Ed Driscoll

The Clothes Have No Emperor

The Anchoress, featuring a clip of David Niven’s response when a streaker ran across the stage of the Academy Awards in 1974, watched Obama’s shambolic press conference and in response quotes Niven and writes, “Ladies and gentlemen, that was almost bound to happen,” as Obama was “showing his shortcomings” today:

Yes, I suppose it was unavoidable.

Although very likely we all hoped, sincerely had hoped, that it would be otherwise, President Obama could not find anything like grace, maturity, professionalism, magnanimity or humility when responding to the undeniable drubbing his party took — largely, it would seem, due to the weight of his own hubris-laden anchor — in yesterday’s election.

Despite the availability of Peggy Noonan’s excellent prompts, Barack Obama at his press conference today was tone-deaf, singularly graceless and spectacularly clueless, as well:

From all appearances Wednesday, the president won’t change—not his policies, not his style, not his staff, not nothing. Defiant and begrudging, the president said he would meet with GOP leaders, seek their suggestions for common ground, and maybe grab a drink with Senate Majority Leader-to-Be Mitch McConnell. Beyond that, meh.

Even for a mortified-seeming Chris Matthews, the thrill is gone.

Obama has always been a small man with thin-skin, boasting only a defensiveness that belied his superficial polish, and so little imagination that he believed the words “I won” constituted outreach to the loyal opposition.

One of the many justified knocks concerning Obama is that there are very few aspects of the traditional job of being POTUS he actually seems very interested in. Traditionally, one of the roles of the president is being the head of his political party. “We know Barack Obama is good at least one thing – getting Barack Obama elected president of the United States,” Jonah Goldberg notes this evening in USA Today. “A less debatable proposition: He is just plain awful at running a political party:”

People often forget that among the many formal roles the president has — commander in chief, first diplomat, etc. — he is also the leader of his own party. And in that role, he stinks.

* * * * * * *

According to a lengthy report in the Washington Post, Senate Democratic operatives were exasperated with the president’s reluctance to help his party’s candidates get elected in this week’s midterms. He tasked his lawyers with monkey-wrenching efforts for Obama to fund-raise for Sen. Harry Reid’s Senate Majority PAC.

“We were never going to get on the same page,” David Krone, Reid’s chief of staff, told the Post. “We were beating our heads against the wall.” Capitol Hill Democrats felt this was just the latest example of the president acting as if he were the head of his personal Obama party, rather than the Democratic Party. And this was before he said — deliberately — that a vote for Democrats was a vote for his policies, a statement that caused enough Democratic forehead-slapping to register on the Richter scale.

When I woke up this morning, the first thing I did was jokingly ask my wife, who already been up for an hour or so, if Obama had declared martial law, nationalized the Internet, and replaced the Drudge Report with NPR. But even as I was saying it, the answer is obvious: Obama doesn’t want to be dictator for life or even spend two more terms in the White House a la FDR. He can’t wait for this purgatorial expanse of his life to be over so that he can go on to play the permanent role of America’s ambassador to MSNBC and Pebble Beach, socialist minister without portfolio, a hipper, cooler, younger version of Jimmy Carter.

Democrat house organ the Politico quoted Obama as saying in June, “I don’t really care to be president without the Senate” under his party’s control. Well, what’s stopping you, Barry? There’s a really easy way to call it a day, give your vice president a shot at being competitive with Hillary Clinton, and hit the links and the public speaking circuit full time…

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 Update: “Are These Videos of Barack Obama From 2003?”

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