Tuesday, November 19, 2013
What's puzzling about Obama?
Walter Russell Mead - The Most Shocking Obamacare Revelation - is concerned and appears puzzled by the fact that Obama has not shaken up his staff for failing to alert him to the fact that the Obamacare rollout was going to be a fiasco. It was, after all, his signature achievement, the domestic policy on which his Presidency will be judged. How could he not care enough about it to keep close track of its development and implementation?
OK. On the website, I was not informed directly that the website would not be working as — the way it was supposed to. Ha[d] I been informed, I wouldn’t be going out saying, boy, this is going to be great. You know, I’m accused of a lot of things, but I don’t think I’m stupid enough to go around saying, this is going to be like shopping on Amazon or Travelocity, a week before the website opens, if I thought that it wasn’t going to work.This was eyepopping. Obamacare is the single most important initiative of his presidency. The website rollout was, as the President himself has repeatedly stated, the most important element of the law’s debut. Domestically speaking there was no higher priority for the President and his staff than getting this right. And the President is telling the world that a week before the disaster he had no idea how that website was doing.
I have a theory. It’s as wild as Jack Welch’s theory in 2012 that the unemployment report was being manipulated. But it makes sense if you stop analyzing Obama in the traditional sense: as someone who wanted to be President to do something or to be someone. How about viewing the Presidency as a way to get rich?
I have always viewed Obama as an accidental President. At the end of Bush’s second term the “inevitable” Democrat candidate was Hillary Clinton. I believe that Obama initially ran to raise his visibility and perhaps lay down a marker for a high ranking position, or a future candidacy after the Hillary presidency. But in a surprise to everyone, race trumped sex for the media who adopted Obama as their pet. One added factor was the Conservative community’s hatred of the Clintons who were widely viewed as both immoral and corrupt. As a result, most of the hostile fire was directed at Hillary while Obama was largely unknown. Being so new, he had no public record. Thus his race, his ability to mirror people’s innermost wants and desires back at them, plus the financial crisis that erupted near late in 2008 led to his election.
Once in office, no one in my memory has enjoyed the trappings of the Presidency as much as the Obamas. From "date night" in New York to incredibly lavish parties while millions lost their jobs, the Obamas live the high life. I’m persuaded that Obama views the Presidency in much the same way as the Mexican presidents view their office, as a way of getting very wealthy. The Mexicans do it like conventional third world dictators do: via graft while in office. The Clintons showed us how U.S. presidents can shamelessly use their former status to become incredibly wealthy. You can be sure that Obama will follow that path.
So if I’m right, and time will tell, America has a President who likes the trappings of office, likes to play golf and is really not that concerned with either foreign or domestic issues. In Obama’s view America was there before he took office, will be there after he leaves, and will provide him with the lifestyle of the Presidency (minus Air Force One) for the rest of his life. In the meantime, “no drama Obama” will do or say anything to remain where he is until he achieves his goal of a super-rich retirement. When people say it’s all about “him” they have no idea how right they are.