President Barack Obama is coasting to retirement. He’s been “disengaged” as to the day to day happenings in the federal government. Perhaps he’s dwelling on his legacy and his retirement from government when his term runs out. He may be thinking about the fat pension and other benefits a past president is given. Undoubtedly, he will be on a speaking tour to add to the millions of dollars he already has.
Given a free ride by the Big Media in his two presidential races and through most of his time in the White House, attitudes are beginning to shift by his Big Media friends. Columnists once friendly and inspired by his words of change are becoming critical of him. Most of all they are disappointed by his administration. Hope in him has turned to disappointment.
His detachment to the current scandals that seem to be occurring almost weekly is a condition of his egotistic personality. He has a high opinion of himself and projects an image of “can do no wrong.” He’s all words and little action. We read reports that he listens to his inner circle of advisers, but usually rejects their advice because he believes he is smarter than they are and he knows best.
It is evident the White House doesn’t know how to handle events that occur that make him and his appointees look ineffective and unresponsive to situations that demand positive action. An example is the Benghazi, Libya, attack on the U.S. compound. The initial response to the attack by the White House was a juvenile attempt to make it something that it wasn’t.
It was interesting to note that columnist Dana Milbank, one of those writers who usually was friendly to Obama, now calls him “President Passerby” due to his inattention and handling of scandals that are exploding around him. With a bit of coolness, Milbank wrote that President Obama needs to be a “participant in his presidency.”
We say he needs to leave his throne, become active, and take charge. Maybe that is asking too much of a president who went into the White House too inexperienced to face up to realities. He needs an attitude change before he can be a positive force in dealing with problems. He really doesn’t want to be bothered.
After all, he’s coasting to retirement!
Columnist Michael Gerson, who has toed the middle line in writing about the president, in a commentary in this issue, says government under the president has become “heavy-handed” in creating scandals. He refers to the IRS’ actions in dealing with conservative groups, the Benghazi scandal and the Justice Department’s investigation of the Associated Press. Telephone records of the AP were seized. The FBI is investigating the IRS. On top of all of this is the sexual abuse scandal in the military.
The response by the president to all of this is that he is “outraged and angry.” But he stays in the background in dealing with scandals and his participation is verbal, which sometimes gets him in more trouble because of his cautionary approach, which can be viewed as a weakness. He did fire the acting IRS chief. He really didn’t have any choice after what happened in the agency’s heavy-handed dealings with conservative groups.
He needs to be more engaged and has moved slightly in that direction. We don’t expect full engagement to happen because of his persona. He is President Passerby. Or President Passive. Or President Early Retirement. Take your pick!