|February 6, 2009|
|Obama Needs a Do-Over|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|George Bush spent nearly eight years in the White House before he finally admitted that perhaps he made a mistake or two. He was slammed for arrogance, obstinance, stubbornness and bull-headedness. And that is how his friends saw things.|
That’s why it is so refreshing that President Barack Obama admitted that he screwed up by junking the new White House ethical standards and pushing for the nomination of his dear buddy Tom Daschle for the Health and Human Services job. That was hypocritical.
Obama conducted yesterday’s “I screwed up” media tour of cable and network anchors after only two weeks in office. That must be an all-time White House record for confession. [We don't know whether President Kennedy received the sacrament of Penance while in office.]
Daschle wasn't the only Presidential screw-up. Obama screwed up big time by making his first public appearance since Inauguration Day a visit to the Capital City Public Charter School to read “The Moon Over Star” to a bunch of second graders. That image brought back memories of one of many PR lowlights of the Bush Administration: that awful Sept. 11 morning when Dubya read “My Pet Goat” to Florida kids while the World Trade Center burned.
According to the White House’s website, Obama fielded questions about pets, why he wanted to become President and superheroes. The visit -- in ordinary times -- would have been a nice photo-op. But we are living in extraordinary times.
The world’s economy is in recession. The U.S. financial system is on the verge of collapse. Unemployment is surging. Iran is now a space power and North Korea is reportedly set to test an intercontinental missile that could reach North America. The Mets may lose a $400M sponsorship deal with Citigroup.
A “cute” photo-op is not what the U.S. needs at this point. The President could have asked the kids how many of their parents are out of work? That would have saved some measure of the day, but it would have reminded the media that Obama was playing hooky from his job.
The President's remark that it was good to get out of the White House struck the wrong chord. Geez Barack, it’s only been 14 days. That’s a fraction of the eight years that you will serve if you get your act together.
It’s time for a fresh start. Obama desperately needs a do-over. Let’s get down to business. Junk the touchy-feely stuff. Get rid of the waivers to the ethical/lobbying rules. Stop caving and pandering to powerless Republicans and do the job the people put you in office to do.
It’s only been 15 days. There is plenty of time left, but the clock is ticking.
(Photo: White House)
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