It really must be bleak in the Vineyard today, and not only because Hurricane Irene threatens to cut the presidential holiday short. No, it must be overhung with a dark cloud because of former Obama supporter Mort Zuckerman’s devastating piece in today’s Wall Street Journal. Zuckerman accuses the Obama administration of having a “competency crisis:”
The rising impatience with the leadership of President Obama was epitomized on Aug. 8 in the middle of one of the now-habitual Wall Street roller coasters. His speech on the economy was 53 minutes late. What showed on TV screens was an empty White House podium, an image suggestive of the absence of leadership. When the president did speak, the best he could come up with was “We’ve always been and always will be a triple-A country.” The market’s response was a Bronx cheer, a drop of another 300 points.
Mr. Obama seems unable to get a firm grip on the toughest issue facing his presidency and the country-the economy. He now asserts he is going to “pivot” to jobs. Now we pivot to jobs? When there are already 25 million Americans who are either unemployed or cannot find full-time work? Does this president not appreciate what is going on?
The incompetence that Zuckerman describes is on display for all to see. Still, I don’t think admitting one’s horrid, horrid disappointment quite lets our glitterati off the hook. Candidate Obama may have been impressive on the stump. But it wouldn’t have taken that much investigation of his core beliefs to predict that as president he would pursue exactly the policies that have made the economy worse than when he took over. Couldn’t the glitterati have asked their secretaries, interns, or valets to do some research before they fell in love? Why weren’t our elites as able to frame the question as well as, say, Joe the Plumber? That said, Zuckerman’s piece is brilliant.