Obama's credibility crisis

Thomas Lifson
The most valuable tool in a president's political arsenal is slipping away from Barack Obama. Once people believe a leader is a liar, it is very hard for that person to be effective in his role.

The credibility crisis that is starting to engulf Barack Obama has many roots. Certainly, his many broken political promises (no higher taxes on anyone who earns under 200k, for instance) are working against him. But politicians routinely break promises. Nothing that new, although George H.W. Bush's experience with "read my lips: no new taxes" bodes ill for Obama 2012.

Far more serious is the growing perception that Obama is, in the favorite word of Holden Caufield, a "phony" -- someone who makes stuff up in order to fool people about who he really is.

"A sports fan can spot a phony far more quickly than most people," writes Richard Baehr, AT's chief political correspondent. Baehr continues:

Another example of phony: Obama shooting hoops with the CBS announcer in a white shirt (sleeves rolled up of course), and tie.   Oh, I get it! He is taking time off from a busy work day. 

More phoniness: the former Ohio State player and announcer Clark Kellogg played him a game of horse -- and took a large lead over Obama. Then all of a  sudden, Kellogg starts missing shots badly. Lost his touch, or wanted Obama to get back in the game to make it more exciting, and respectable?  Nausea inducing. 

Two sports fan political columnists, John Kass (Chicago Tribune) and Howie Carr (Boston Herald) rake Obama over the coals for faking being a Chicago White Sox fan, after throwing out the first pitch at the Washington Nationals home opener. Obama, asked by announcer Rob Dibble to name his favorite White Sox player, couldn't come up with a name, and resorted to his usual filibuster technique, to avoid saying "I don't know."

Kass:

He's got a lot on his mind. As the leader of the free world, he's dealing with the likelihood of a nuclear Iran and the prospect of naming another liberal on the Supreme Court. There are only so many facts a man can keep in his head.

Clearly, he was ill-prepared for the big Dibble interview. But who is responsible for preparing the president?

Why, none other than the famous Cubs fan, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.

Emanuel so loved the Cubs that in 2008, as a U.S. representative, he introduced a flowery resolution congratulating his Cubbies on the club's 10,000th victory.

Unfortunately for Emanuel, he flubbed it. For one thing, he misspelled the name of Cubs great Ryne Sandberg. Oh, and he insisted that Wrigley Field was at 1600 West Ashland, not exactly the Friendly Confines.

A Cubs fan who doesn't know where Wrigley sits has no business prepping America's No. 1 White Sox fan.

Carr:

We know Obama knows nothing about history, or sports, or anything, basically. But how about movies? "Field of Dreams"? "Eight Men Out"? Ever hear of Shoeless Joe Jackson - I'll give you a hint, Mr. President. He was a typical white person. [...]

... this incident Monday reminds me of one of those old World War II POW movies, where Bill Holden and the boys in Stalag 17 catch the Nazi spy by asking him how many home runs Babe Ruth hit in 1927.

It is one thing to try to bamboozle the American public on politics. Voters expect pols to have a loose relationship to the truth. But sports is all about authenticity, the truth expressed in a moment of action on the field, court, or rink. There are more sports fans than political junkies in America. Whatever teams they may root for, the one team they all root against is the Washington Phonies.

The sand is rapidly draining from the hourglass containing Obama's ability to command respect and allegiance. His partisans, living in their social and media bubble, do not notice. But everybody else in America does.

Thomas Lifson is editor and publisher of American Thinker
The most valuable tool in a president's political arsenal is slipping away from Barack Obama. Once people believe a leader is a liar, it is very hard for that person to be effective in his role.

The credibility crisis that is starting to engulf Barack Obama has many roots. Certainly, his many broken political promises (no higher taxes on anyone who earns under 200k, for instance) are working against him. But politicians routinely break promises. Nothing that new, although George H.W. Bush's experience with "read my lips: no new taxes" bodes ill for Obama 2012.

Far more serious is the growing perception that Obama is, in the favorite word of Holden Caufield, a "phony" -- someone who makes stuff up in order to fool people about who he really is.

"A sports fan can spot a phony far more quickly than most people," writes Richard Baehr, AT's chief political correspondent. Baehr continues:

Another example of phony: Obama shooting hoops with the CBS announcer in a white shirt (sleeves rolled up of course), and tie.   Oh, I get it! He is taking time off from a busy work day. 

More phoniness: the former Ohio State player and announcer Clark Kellogg played him a game of horse -- and took a large lead over Obama. Then all of a  sudden, Kellogg starts missing shots badly. Lost his touch, or wanted Obama to get back in the game to make it more exciting, and respectable?  Nausea inducing. 

Two sports fan political columnists, John Kass (Chicago Tribune) and Howie Carr (Boston Herald) rake Obama over the coals for faking being a Chicago White Sox fan, after throwing out the first pitch at the Washington Nationals home opener. Obama, asked by announcer Rob Dibble to name his favorite White Sox player, couldn't come up with a name, and resorted to his usual filibuster technique, to avoid saying "I don't know."

Kass:

He's got a lot on his mind. As the leader of the free world, he's dealing with the likelihood of a nuclear Iran and the prospect of naming another liberal on the Supreme Court. There are only so many facts a man can keep in his head.

Clearly, he was ill-prepared for the big Dibble interview. But who is responsible for preparing the president?

Why, none other than the famous Cubs fan, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.

Emanuel so loved the Cubs that in 2008, as a U.S. representative, he introduced a flowery resolution congratulating his Cubbies on the club's 10,000th victory.

Unfortunately for Emanuel, he flubbed it. For one thing, he misspelled the name of Cubs great Ryne Sandberg. Oh, and he insisted that Wrigley Field was at 1600 West Ashland, not exactly the Friendly Confines.

A Cubs fan who doesn't know where Wrigley sits has no business prepping America's No. 1 White Sox fan.

Carr:

We know Obama knows nothing about history, or sports, or anything, basically. But how about movies? "Field of Dreams"? "Eight Men Out"? Ever hear of Shoeless Joe Jackson - I'll give you a hint, Mr. President. He was a typical white person. [...]

... this incident Monday reminds me of one of those old World War II POW movies, where Bill Holden and the boys in Stalag 17 catch the Nazi spy by asking him how many home runs Babe Ruth hit in 1927.

It is one thing to try to bamboozle the American public on politics. Voters expect pols to have a loose relationship to the truth. But sports is all about authenticity, the truth expressed in a moment of action on the field, court, or rink. There are more sports fans than political junkies in America. Whatever teams they may root for, the one team they all root against is the Washington Phonies.

The sand is rapidly draining from the hourglass containing Obama's ability to command respect and allegiance. His partisans, living in their social and media bubble, do not notice. But everybody else in America does.

Thomas Lifson is editor and publisher of American Thinker