sufficient to evoke anything other than a mild rebuke.
This is likely to change, however, as voters begin to focus on the 2014 midterm elections because the Rasmussen polls are telling us that the economy is their primarily concern. Fully 80% of likely voters surveyed last week said the economy will strongly influence how they vote. Just 17% of adult consumers rated the economy as good.
We well may see more Democrat incumbents decide not to run in 2014, opening the door for Republican candidates. A Republican-controlled Congress, such as occurred during Clinton’s first term in 1994 may be the result.
Obama will try to blame Republicans for the failure of his gun control and immigration initiatives and many pundits are saying this is part of his 2014 strategy. It won’t work. His effort to frighten and burden Americans with sequestration has already failed, further weakening his credibility.
In general Americans have seen and experienced enough of Barack Obama to conclude that they no longer want to hear or see that much of him in the months and years ahead.
© Alan Caruba, 2013