President Obama Should Listen to Mr. Panetta
Didn't someone say that you can learn something from your critics? Critics can teach you a thing or two, especially when the critic is a straight shooter like Leon Panetta.
On Monday, I saw Mr. Panetta say some rather profound things to Susan Paige of USA Today:
"We are at a point where I think the jury is still out," former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said of President Obama's legacy in an interview with USA Today. "For the first four years, and the time I spent there, I thought he was a strong leader on security issues... But these last two years I think he kind of lost his way. You know, it's been a mixed message, a little ambivalence in trying to approach these issues and try to clarify what the role of this country is all about."
"He may have found himself again with regards to this ISIS crisis. I hope that's the case. And if he's willing to roll up his sleeves and engage with Congress in taking on some of these other issues, as I said I think he can establish a very strong legacy as president. I think these next 2 1/2 years will tell us an awful lot about what history has to say about the Obama administration," Panetta said.
This is very good advice. Perhaps President Obama is willing to listen to it.
First, Mr. Panetta is right that President Obama "has lost his way." We can debate the reasons why, but the bottom line is that President Obama looks like a man without purpose. I'd argue that he looks tired and unhappy with his job.
Second, the ISIS crisis is an opportunity to turn his presidency around and do the right thing. He could bring the country together, especially now that most Americans understand the ISIS threat.
My guess is that they are angry at the Obama White House with Mr. Panetta's remarks. However, Mr. Panetta is showing President Obama the way out of this hole that he is in.