Is Obama lazy? (Updated)
All we're getting is whispers from the press, of course, A raised eyebrow here, a sad shake of the head there. But the picture that is emerging of Barack Obama, the executive, is not very flattering if you look between the lines.
Well, it's becoming obvious he's not really much of a manager, decider, legislation-craftsman, or supervisor. His vetting process is in shambles and key Treasury slots are still vacant. His Treasury Secretary is a classic under-performer and Obama encourages that tendency by talking about everything other than our immediate recovery needs. He lets Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid do the legislating - and they've come up with an embarrassing stimulus and an omnibus spending-bill even Democrats aren't swallowing.
What does he like to do? Summits. These are in essence campaign events - faux town-halls where nary a discouraging word is heard and no real work is done. And he loves those campaign rallies around the country.
So if the report is accurate that others are crafting his political strategy (just like the Pelosi-Reid machine is drafting his legislation), it should should come as no surprise. George W. Bush was lambasted for poor management skills and excessive delegation. But that was nothing - Obama has delegated the entire task of governing. He will keep the campaigning for himself.
Failure as a community organizer (at least he admits that, to some extent) :
Lazy as an attorney-dedicated to promoting himself:
Miner's firm specialized in civil rights litigation and in representing not-for-profits. "The 'game of law' irritated [Obama] more than fascinated him," Miner says. "There are people who just like the game. Barack didn't like the game."
Allison Davis, a former partner in Miner's firm (and the son of a prominent U. of C. professor), occupied an office next to Obama's at 14 West Erie Street. "He spent a lot of time working on his book [Dreams from My Father]," Davis recalls. "Some of my partners weren't happy with that, Barack sitting there with his keyboard on his lap and his feet up on the desk writing the book."
I am sure his colleagues, other lawyers, who actually had to work killer hours to pay his salaries, appreciated his work ethic.
(BTW, he kept getting extensions on the deadline to submit a manuscript, then he flew off to the South Pacific to "work on it")
Failure as a Senator: A habit of claiming credit for work he did not do :
After weeks of arduous negotiations, on April 6, 2006, a bipartisan group of senators burst out of the "President's Room," just off the Senate chamber, with a deal on new immigration policy.
As the half-dozen senators -- including John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Edward M. KennedySen.. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who made a request common when Capitol Hill news conferences are in the offing: "Hey, guys, can I come along?" And when Obama went before the microphones, he was generous with his list of senators to congratulate -- a list that included himself.
"I want to cite Lindsey Graham, Sam Brownback, Mel Martinez, Ken Salazar, myself, Dick Durbin, Joe Lieberman . . . who've actually had to wake up early to try to hammer this stuff out," he said.
To Senate staff members, who had been arriving for 7 a.m. negotiating sessions for weeks, it was a galling moment. Those morning sessions had attracted just three to four senators a side, Sen.. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) recalled, each deeply involved in the issue. Obama was not one of them. But in a presidential contest involving three sitting senators, embellishment of legislative records may be an inevitability, Specter said with a shrug.
Unlike governors, business leaders or vice presidents, senators -- the last to win the presidency was John F. Kennedy in 1960 -- are not executives. They cannot be held to account for the state of their states, their companies or their administrations. What they do have is the mark they leave on the nation's laws -- and in Obama's brief three-year tenure, as well as Sen.. Hillary Rodham Clinton's seven-year hitch, those marks are far from indelible.
(D-Mass.) -- headed to announce their plan, they met
And for being on a Committee he was not on and doing work he did not do (again):
Barack Obama today boasted about a bill in "my committee,'' a committee on which he has no seat.
While speaking to the press in the Israeli town of Sderot, Obama mistakenly put the U.S. Senate banking committee on his resume, although the Illinois senator does not serve on the committee and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) is the chairman.
The Republican National Committee distributed an e-mail pointing out Obama's mistake with a subject line of "Obama's Gaffe Machine Rolls Into Israel."
During the press conference, Obama said, "Just this past -- this past week, we passed out of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, which is my committee, a bill to call for divestment from Iran as a way of ratcheting up the pressure to ensure that they don't obtain a nuclear weapon."
Anyone see a pattern here? People overestimated him and he woefully undelivers-time and time again. No wonder he picked Geithner.
Ed's evidence is compelling. I would add that during the early stages of the campaign, his "keepers of the body" - probably Axelrod at that point - overextended the candidate. His gaffes about 10,000 dead in a Kansas tornado came at the end of a long day of campaigning. They never made the same mistake again and limited his access to the press and reduced the number of events per day. This would seem to indicate the president doesn't have much stamina.
But he will continue to get a pass on this from the press unless the economy goes into free fall and still nothing much has been done.
Ed Lasky adds:
One more aspect of his lax work ethic is that he did not accomplish much as a State Senator (not just his habit of voting present) but also the fact that his so-called accomplishments as a state senator were fictitious . Illinois Senate State President Emil Jones tacked his name onto bills that other people did the lifting on so that Jones, in Obama's own words, could make Obama a U.S. Senator.
In the State Senate, Jones did something even more important for Obama. He pushed him forward as the key sponsor of some of the Party's most important legislation, even though the move did not sit well with some colleagues who had plugged away in the minority on bills that Obama now championed as part of the majority. "Because he had been in the minority, Barack didn't have a legislative record to run on, and there was a buildup of all these great ideas that the Republicans kept in the rules committee when they were in the majority," Burns said. "Jones basically gave Obama the space to do what Obama wanted to do. Emil made it clear to people that it would be good for them."
"You have the power to make a United States senator," he told Emil Jones in 2003.