Sunday, March 08, 2009

Burning the Bridge with a Two-Ended Candle

The refrain still echoes--Bush took a record number of 'vacations', which was seen as derelict and a sign of incompetence by certain experts on the left (even though presidents are never really on 'vacation' even when away from DC). But it looks like the new boss might already be in need of one himself:
Sources close to the White House say Mr Obama and his staff have been "overwhelmed" by the economic meltdown and have voiced concerns that the new president is not getting enough rest.
No doubt it's keeping him up mights, as it should. But did the worst president ever™ use that excuse? Even after 9/11 when a second wave of attacks were feared or after the White House mailroom was cleared out due to a suspected WMD attack letter? Doesn't seem to ring a bell.

But worse yet, as Tom Maguire points out, let's hope this quote was not really a quote in reference to the reported shoddy treatment received by Gordon Brown last week:
"There's nothing special about Britain. You're just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn't expect special treatment."
Yeah, no different than Venezuela, Cuba, or Iran. Good Lord. And a box of DVDs that could have come from blockbuster as a presidential gift? Part of our new improved world image, evidently. But even more troubling might be this:
He said that on several occasions the president has had to hurry back from eating dinner with his family in the residence and then tucking his daughters in to bed, to conduct urgent government business. Matters are not helped by the pledge to give up smoking.
Not quite a Senator's schedule but strategizing the next move against Rush Limbaugh or meeting privately with Brad Pitt takes a lot of time and energy.

So here's a note to Mr. O: by all means light up if you need to. And lighten up. They say you are too analytical so consider taking a page from your predecessor and try delegating a little more. All the good "deciders"do it. Just not to Geithner. Gates, perhaps but remember, don't mess with Joe.

MORE 3/8/09

Wonder who this is:
The Sunday Telegraph understands that one of Mr Obama's most prominent African American backers, whose endorsement he spent two years cultivating, has told friends that he detects a weakness in Mr Obama's character.

"The one real serious flaw I see in Barack Obama is that he thinks he can manage all this," the well-known figure told a Washington official, who spoke to this newspaper. "He's underestimating the flood of things that will hit his desk."
Odds on favorite? Colin Powell. The general has a lot of course material about leadership, some of which has made its way around management seminars during the past decade. The only other thought that pops to mind is Vernon Jordan.

2 comments:

Mustang said...

Delegation of authority is an important aspect of command; he must not forget, however, there is no such thing as delegation of responsibility. I honestly believe that Obama has embarked upon a program to overwhelm us with his activities; in my view, he is doing too much, too soon. Perhaps he seeks to capitalize on the widely known fact that few Americans are capable of following more than one program at a time. It should be possible to get something over on the American people when Obama engulfs them with a myriad of “improvements.” And of course, the voters complicated our task by handing us a democratic white house, and two chambers of congress. Keeping track of stupidity has become a full-time job.

I don’t know how analytical Mr. Obama is. By itself, the word doesn’t convince me he’s necessarily smarter than any other politician is, particularly when his analysis produces all the wrong conclusions. What brilliance suggested a letter to the Russians, offering to barter away a missile defense shield and two good allies in exchange for their help with Iran?

A.C. McCloud said...

I don’t know how analytical Mr. Obama is. By itself, the word doesn’t convince me he’s necessarily smarter than any other politician is, particularly when his analysis produces all the wrong conclusions. What brilliance suggested a letter to the Russians, offering to barter away a missile defense shield and two good allies in exchange for their help with Iran?

It was an interesting choice of words from Gates (along with his hint about writing a book one day). There's nothing wrong with being analytical as long as one can make a reasoned decision based on the analysis in a timely fashion, then move on under conviction of making the best call under the circumstances. Bush was pretty good at this, even if all his calls weren't good.