Who Will Tell Obama?

My parents, like most of their generation, taught their children that an employee owes his employer a full day's work, performed to the best of his ability. This includes the times when the employee pulls the boss's irons out of the fire. For example, think of the assistant who tells the executive about the spinach on her teeth as she is hurrying to make that big presentation, or the nurse who reminds the physician that the patient is allergic to the medication he's ordering.

Now, I've never heard of an executive opening the presentation by effusively thanking her assistant for spotting the spinach. And while I'm positive that the doctor will be grateful that a nurse reminded him of the patient's allergies, I can guarantee that he won't give the nurse a high-five in the cafeteria later. Some employees may consider the lack of recognition from a manager unfair. But a lot of us believe that doing a good day's work occasionally includes looking out for the boss's best interests.

President Obama and the Democrats have worked tirelessly to demonize bosses and business-owners in the eyes of workers. This might be smart politics as far as gaining the support of organized labor, but I'm afraid the "us vs. them" depiction of the employee/employer relationship has not done the nation, or the president himself, any good. This is illustrated by how poorly the president's staff served him (and by extension, the country) during last month's attempted terrorist attack.

On Christmas Day 2009, a Nigerian Islamic terrorist boarded a plane for Detroit with a bomb secluded in his underwear. Thanks to the grace of God, the bomb didn't detonate. A brave Dutch passenger extinguished the flames and helped the crew secure the terrorist. The plane landed with no loss of life. Americans were glued to TVs, radios, and their computers.

No one told President Obama for
three hours.

Who in the world does the president have working for him? Yes, he was on vacation at the time, but he wasn't hiking the Appalachian Trail. He was in a Hawaiian resort, accompanied by
top national security advisors:

... the White House machine doesn't let its chief take a few days to fly kites or body surf. It has the president at the ready to deal with any crisis, foreign or domestic. Red phones are wired, emergency binders are on the shelves. The president is ready to govern, even from a golf course.

I have no idea whether the president's national security team was on top of things. We do know that for three hours, it occurred to no one to let the leader of the free world know about a thwarted terrorist bombing on an American plane. It's unbelievable that not one of the president's friends (and here I include the sycophantic White House press corps) or employees spotted the gigantic piece of spinach on his teeth and told him, "Mr. President, this is important. Stop golfing for a minute and let the country know that you personally are dealing with this."

It gets worse. President Obama did not speak publicly about the Christmas Day bomber until 72 hours later. In his
statement on December 28th, he referred to the terrorist as an "isolated extremist" who "allegedly tried to ignite an explosive device on his body, setting off a fire." The statement laid such an egg in its lawyerly tone that the president had to make another one the next day.

But it wasn't just the content of the president's speech that got me wondering about the competency of those around him. It was the fact that someone allowed him to make that speech without a tie. Where were his trusted aides? Come to think of it, where was Michelle? Isn't there one person in the president's circle with enough knowledge of the social niceties to stop the president in the hall and say, "This is serious. It took you three days to get here. Put on a tie and paste a little concern on your face."

Unlike the mainstream media, I didn't fall for the campaign image of Obama as the brilliant, cool, calm, "No-Drama Obama." I was never impressed with Senator Obama's experience or ideology, but I always admired Candidate Obama's amazing ability to keep his mouth shut. This gift was particularly notable during debates. While Hillary Clinton and John McCain appeared frenetic, like the annoying kid in class waving his hand and saying, "Oh! Pick me, pick me!" Obama would calmly wait his turn to speak with no expression on his face. He appeared thoughtful and in control. The press savored it like fine wine. 

The cool Obama strategy wasn't without its hitches. The strong, silent candidate had to finally address the pesky
Reverend Wright issue after weeks of playing the "ignore it and it will go away" game. And the one time Obama seemed to forget his "for goodness' sake, don't say anything!" instructions, he ran up against Joe the Plumber. (David Axelrod earned his salary that week.) But on the whole, it was a brilliant campaign tactic. Unfortunately, the No-Drama Obama persona does not lend itself well to actually being the president. In times of crisis, Americans like to actually see and hear their president. We expect more than a press release telling us that "the President will continue to receive intelligence updates and monitor the situation closely throughout the day" superimposed with video of the First Family eating shaved ice.

This brings us back to the ineptitude of the President's staff. The image of the bumbling boss whose rear end is constantly being saved by the sharp employee is entertaining in a TV situation comedy, but it's scary in a president in a world of Islamic jihad. What's scarier still is that I don't see any sharp employees surrounding our president. Or maybe he doesn't like subordinates offering unsolicited advice.

The handling of the Christmas Day terrorist incident by Obama and his staff was so egregious that even the press is beginning to notice. What's scariest of all is that our enemies noticed it long ago.

Carol Peracchio is a registered nurse.
My parents, like most of their generation, taught their children that an employee owes his employer a full day's work, performed to the best of his ability. This includes the times when the employee pulls the boss's irons out of the fire. For example, think of the assistant who tells the executive about the spinach on her teeth as she is hurrying to make that big presentation, or the nurse who reminds the physician that the patient is allergic to the medication he's ordering.

Now, I've never heard of an executive opening the presentation by effusively thanking her assistant for spotting the spinach. And while I'm positive that the doctor will be grateful that a nurse reminded him of the patient's allergies, I can guarantee that he won't give the nurse a high-five in the cafeteria later. Some employees may consider the lack of recognition from a manager unfair. But a lot of us believe that doing a good day's work occasionally includes looking out for the boss's best interests.

President Obama and the Democrats have worked tirelessly to demonize bosses and business-owners in the eyes of workers. This might be smart politics as far as gaining the support of organized labor, but I'm afraid the "us vs. them" depiction of the employee/employer relationship has not done the nation, or the president himself, any good. This is illustrated by how poorly the president's staff served him (and by extension, the country) during last month's attempted terrorist attack.

On Christmas Day 2009, a Nigerian Islamic terrorist boarded a plane for Detroit with a bomb secluded in his underwear. Thanks to the grace of God, the bomb didn't detonate. A brave Dutch passenger extinguished the flames and helped the crew secure the terrorist. The plane landed with no loss of life. Americans were glued to TVs, radios, and their computers.

No one told President Obama for
three hours.

Who in the world does the president have working for him? Yes, he was on vacation at the time, but he wasn't hiking the Appalachian Trail. He was in a Hawaiian resort, accompanied by
top national security advisors:

... the White House machine doesn't let its chief take a few days to fly kites or body surf. It has the president at the ready to deal with any crisis, foreign or domestic. Red phones are wired, emergency binders are on the shelves. The president is ready to govern, even from a golf course.

I have no idea whether the president's national security team was on top of things. We do know that for three hours, it occurred to no one to let the leader of the free world know about a thwarted terrorist bombing on an American plane. It's unbelievable that not one of the president's friends (and here I include the sycophantic White House press corps) or employees spotted the gigantic piece of spinach on his teeth and told him, "Mr. President, this is important. Stop golfing for a minute and let the country know that you personally are dealing with this."

It gets worse. President Obama did not speak publicly about the Christmas Day bomber until 72 hours later. In his
statement on December 28th, he referred to the terrorist as an "isolated extremist" who "allegedly tried to ignite an explosive device on his body, setting off a fire." The statement laid such an egg in its lawyerly tone that the president had to make another one the next day.

But it wasn't just the content of the president's speech that got me wondering about the competency of those around him. It was the fact that someone allowed him to make that speech without a tie. Where were his trusted aides? Come to think of it, where was Michelle? Isn't there one person in the president's circle with enough knowledge of the social niceties to stop the president in the hall and say, "This is serious. It took you three days to get here. Put on a tie and paste a little concern on your face."

Unlike the mainstream media, I didn't fall for the campaign image of Obama as the brilliant, cool, calm, "No-Drama Obama." I was never impressed with Senator Obama's experience or ideology, but I always admired Candidate Obama's amazing ability to keep his mouth shut. This gift was particularly notable during debates. While Hillary Clinton and John McCain appeared frenetic, like the annoying kid in class waving his hand and saying, "Oh! Pick me, pick me!" Obama would calmly wait his turn to speak with no expression on his face. He appeared thoughtful and in control. The press savored it like fine wine. 

The cool Obama strategy wasn't without its hitches. The strong, silent candidate had to finally address the pesky
Reverend Wright issue after weeks of playing the "ignore it and it will go away" game. And the one time Obama seemed to forget his "for goodness' sake, don't say anything!" instructions, he ran up against Joe the Plumber. (David Axelrod earned his salary that week.) But on the whole, it was a brilliant campaign tactic. Unfortunately, the No-Drama Obama persona does not lend itself well to actually being the president. In times of crisis, Americans like to actually see and hear their president. We expect more than a press release telling us that "the President will continue to receive intelligence updates and monitor the situation closely throughout the day" superimposed with video of the First Family eating shaved ice.

This brings us back to the ineptitude of the President's staff. The image of the bumbling boss whose rear end is constantly being saved by the sharp employee is entertaining in a TV situation comedy, but it's scary in a president in a world of Islamic jihad. What's scarier still is that I don't see any sharp employees surrounding our president. Or maybe he doesn't like subordinates offering unsolicited advice.

The handling of the Christmas Day terrorist incident by Obama and his staff was so egregious that even the press is beginning to notice. What's scariest of all is that our enemies noticed it long ago.

Carol Peracchio is a registered nurse.