The Obama Disconnect

Richard Butrick

Obama is a big  believer in word power:

"Don't tell me words don't matter," Mr. Obama said, to applause. " 'I have a dream' -- just words? 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal' -- just words? 'We have nothing to fear but fear itself' -- just words? Just speeches?"

And the man can cast a spell - no doubt about it. Chris Matthew's leg is still tingling. But with King, the Founding Fathers and FDR, words were backed up by deeds. No so in the case of Obama, according to Leon Panetta. His recent assessment of Obama's operational style bears out the word magic element in the President's leadership style. Here is Ruth Marcus of the WaPo on Panetta's assessment:

Leon Panetta served in Washington with nine presidents, starting with Lyndon Johnson. He has been a member of Congress, Office of Management and Budget director, White House chief of staff, director of the Central Intelligence Agency and secretary of defense -- the last two under President Obama. He is a man who knows Washington and knows how to choose his words. So Panetta's implicit rebuke of the president's hands-off approach to the budget crisis at a breakfast Monday was striking. [In Panetta's words]. "This president -- he's extremely bright, he's extremely able, he's somebody who I think certainly understands the issues, asks the right questions, and I think has the right instincts about what needs to be done for the country." Next came the "but" -- without a name but with a clear message. "You have to engage in the process. This is a town where it's not enough to feel you have the right answers. You've got to roll up your sleeves and you've got to really engage in the process . . . that's what governing is all about."

But it is worse than that. There should be some alignment of policy and sonorous exhortative speech. Certainly words do matter. But it also maters to implement policy which has an alignment with the words. Here are Obama's latest incantations for us from his "victory speech",

And now that the government is reopened and this threat to our economy is removed, all of us need to stop focusing on the lobbyists and the bloggers and the talking heads on radio and the professional activists who profit from conflict and focus what the majority of Americans sent us here to do and that's grow this economy, create good jobs, strengthen the middle class, educate our kids, lay the foundation for broad-based prosperity and get our fiscal house in order for the long haul. That's why we're here. That should be our focus.

Well, who can gainsay that. So now that the debt ceiling has been raised, Obama then proceeded to present congress with his latest spending list.

 

Obama is a big  believer in word power:

"Don't tell me words don't matter," Mr. Obama said, to applause. " 'I have a dream' -- just words? 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal' -- just words? 'We have nothing to fear but fear itself' -- just words? Just speeches?"

And the man can cast a spell - no doubt about it. Chris Matthew's leg is still tingling. But with King, the Founding Fathers and FDR, words were backed up by deeds. No so in the case of Obama, according to Leon Panetta. His recent assessment of Obama's operational style bears out the word magic element in the President's leadership style. Here is Ruth Marcus of the WaPo on Panetta's assessment:

Leon Panetta served in Washington with nine presidents, starting with Lyndon Johnson. He has been a member of Congress, Office of Management and Budget director, White House chief of staff, director of the Central Intelligence Agency and secretary of defense -- the last two under President Obama. He is a man who knows Washington and knows how to choose his words. So Panetta's implicit rebuke of the president's hands-off approach to the budget crisis at a breakfast Monday was striking. [In Panetta's words]. "This president -- he's extremely bright, he's extremely able, he's somebody who I think certainly understands the issues, asks the right questions, and I think has the right instincts about what needs to be done for the country." Next came the "but" -- without a name but with a clear message. "You have to engage in the process. This is a town where it's not enough to feel you have the right answers. You've got to roll up your sleeves and you've got to really engage in the process . . . that's what governing is all about."

But it is worse than that. There should be some alignment of policy and sonorous exhortative speech. Certainly words do matter. But it also maters to implement policy which has an alignment with the words. Here are Obama's latest incantations for us from his "victory speech",

And now that the government is reopened and this threat to our economy is removed, all of us need to stop focusing on the lobbyists and the bloggers and the talking heads on radio and the professional activists who profit from conflict and focus what the majority of Americans sent us here to do and that's grow this economy, create good jobs, strengthen the middle class, educate our kids, lay the foundation for broad-based prosperity and get our fiscal house in order for the long haul. That's why we're here. That should be our focus.

Well, who can gainsay that. So now that the debt ceiling has been raised, Obama then proceeded to present congress with his latest spending list.