But is there any evidence that Obama is smart? He’s never released any of his transcripts, and we still have no idea on what basis he was admitted to Occidental, Columbia and Harvard. Further, if he were as smart as his fawning admirers in academe and the media would have us believe, wouldn’t his performance as president reflect that? To take even the simplest thing, his ability (or lack of it) to speak extemporaneously is almost nil, except in the crudest colloquial way:
Further, significant doubts have been raised about his authorship of his memoir, Dreams from My Father, so many that Jack Cashill — who believes that the work was ghost-written by former terrorist Bill Ayers — wrote a whole book about it.
Finally, and most telling, is the hash Obama has made of everything he’s ever touched, including his work as a “community organizer” — a job for which there is no demand, no salary, no economic benefit and no metric of success; be sure to click on the link to see the kind of future that results from the ministrations of men like Obama. Aside from employing the titanic disaster of his “signature achievement,” Obamacare, as a cudgel with which to beat his political opponents, Barry seems to take next to no interest in the actual workings of his policies. As my former Time magazine colleague Margaret Carlson (a liberal) wrote in her Bloomberg column last fall:
A chief executive less bored than Obama would have stayed on top of his signature legislation. Those upset that he didn’t are bedwetters, the White House says, nervous Nellies who can’t comprehend the larger picture of health-care reform that will, in due time, emerge. White House spokesman Jay Carney intones the mantra that the president “is focused on delivering the access to quality and affordable health insurance” and isn’t concerned “about the politics of that.”
The mechanics weren’t as promised. In August, many of the elements needed for HealthCare.gov to function were deemed not ready by the chief contractor, CGI Group Inc., a company hired by the administration despite a poor performance record. As of August, almost nothing worked as promised: Computer systems at the multiple government agencies involved were unable to talk to one another, code was plagued with errors, and the system couldn’t handle even 500 users at a time. What’s more, no one had tended to the even more complicated financial and accounting part of the insurance exchanges.
None of this was enough to rouse the intellectually restless president’s attention. After the Oct. 1 rollout, he seemed as surprised as your average citizen that the exchanges weren’t working. He keeps suggesting the failure should be mitigated by the fact that his opponents were wishing for it. It took him six weeks to apologize…
Such lassitude is hardly the hallmark of a brilliant man. Not that the Left really cares; to them, the myth of Obama’s brilliance was simply another arrow in the campaign quiver; for them, Obama was the Dream Candidate, a fact probably best articulated — without a trace of self-awareness — by Joe Biden when he outrageously said –
– and paid absolutely no price for doing so. In fact, he was rewarded with the pitcher of warm spit called the vice presidency. That’s a storybook, man.
As Noonan notes, really smart people are full of energy; they take on multiple tasks, always posing themselves new challenges. Even late in life, they write books, learn another language, take up the cello, climb Machu Picchu. What they don’t do is sit around in their residences watching sports on television and complaining that they’re bored, or that the job isn’t up to their level of ability to execute it. If Jarrett’s assessment of Obama is correct — and it almost certainly is not — then the presidency itself is beneath the dignity of the man, who therefore must busy himself with the things that really interest him: parties, golfing, relaxing, taking vacations and campaigning, all of which entail spending other people’s money on the way to enriching himself, post-presidency.
This is what the electorate gets for having entrusted the highest office in the land to a man who viewed it as an entry-level gig on the way to something better or more interesting. And if Obama has this attitude toward the White House, what must he think of the people who put him there?