Obama’s Amateur Hour on 60 Minutes
If you were looking for signs of straight talk, competence, or substance, there was precious little to be found. (Also read Stephen Green: Will the Real Obama Please Shut Up?)
March 23, 2009 - 1:30 am
Many of us, at certain times during our lives, have believed we could do a better job than the president of the United States, just as we thought we’d do a better job than the coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers or the network executive who greenlighted Real Chance of Love.
The problem tends to be that what looks so crystal clear from the outside, usually in hindsight, appears confusing, muddled, and difficult to fathom when you’re actually going through it.
That’s why experience matters, particularly executive experience, and it’s a big part of the reason why Barack Obama has done such a mediocre job so far.
Obama is a silver-tongued political novice who has managed to be in the right place at the right time.
Now, if you’re a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. And if you’re a politician like Barack Obama, who has gotten everything he has in life by being slick and sounding confident, every problem looks like something that can just be talked away.
That tendency was on display in his 60 Minutes interview, a “grilling” which would be considered a softball interview for a Republican (“Wow, that’s a great swing set for your kids to play on. How are they liking the White House so far?”) but was still probably tougher than any interrogation Obama has received since he entered the White House. (After all, he even admitted that he gets lost in the White House “repeatedly.”)
Each time Obama got a tough question, he did what sociopathic politicians have done for decades: he lied, dodged, and talked out of both sides of his mouth. The best example of that was near the beginning of the interview when Steve Kroft asked Obama about the AIG bonuses.
Was Obama surprised by the hostility to the AIG bonuses. His answer?
I wasn’t surprised by it. Our team wasn’t surprised by it.
Well, that begs the question: if the Obama administration wasn’t surprised by the furor, why did they work with Chris Dodd to safeguard the bonuses that were in the bill? It just makes no sense. What does Obama expect us to believe? That he thought it would be cathartic for Americans to yell in outrage at his incompetence, so his administration made sure the bonuses, the same ones he later criticized, were included in the stimulus for that reason? These are the sort of very obvious bald-faced lies that Democrats like Barack Obama are perpetually allowed to get away with by sympathetic liberal reporters who don’t want to make “their side” look bad.
Another telling exchange, if you know what to look for, was Kroft’s question about the constitutionality of the attempt to tax away the bonuses of the AIG executives and Obama’s answer:
Kroft: I mean, you’re a constitutional law professor. Do you think this bill is constitutional?
Obama: Well, I think that as a general proposition, you don’t want to be passing laws that are just targeting a handful of individuals. You want to pass laws that have some broad applicability. And, as a general proposition, you don’t want to use the tax code to punish people. I think that you’ve got a pretty egregious situation here that people are understandably upset about. So, let’s see if there are ways of doing this that are both legal, that are constitutional, that uphold our basic principles of fairness, but don’t hamper us from getting the banking system back on track.
Now at first glance, that might seem to be a thoughtful answer. However, when you delve down into it, what you find is that is like many of Barack Obama’s comments, it’s utterly divorced from what he intends to do, while giving people on both sides of the case the impression that he agrees with them.