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October 02, 2009

Losing Confidence in Obama

Priceless. Just priceless:

Helen Thomas is 89 years old and requires some assistance to get to and from the daily White House briefing. Yet her backbone has proved stronger than that of the president she covers.

On Thursday afternoon, Thomas gave a clinic in fortitude to President Obama's spokesman, Robert Gibbs, during the briefing. "Has the president given up on the public option?" she inquired from her front-row-middle seat.

The press secretary laughed at this repetition of a common Thomas inquiry, but this questioner, who has covered every president since Kennedy, wasn't about to be silenced. "I ask it day after day because it has great meaning in this country, and you never answer it," she said.

"Well, I -- I -- I apparently don't answer it to your satisfaction," Gibbs stammered.

"That's right," Thomas snarled.

"I -- I'll -- I'll give you the same answer that I gave you unsatisfactorily for many of those other days," Gibbs offered. "It's what the president believes in --"

"Is he going to fight for it or not?" Thomas snapped.

"We're going to work to get choice and competition into health-care reform" was Gibbs's vague response.

Thomas took that as a no. "You're not going to get it," she advised.

"Then why do you keep asking me?" Gibbs inquired.

"Because I want your conscience to bother you,"

Jennifer Rubin comments:

The latest Fox News/Opinion Dymanic poll is chock-full of bad news for the president. But on foreign policy, the results are nothing short of stunning. On who they trust more to decide the next steps in Afghanistan. 66 percent say military commanders, while only 20 percent say the president. Even Democrats have more faith in the military commanders (by a 45 to 37 percent margin). On Iran, 69 percent say Obama has not been tough enough, including 55 percent of Democrats. Sixty-one percent favor a U.S. military action, if needed, to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons. Fifty-one percent think Obama apologizes for American too much.

Less than a year into his presidency, this is a remarkable and widespread loss of confidence in the president’s handling of national security. This should actually come as no surprise. Neither his rhetoric or his decision-making to date has projected strength. He spent months arguing that we should close Guantanamo and dump the terrorists into the U.S. or into other countries. The voters disagreed. He dithers on Afghanistan, and the voters no longer see him as the best person to set our course. He sends video valentines to the mullahs, delighting in the notion that we can talk them out of their nukes, and waits for Russia and China to climb onto the Obama bandwagon (or Israel to do the dirty work for us). And Americans overwhelmingly see his performance as weak.

In short, Obama has already achieved what it took Jimmy Carter an entire term to attain: the conviction of a large majority of the American people that he is not protecting our interests or performing adequately as commander in chief. He can either stiffen his resolve to confront America’s foes or continue his decline.

2nd link via Warren Bonesteel

Posted by Cassandra at October 2, 2009 08:57 AM

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"Because I want your conscience to bother you,"

And here I thought the job of journalists was to investigate and report, not editorialize. Huh.

Thank you Ms. Thomas for once again proving the point of the right. You might want to zip up, your bias is showing. Again.

Posted by: MikeD at October 2, 2009 11:56 AM

Well, I guess running a country is a little tougher than community organizing.

Posted by: RIslander at October 2, 2009 12:14 PM

MikeD, that's is EXACTLY what I thought. And somehow most people don't notice the discrepancy...

Posted by: airforcewife at October 2, 2009 04:00 PM

Y'know, it's pretty bad when Helen Thomas and the French President think you're out of your league...

Posted by: camojack at October 3, 2009 10:04 AM

It's worse when a *Frenchman* thinks your egotism is excessive...

Posted by: BillT at October 3, 2009 10:49 AM

Sheesh... Was it necessary to tell the world that Madam Thomas' backbone is more structurally sound than I Won's? Really Dana, was it helpful to point that out?

It's not as if Putin, Ahmahmadman, Hu Jintao-Walmart-Tbills, Israel, Momar K., Poland, The Czechs, most of Latin American and 100% of the Middle East, do not already know that to be the case, but really, was it helpful?

Ya know, some inhabitants of remote areas in the near to far east may not have yet realized the fact. And by withholding that info we might forestall the tribal chiefs from getting froggy with, and forcing the current crop of Best&Brightest Adults what's in charge to, apologize and bow to the tribal potentates.

STEP #1: 394 and a wake up, go vote.

Posted by: bt_Curmudgeon_hun at October 3, 2009 06:08 PM

Obama has already achieved what it took Jimmy Carter an entire term to attain: the conviction of a large majority of the American people that he is not protecting our interests or performing adequately as commander in chief.

This gives Carter too much credit. For the first three years of his term, he didn't face any major national-security crises. Most of his failures (and his handful of successes) in national-security policy were out of the public eye. During the Iran hostage crisis, though, everyone saw him try to handle a security issue and fail. His incompetence as CinC became obvious to all, and his approval ratings nose-dived at least as fast as Barry Lackwit's have.

Posted by: wolfwalker at October 4, 2009 08:32 AM

Is this a trick question? I don't believe that it is possible to lose what one never had.

Posted by: a former european at October 5, 2009 04:08 AM