Obama Unable to Focus

by Sal on March 20, 2009

in Politics

I am beginning to wonder if Barack Obama has a focusing problem. The hallmark of successful presidents is that they usually take a handful of issues as signature issues and focus with laser-like precision on them until they are passed.  That is not to say a true leader cannot handle multiple things at once, but the hallmark of leadership is picking your priorities, and focusing your political capitol on those issues until you see them through to completion.  This is especially important in times of crisis such as the one we now find ourselves in.

Yet Barack Obama seems to have trouble focusing on important matters.  The scope and breadth of his initiatives and activities are staggering, and he can’t seem to stay focused on important issues long enough to see them through.  Instead, he focuses on meaningless, trivial issues to pass the time.  In the first sixty days, while the economy remains floundering, Obama has placed emphasis on:

  • A Council of Women and Girls:  Obama has formed a council on Women and Girls to…well, I haven’t quite figured that out yet.  This council is insulting to women, is basically there as a “feel-good” council that can have no practical effect, and is a serious waste of taxpayer money and of our Chief Executives time and attention.
  • Health Care: Health care remains on the high list of Obama and Democrats, as his Health Care Reform Summit (one of many summits) showed.  Obama is pushing, as Democrats do, Universal Health Coverage, although what that consists of remains a mystery.  Already, he has dumped one of his campaign promises (and one of the points he sharply criticized McCain for) by considering a health care tax, without the tax cut that McCain promised.
  • Minister of Culture: Naming useless offices within the execitive branch seems to be a favorite hobby of Obamas.  Recently, it was the Minister of Culture.  Not sure what this position stands for, but shouldn’t Obama be appointing people to fill the 18 positions still open at Treasury before creating a new superfluous position that means nothing to no one’?  Besides, the whole mission to oversee culture strikes me as a bit creepy.
  • Leno: Obama made an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno last night, the first appearance ever by a sitting President.  I feel that this interview demeans both Obama and the Office of the President.  Beyond that however, he was without his TelePrompTer, so his comments were much more indicative of who he was, including his swipe at the Special Olympics.
  • Bracket:  As Ryan pointed out yesterday, Obama was busy appearing on ESPN and filling out his NCAA bracket, which prompted a response from Duke’s coach that he should focus on the economy rather than his bracket.

What’s next?  What do all of these things have to do with the job at hand?  Obama is wasting time on unimportant initiatives that have no consquence, while ignoring the major issues of the day.  True, he talks about the economy a lot, while the Treasury department remains woefully understaffed, and the Stock Market keeps declining.  Then again, maybe his lack of action and focus will be a good thing.  If he focuses on too much, he may not get much done through legislation, forestalling our march towards socialism, which would be a very good thing.  National Security, however, is another matter, and his lack of focus there could be very problematic.

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The Unraveling of the Obama Agenda | Axis of Right
June 20, 2009 at 2:49 pm

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Robbins Mitchell March 20, 2009 at 9:37 am

Baroque Obozo may not be able to focus,but he is still determined to f*ck us


Ryan March 21, 2009 at 12:47 pm

If I can put my political scientist cap on, I’d say Obama’s focusing problem stems from the fact that all he knows how to be is a Senator (and campaigner too, but that’s another issue). He’s not an administrator and he’s making that obvious. As a Senator you deal with the economy and global warming on one day, then become a health care expert and foreign policy guru the next, as countless other interest group constituencies want to feel like they’re feeding from the government teet which you are providing; everybody’s got your ear and wants a say. That makes for a poor administrative management style. As an administrator, one tends to focus on two or three big things and tries to get them done by delegating and maintaining the big-picture as the central focus. Perhaps that’s why 4 of our last five previous Presidents were governors (a statewide administrator) and did not have these kinds of problems this early on.

Right now, Obama is handed one big thing (the economy) and some other big things (Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran), but has chosen to keep his scattershot senatorial mold and his presidency and nation are suffering greatly. He should spend less time making fun of “special” children on Jay Leno, and more time finding a replacement for Geithner.

Maybe that’s why America has only ever elected two other people directly from the Senate — they aren’t very good at being President.


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