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Obama not a people person

Digby speculates on whether Washington establishment types are just being peevish or whether Obama really doesn’t think he personally needs to interact with politicians.

There is a third possibility.  He was hired for his looks.  Yep.  He’s got the right credentials for his employers.  The right academic pedigree, the right insane ambition, the lack of any partisanship whatsoever.  But the fact that he was an attractive African American candidate made him seem unbeatable to the scouts. He didn’t need to be a gifted politician.  In the political skills department, he has about as much as George W. Bush has. He just needed some clever speechwriter to craft some aspirational shit that liberals would eat up about being a transcendent figure who would unite the country.

It doesn’t really matter what he does now that he’s in office.  He’s just a figurehead.  His employers bought off the right people and they’re the ones who are actually running the show.  He doesn’t have to be nice to people or shake hands and it’s not really important that he crafts policy or anything like that.

Obama could decide to take the rest of the term off and the executive branch would continue to function just fine.  The policies that are going to be implemented could happen whether or not he shows up or takes the day off and golfs with Tiger Woods.  His meteoric rise to instant stardom didn’t require him to assemble a coalition of political friends and assets nor did it require him to do any heavy lifting in the policy department.  He was protected zealously in the campaign arena and the only person to challenge him was Hillary Clinton.  After that, he decided to run against Sarah Palin.  Piece of cake.

So, if he’s not a people person, does it matter?

I thought the Bush years were long but with as much damage as the last 5 years have inflicted on me personally, the Obama years just seem interminable.

10 Responses

  1. You said it! The election of Obama and his subsequent administration has been one of the longest parades of an Emperor with No Clothes that I can remember. Nightmarish even.

  2. What RD calls “insane” ambition, I would call “amoral” ambition. I don’t think Obummer is crazy. I just think he doesn’t care about anyone but himself, and maybe his family and friends. 👿

    I know I’ve said this sort of thing before, but 2008 really opened my eyes. I thought we liberals were Vulcans, Dunedain, Cats. We couldn’t be herded into voting against our best interests, like those silly wingnut Bible-thumping “Yoo Ess Ay!” shoutycrackers.

    Holy Haruhi, was I wrong about that. The Malefactors Of Great Wealth simply hadn’t seen the need to hit us with a full-fledged state-of-the-art propaganda blitzkrieg before 2008. Once they did, it worked dismayingly well.

    To compound my consternation, some of us who did resist the siren song to drink the Blue Obummer Kool-Aid turned around and drank the Red Wingnut Kool-Aid instead. (I’m looking at you, Crawdads.) “Yuck! This arsenic tastes terrible! I think I’ll try this yummy-looking strychnine instead!” 😈

    I wonder: Were the Malefactors always planning to install Obummer in 2008, or was he a contingency plan? The Chimperial Cheney Assministration hadn’t just screwed the pooch, they had screwed the whole kennel of pooches, in positions Dr. Ruth never heard of. Maybe the MOGW concluded that they could not install another Reptilian in the White House in 2008 without rigging the election beyond the limits of plausible deniability?

  3. Well, as far as I can see his BFFs include Ryan (O-M-effing-G), McCain, and assorted other wingnuts.

  4. Yes, even I’m surprised that POTUS is courting one Paul Ryan, that economic leader of all things Ayn Rand, who couldn’t find a column of numbers to add up if his life depended on it but is touted as a young wizard of unshackled market philosophy while screaming ‘Liberty is Austerity’ to the yokels [they who will soon be yoked for life].

    Barack Obama was never the man for the job, not the people’s job, that is. For the Powers-That-Be he’s doing quite nicely, mopping things up for the plutocrats. Don’t trust your lying eyes has been the mantra from the start. We’ll end up with 16 years of having a frontman in the front office, while the real power is wielded in the shadows.

    We can tell our grand babies in the future: “It all fell down with barely a whimper.”

    I am not in a good mood this evening. And if I have one more person point out the grand success of Latvia and Estonia, I may beat somebody bloody.

  5. RD, you somehow write the exact words that is brewing in all my frustrations so well. This whole charade is like a horrible dream.

    Obama is every cliche and every wink . He’s the bamboozle and the worst of what our presidential electoral process can produce.

  6. And here I thought Obama was a waffle person.

  7. sadly, it seems Obama Reagan Jr’s goal is to be a 0.1%er PR Hack, & looks up to Bill Clinton as a role model. Obama sees B Clinton getting $100K for dozens of 1 hr “speech” post-Presidential bribes from the 2B2F Banksta Criminals like Goldman, & knows that he’ll be able to do the same in Jan 2017.

    B Clinton Reagan Jr implemented the “money center banks” lobby agenda:
    1 killed Glass Steagall such that Speculation “Investment” casino “banks” could do commercial banking & insurance, worsening the possibility of 2 Big 2 Fail.
    2 signed the Commodity Futures Moderdization Act despite the competent protesting of Brooksley Born, that it would further allow non-regulated derivatives to worsen a financial crisis, which it did in 2008.
    3 signed NAFTA, which has eliminated Millions of US mfg jobs. It also eliminated many Mexican small farmer jobs. Clinton predicted NAFTA would increase jobs & worker median pay in each nation; it has coincided with the opposite.
    4 tried to privatize Social Security (inadvertently Monica Lewinsky killed this effort)

    Obama The Grand Ripoff Artist seems to be following his role model Clinton’s path, focusing on the 2B2F’s desired “Grand Bargain” Grand Ripoff to slash Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid, which imho would be a much worse action than all of B Clinton’s combined bank$ta whoredom.

    This nation needs a Progressive President, with values more towards FD Roosevelt & LB Johnson (without the war-mongering of course), & not continue the 30+ yr reign of reactionary, Reagan clones. I was hoping E Warren could be a possibility, but apparently this intelligent law Professor will fight hard to protect consumers from fin svcs fraud, but not so much from Constitution-violating judicial-free Presidential dictator/Qadafi-style murder. *smh*

    • Just a heads up: I do not think that Bill Clinton was anywhere near as right on the political spectrum as Obama. You can search our archives for the discussions we’ve had over the Gramm-Bliley bill that repealed Glass Stegal. I’m not going to go over it again except to say that there was a veto proof majority in Congress FOR it. You could fault Clinton for signing on to Robert Rubin and Larry Summers philosophy but he’s had interviews where he says he was wrong to buy into it so completely. In other words, Clinton learned from his mistakes. What excuse does Obama have?
      In any case, this is not a bash Clinton site. All the evidence, that Paul Krugman drags out with regularity, shows that the Clinton years were good for the economy, working people and good government.
      We also don’t like labels here so please don’t start droning on about neo-liberalism and corporatism. They just get in the way of understanding what’s going on here. Not only that but labelling is part of the reason we ended up with Obama in the first place. ANYTHING was going to be better than those damn DLC raycist Clintons, right?
      And look what we ended up with.
      A couple of other things: NAFTA also included Canada but for some reason, we never hear anyone complaining about Canadians taking our jobs. I have news for you, there are jobs moving north. Not only that but STEM workers are not losing their jobs to Guadalajarans. We’re losing them to Shanghai. I lost mine to the French. Yeah, figure that one out. Not so hard to understand actually. The Europeans, specifically the Germans, French and Belgians are protecting their STEM workers. Sure the multinationals would like to replace all those workers with cheap Chinese but the governments of those countries think the science sector is worth preserving, unlike here.
      But go ahead, bash Clinton for signing NAFTA. {{rolling eyes}}

  8. We have had twelve year runs of bad Presidents in times of increasing crisis before (Zachary Taylor-Millard Filmore-Franklin Pierce-James Buchannan and Warren G. Harding-Calvin Coolidge-Herbert Hoover) but were rescued by a Lincoln and an FDR. Unfortunately, I don’t see someone like that on the horizon.

    The only run that was longer was the group between Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt with the quickly assassinated James Garfield offering only temporary competency during what Krugman calls the Long Recession. The robber barons in that era were more colorful than the silent assassins of today. Similar results, though.

    Redistribution and regulation were the answers. Along with education and more infrastructure and the resultant even greater redistribution.

    The policy of low interest rates and borderline lowish oil prices has made imports far more possible. In the mid to late 70s, high interest rates and high oil prices combined to boost and almost force local /regional manufacturing. It cost too much to have inventory sitting around so we invented “just in time” manufacturing processes.

    Outsourcing production means that it is harder to react to market changes. Miss a fad or a style and the business gets imperiled. I remember doing some work for a toy company division of a conglomerate. They had to place orders by March (at the latest) to get the Chinese to manufacture next seasons Christmas toys. Miss one year’s hit, which they did, and the division went down the tubes. The same thing happened with another company I did work for that moved its luggage manufacturing from South Jersey to Thailand.

    And those were the more forgiving 90s.

    When things got cheaper and manufacturing could be outsourced, the population as a whole got screwed. Fast food, retail, and corporate headquarters are “safe” but the real jobs paying more than minimum wage for most Americans are hit badly.

    It takes a moron, and a highly paid and smug one at that, to mess up an industry like pharmaceuticals with a protected product market and built in profits of 15% to 20% no matter what. Unfortunately, the supply of morons is more than sufficient for the task at hand.

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