August 29, 2014

WASHINGTON POST: Why Obama’s ‘We don’t have a strategy’ gaffe stings. “Polls have increasingly shown that Americans view Obama as a weak commander in chief without much direction or heft t0 his foreign policy. . . . And as a series of overseas foreign policy crises have popped up in recent years, the White House has remained largely hands-off — a decision that rightly or wrongly feeds the narrative of it not having a real strategy. And it certainly didn’t help that the White House set a so-called ‘red line’ of the Syrian government using chemical weapons on its people, but didn’t actually do anything when it crossed the red line. And then Obama goes and says something like he did Thursday.”

But I love how the Post still can’t write about an Obama gaffe without taking a jab — make that two jabs — at Romney along the way.

UPDATE: Points And Figures: “When the world is crashing around you, that’s not an answer. The time to answer the question with, ‘We don’t have a strategy yet.’ was was a year ago.”

A year ago, Obama was calling ISIS “junior varsity.” Plus:

Supposedly, with Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, we had an A team working on these problems. She has pretty much screwed the pooch and I would hate to see how badly she could do as President. At the same time, where has Obama been? It’s not just that he is golfing, but goes deeper than that. It’s not political party differences either, because in a time of crisis, elections shouldn’t matter. CEO’s and Presidents make decisions for the good of the country; not minutiae or teacher’s pets.

His investors and his Board of Directors are looking for some definitive action that can bring some calm before the world goes spinning out of control. But, his brain is vacant. America feels listless, and also it feels like dominoes are falling that could bring us to a situation we don’t want to be in. There are parallels to both WW1 and WW2, but every new chapter has its own twists and turns. The future requires its own imaginative thinking.

Great leaders have core values. When things go nuts, they can rely on those core values. They are bedrock that help to speedily build a plan to get the ship right. This is why when an early stage company starts to grow, one of the things great CEO’s do is build a corporate culture. When in doubt, they can rely on the core values of that culture to seize the day, and employees internalize it to put out fires.

What are Obama’s core values, and do they mesh with the American culture we have created over 200+ years?

Yeah, I don’t think anybody considers Obama a “great leader” anymore, and nobody wants to talk about his core values.

UPDATE: Ten Obama Press Conference Lowlights. “It is hard to tell which was worse — the substance of the president’s remarks on Thursday or that he thought it was a good idea to go out there, with no real news on anything. He confirmed what many of us have long suspected — there is no strategy for dealing with the Islamic State, which his own advisers — but not the president — say is a real threat to the homeland. Obama would only say the Islamic State is a threat to Iraq. It leaves one wondering if he really thinks a jihadist state in the Middle East is no big deal for the U.S.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Michael Schrage corrects me — it wasn’t a year ago that Obama was calling ISIS junior varsity, it was just last January.

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