An overrated President

The President’s supporters were not expecting that they would be looking to Joe Biden to bail them out of a debate fiasco, nor that they would be hailing his draw,as the turning point that put the Obama-Biden ticket back in control.

Incumbent presidents always enter the debates as favorites, but often disappoint. This is hardly surprising. This was the president’s first debate for four years. He doesn’t have debates. He issues orders. By contrast, Mitt Romney has been in 43 hours of debates this year alone. He spent most of them as the front-runner – the punching bag for every wannabe, so if the president’s supporters think that facing Romney will be easier, now that expectations for Romney are higher, they may be disappointed.

Bill Clinton was the only recent president judged to have won his presidential debate as an incumbent. Most of the credit probably goes to James Carville, Clinton’s campaign manager. While most presidents – and Barack Obama is probably one of the worst offenders – surround themselves with sycophants, Clinton listen to Carville. When – if – Obama rehearsed his debate, his staff probably applauded and told him he was brilliant: the reincarnation of Demosthenes and Jefferson. Carville probably told Clinton that he sucked and would have to keep practicing until he got it right. 

Obama’s supporters have always had an exaggerated view of his abilities, and it is one that he encourages. His excruciatingly embarrassing inaugural, in which he promised the oceans would recede and planet begin to heal, still grates with many. There is no doubt he can make a fine speech – his keynote to the Democratic Convention in 2004, by which he made his name – was outstanding. He changed the course of the 2008 campaign with a speech on race. His speech after the shooting of Rep Giffords put his most rabid supporters – who were keen to blame Republicans for a mad man’s actions – back in their box. But this is speechmaking with some notable high points. This is not the greatest orator since Churchill. 

The problem is that Barack Obama has never been tested. He was elected to the state legislature representing a college district. A smart, good-looking, African American law professor was exactly the politician that district wanted. He began his US Senate election as an outsider, but the front-runner in the Democratic primary proved far weaker than expected, and the media rallied round with endorsements of Obama. The media remain his base today. An open Senate seat in Illinois was always a good bet for the Democrat, but Jack Ryan, a wealthy Republican businessman was making strong running. Then Ryan’s campaign collapsed in scandal as his glamorous wife, Jeri – Star Trek’s 7 of 9 – sued for divorce. Ryan pulled out and Obama trounced a carpet-bagging no-hoper from Maryland. 

The 2008 Democratic presidential field was the weakest any major party has ever seen. The not very impressive John McCain had more experience in the Senate than the Democrats’ three front-runners combined. On the final tickets, Sarah Palin had more executive experience than McCain, Obama and Biden put together, and Palin’s record in substantive office was the shortest in modern presidential history. McCain was fighting a powerful mood for change.

The media fawn over Obama, and he has never faced a strong opponent. People are only beginning to notice how overrated he is.


Quentin Langley is a Senior Lecturer in Marketing at the University of Bedfordshire Business School as well as a freelance columnist published in the UK and all parts of the US. He blogs on social media and crisis communications at brandjacknews.com

Comments

  1. I’m happy to see that you guys are having a good time with your we know more than anonye else session, congrats! It is apparent that your wisdom led you to vote for the current administration not once, but two times. Also, on this same and other blogs I have read the insinuations that the only reason that anonye would vote for Barack Obama is because of his skin color. If that is true, then the opposite must also be true that the only reason some may vote for John McCain is relative to his skin color. Also, you are avoiding the obvious. McCain chose his running mate primarily in an attempt to 1) attract the female supporters of Hillary Clinton, 2) to take advantage of the hormones of males (obviously it is working on all of you). Honesty, ask yourself what was more important to McCain winning, or choosing a solid running mate. In addition, as a retired Navy and combat veteran like McCain. Well not quite I was on the ground with the Marines. It is disturbing to me how much he seems to relish the thought of our troops at war. My hat (cover) goes off to him for what he endured as a POW, but it is obvious that he is still attempting to get some payback. Many Americans are unconcerned with the wars we are fighting and justify this by saying to themselves that the current troops are volunteers. However, if you have friends or loved ones in Iraq or Afghanistan and understand that more than 4,000 troops have died. While the lives of untold thousands have been shattered and will never be the same due to missing body parts and unstable minds (the powers that be don’t even want you to know the numbers). But, I know, they volunteered. McCain wants our troops to stay in Iraq for 100 years and he is already at war with Iran. If Sarah Palin is really tough on corruption then she is the right person for McCain. McCain was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, both his father and grandfather were Admirals. Is there any doubt how he got into the Naval Academy. Nevertheless, he graduated at the bottom of his class. Later, as the C O of a training command it was well known that he dated his current wife, while still married to his first. Normally that would be punishable under the UCMJ. Instead, he was awarded a position as a political liaison in order to pave his way into politics, when it became apparent that he could not achieve what his fore fathers had despite his last name. McCain was reprimanded as one of the Keating Five, was instrumental in appropriating land to a real estate developer which his wife and her father profited. He was also a central figure in awarding a current billion dollar military contract to a French (our good buddies) company, rather than an American bidder. He utilizes his wife’s wealth and corporate jet while she refuses to release her tax documents (yeah he’s a reformer). Probably not her fault though, she may have been high on the pain medication she was stealing. Anyway, they’re both just people and neither is perfect, vote for who you want, I’m just venting. Even though I plan to vote for Barack Obama, on a certain level I would like to see McCain win the election. Why? Because the country is in bad shape, its going to take more than 4 years and 1 person to get things going in the right direction. No matter who is elected it is quite possible that they will be seen as one of the most ineffective presidents ever, through no fault of their own. As for me I have 2 kids and I’m keeping them as far away from the military as I can, you would be wise to do the same if McCain is elected. McCain believes we’re wiinning the war, there are no winners, only losers in war. The families and friends of the dead and wounded know that, he should too!

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