The Gloss Is Coming Off

March 21, 2009




In an earlier post I said that if Obama was not careful he would become the new Jimmy Carter. Simon Heffer writing in the Times agrees, and says that there is a growing feeling in America that the President does not have a clue.


“There are whispers around the political and business class here that if Mr Obama is not careful, he will emulate Jimmy Carter, and be a one-term president. That will depend not so much on his ill-fortune in office, I fear, as on that of those who would seek to remove him from it.


Conversations with that distinguished minority of Americans who understand foreign policy show a worrying consensus. Mr Obama expected his main challenge to be Iran, to whom he has sent a YouTube video. Instead it is Pakistan, whose president appears to be the prisoner of various insane factions, and whose reputation as a training and breeding ground for terrorism grows by the day.


No one here has the slightest conviction that the administration understands the gravity of the problem, or knows what to do about it. Having been on the receiving end of a sophisticated bit of foreign policy ourselves – the gift of 25 tacky DVDs to our visiting Prime Minister, and the valedictory assertion by a senior official that there was no Special Relationship – we might reflect that if these people can’t deal properly with their friends, they haven’t a prayer of dealing properly with their enemies.”


If Obama’s administration continues like this the good will of the American people will quickly evaporate. Obama won the last US election because he offered change and conveyed his message well with soaring rhetoric and passionate speeches. However the gloss is quickly coming off, where’s the substance? People need action, not words. Everything Obama has done has been muddled and ill thought through. Those DVDs Brown received as his gifts were just tat. I bet Obama’s team totally forgot they needed to exchange gifts when Brown came to visit. Obama probably just sent some researcher down to the nearest store with a list he drew up on the spot. If things don’t improve fast then 2012 might not be such a daunting prospect for the Republicans.