In a recent Politico blog entry, retiring Rep. Marion Berry (D-AK) is quoted as claiming that, unlike the major upset in 1994 under Bill Clinton’s watch, Obama believes that his personal popularity would win the day.
Berry recounted meetings with White House officials, reminiscent of some during the Clinton days, where he and others urged them not to force Blue Dogs “off into that swamp” of supporting bills that would be unpopular with voters back home.
“I’ve been doing that with this White House, and they just don’t seem to give it any credibility at all,” Berry said. “They just kept telling us how good it was going to be. The president himself, when that was brought up in one group, said, ‘Well, the big difference here and in ‘94 was you’ve got me.’ We’re going to see how much difference that makes now.”
This comment should not surprise anyone who has followed the Obama, er, phenomenon. Do you remember hearing about that speech on George W. Bush’s war policy as a first-term senator from Illinois? Harry Reid liked it so much that he (according to Reid himself) told Obama, “That speech was phenomenal, Barack.” Obama’s reply? “I have a gift, Harry.”
Not “thanks, your praise really means a lot to me,” or some other such modest reply that most people would utter. It was “I have a gift.” He has a gift, all right: the gift of not recognizing when he’s headed in the absolute wrong direction, both politically and for the nation.
He also said he didn’t “deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who have been honored by this prize” when he heard the news he’d won the Nobel Peace Prize — but accepted it anyway.
Further illustrating his own love affair with himself, consider how Obama managed to turn the Scott Brown Massachusetts victory into yet another precious “it’s all about me” moment. Before the election, Obama, in a statement reminiscent of his “bitter clingers” remark in San Francisco during the 2008 election, derided Brown’s use of his (government-owned GMC) truck during his campaign. “Forget the truck. Everybody can buy a truck!” (Have you seen those unemployment numbers, Barry?) But when Brown pulled out a win, surprising few but the elites, Obama said this:
“Here’s my assessment of not just the vote in Massachusetts, but the mood around the country: the same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office,” the president said in an exclusive interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. “People are angry and they are frustrated. Not just because of what’s happened in the last year or two years, but what’s happened over the last eight years.”
Yes, Barry, Republican Scott Brown swept to victory on a tide of anger directed at George W. Bush, despite the fact that Bush has been out of office for a year and the Democrats have controlled Congress since 2007.
If you believe that, I have a GMC truck you might be interested in purchasing.
We’re even starting to see a number of “buyer’s remorse” articles popping up, including this one by Jill Dorson, published on Real Clear Politics:
You see, I felt my choice was to risk McCain dropping dead and letting the world’s most well-known hockey mom run this country, or to believe that Obama would surround himself with educated people and that he was smart enough to take their advice.
I was right. He is smart enough to seek counsel. I’m just outraged at the counsel he’s seeking these days. Key financial leaders who are tax cheats come immediately to mind, but as the recent terror attack made clear to me, the idea that a president of the most powerful nation in the world could think it was OK to have a Homeland Security chief with such a loose grasp of what terrorism is and how it works is troubling.
I was right there laughing when George W. Bush struggled with the names of countries around the world early in his tenure. And while my knowledge of foreign policy is limited, I thought Bush’s was lousy, too. But after Sept. 11, I saw a man with no charisma step up and fight for this country, its citizens, and its freedom. Bush became a leader.
Seven years later, I am ashamed to say that I was blinded by charisma. Obama was so convincing that I stopped caring about what he knew and started getting caught up in the euphoria. Imagine having a president who came from a broken home, who had money troubles, who did grassroots community service? A young father. The first black president. It pains me to admit I got caught up in the hoopla.