Ed Driscoll

Obama Becoming The Anti-Glamour President

At Investor’s Business Daily (and what exactly are these “Investors” and “Businesses” you speak of?) Ed (no relation) Carson contrasts, with some help from a typically astute quote from Virginia Postrel, the perceived glamor of Obama as a self-proclaimed “blank screen” of a presidential candidate than as an actual governing — and often bullying — president:

Enter the BusinessWeek interview, in which Obama casually said he doesn’t “begrudge” the huge bonuses of the “savvy” heads of Goldman Sachs (GS) and JPMorgan (JPM).  He said it’s part of the free market system and noted that some to baseball players are paid more.Left-liberals are appalled. “Obama Still Doesn’t Get It,” ran the headline of one Huffington Post entry.  The New York Times’ Paul Krugman wrote simply: “Oh.My.God.”

Just a few weeks ago Obama came out swinging at Wall Street, angrily denouncing fat cats while calling for new taxes and limits on big banks. This populist appeal — after Scott Brown’s Massachusetts miracle derailed ObamaCare, rang false to many at the time. Obama’s persona has been Mr. Cool — if anything, too cool for school — not a 21st century William Jennings Bryan.

Obama risks voters viewing him as a tool of big government and big business (especially banks and HMOs). That could spell doom for Democrats in November. If there was one year to absolutely avoid being tarred as a tool of both those forces, 2010 would be it. To top it off, Obama still gives the impression that he doesn’t really mean what he says, but no longer in a good way.

As Postrel wrote back in 2008, “To rely on illusions is to risk disillusionment.”

There’s plenty of that now.

Meanwhile, Roland Martin of CNN, “life-long friend” of Rev. Wright (according to Wright himself) and “teabagging” infamy wants Obama to “Channel your inner Al Capone and go gangsta against your foes.”

Yeah, nothing like a little Nixon/LBJ-style hardball to restore the luster to a presidency. And nothing says “2009 Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize” like Al Capone comparisons — from an outspoken supporter, no less!

(Besides, is Obama an Untouchables fan? I thought he was more of a Godfather kind of guy, myself.)

And with Bill Clinton apparently resting comfortably in the hospital after a heart-related scare, the blogger known as “Baseball Crank” compares and contrasts Clinton’s time in office with Obama’s filibuster-proof first year:  “Unlike Clinton or Bush, Obama’s political obituary is far from written. But we should not lose sight of the fact that when it is, all the rhetoric and the news cycles will pale in comparison to that awful question: what did you do with the time that was given to you?”

Update: Tip of the hat to Tim Graham of Newsbusters for linking to this post; Graham adds:

CNN political analyst Roland Martin stirred things up on CNN.com with his editorial “Time to go gangsta on GOP.” Martin is sick and tired of Republicans holding up Obama nominees, so he’s suggesting that the president act like Al Capone or maybe the movie version, Robert DeNiro in The Untouchables:

Obama’s critics keep blasting him for Chicago-style politics. So, fine. Channel your inner Al Capone and go gangsta against your foes. Let ’em know that if they aren’t with you, they are against you, and will pay the price.

Several conservative bloggers wondered if “gangsta” sounded less like Al Capone and more like gangsta rappers. Could that sound racially insensitive? Martin attacked a former editor of his at Creators Syndicate for objecting to the analogy:

It is you who seems to resort to stereotypical language by bringing up busting a cap in Michael Steele’s ass or dressing up as Dr. Dre. So you chose to use racially-coded language and stereotypes. So who has the real problem? There is nothing in my column that mentioned race. Did I even mention a black gangster? Nope. I mentioned Al Capone.

I know CNN has been getting clobbered in the ratings lately, but when did they replace their on-air talent with the staff from The Onion?