Having been a political junkie for several decades, I’ve learned a few things along the way. Spending that much time reading and watching and talking politics gives you a certain perspective on things. I find it almost amusing when I see or read people who obviously aren’t quite the political addict that I am saying things that show their naiveté when it comes to politics. I remember back during the health care summit when President Obama took on a room full of Republicans and eviscerated them. That night on Rachel and Keith’s shows on MSNBC, they both were so overcome, saying things like “where has he been” or “we need more of this Obama” and things to that effect. I’m hearing similar comments lately with the President out on the stump working to get Democrats elected. Steve Benen has a great post about this, read it here. A piece of that post that I particularly liked…
As this relates to the Obama White House, “where have these guys been?” Well, they’ve been knee-deep in prose, doing the ugly, messy, often-thankless work of running the executive branch of government in the midst of multiple domestic and international crises. There’s little doubt that the president is one of the great American orators of our time, but he can’t invest his time, year round, in these “Moving America Forward” rallies. The president just doesn’t have time — he’s too busy, you know, moving America forward. Besides, the speeches would lose their punch if they were delivered all the time.
It’s ironic, in a way, to appreciate the stark differences between Candidate Obama and President Obama. The concern among many throughout the campaign process was that Obama was overly reliant on charisma, style, charm, and emotion. What would happen when the crowds went home and the guy had to actually run the joint? Well, now we know — what would happen is Affordable Care Act, the Recovery Act, Wall Street reform, student loan reform, Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, new regulation of the credit card industry, new regulation of the tobacco industry, a national service bill, expanded stem-cell research, a nuclear arms deal with Russia, a new global nonproliferation initiative, the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the most sweeping land-protection act in 15 years, etc. The irony being, the ’07 and ’08 concerns were arguably backwards — this White House seems far more adept at governing than the political/communications efforts that were supposed to be this team’s strength.
So for all those people who said he was all charisma, style and charm….he is also a damn good administrator and gets shit done, even in the face of the most lock-step opposition any president has ever seen. And some would argue and have, that the communication part of this administration is lacking, but I don’t see it that way. The media has become a joke, they’ve “devolved” over the last several years largely because of the impact of Fox News. They have been very successful at getting ratings, bringing in money and changing the news industry, particularly the cable news industry, into a money making venture instead of one based on journalistic principles. Remember the “balloon boy” fiasco.
Consider this my first “Airport Post”…..I’m sitting in Detroit’s airport, heading to New York. I doubt I’ll get a chance to post tomorrow, busy, busy, busy. But you never know, I’ll be sitting in airports tomorrow night too.