President Obama’s press conference last week didn’t go as well as he had hoped. When asked about the economy, he stated, “the private sector is doing fine.” That brought such a barrage of incredulity that he had to go before the cameras once more and walk back those remarks. But the damage was done. The Romney campaign already has an ad running touting how out of touch the president is. The ad is accurate.
Yet there was another part of his statement that was even more revealing than his knowledge deficit on the status of the private sector. He remarked that the “real” problem we face is the loss of jobs in state and local governments. That, he believes, is the true indicator of our economic woes. In other words, cutting back on government spending is the culprit. If only governments at all levels would spend more, this economy would be booming. You know, like it did after his stimulus package. Right.
These comments showcase the Obama worldview: it’s a world where government is the engine for prosperity, not private business. Only more government spending and more government control over the choices of individuals, families, churches, and businesses will create the type of society where all are happy.
Well, he’s had three years to test that hypothesis. His administration touted the summer of 2010 as “Recovery Summer.” Does anyone recall that recovery? Where do we stand this summer?
Recovery Summer III is a sequel that has lost its glitter.
That press conference was only the last of a series of awful events for this White House in the past few weeks. Here’s a short list of what has gone wrong for the Obama team:
- Key Democrats have criticized the Obama campaign’s attacks on Bain Capital, Romney’s old firm. Newark, New Jersey, mayor Cory Booker called the attacks “nauseating.” He’s no longer on the president’s short list for a cabinet post. Bill Clinton keeps going rogue as well, first saying that Romney did a fine job at Bain, then advocating the extension of the Bush tax cuts for everyone, even the wealthy. He was called to task on that last one and did his own walkback. Some are seriously wondering if he’s secretly hoping to torpedo Obama’s reelection. They’ve never been the best of friends.
- The jobs report a week and a half ago was dismal. Even with more people dropping out of the workforce, the unemployment rate still went up.
- National security leaks have outraged both Republicans and Democrats in the Congress. Some of these leaks could only have come from individuals in the inner circle of the White House due to the nature of the knowledge leaked. Accusations that the Obama campaign is orchestrating the leaks to bolster Obama’s “tough guy” image are increasing.
- Scott Walker’s solid victory in the Wisconsin recall election does not bode well for Obama either. It means Wisconsin is probably in play for the Republicans. Obama studiously avoided being seen or heard anywhere near Wisconsin in the days leading up to the election. He knew defeat was looming.
- Attorney General Eric Holder is on the edge of receiving a contempt of Congress slap in the face for his continued stonewalling on the Fast and Furious investigation. Holder’s arrogance and stubbornness mirror that of his boss.
But of course we know none of this is Obama’s fault. How do we know? He has said so repeatedly. When his portrait is eventually placed in the White House next to George Bush’s [sooner rather than later, one hopes], I think it may be one of the most original of all the portraits: