Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:05 am on June 11, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Today we climb into the Wayback Machine to remind ourselves about how Barack Obama promised that he could handle the world’s toughest executive position better than the previous occupant despite having no executive experience whatsoever — and how he used a Gulf of Mexico crisis as his evidence. In 2008, Byron York reminds us, Obama insisted to CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he could handle an emergency in the Gulf much better than ol’ What’s-His-Name as Hurricane Gustav bore down on New Orleans:

COOPER: And, Senator Obama, my final question — some of your Republican critics have said you don’t have the experience to handle a situation like this. They in fact have said that Governor Palin has more executive experience, as mayor of a small town and as governor of a big state of Alaska. What’s your response?

OBAMA: Well, you know, my understanding is, is that Governor Palin’s town of Wasilla has, I think, 50 employees. We have got 2,500 in this campaign. I think their budget is maybe $12 million a year. You know, we have a budget of about three times that just for the month. So, I think that our ability to manage large systems and to execute, I think, has been made clear over the last couple of years. And, certainly, in terms of the legislation that I passed just dealing with this issue post-Katrina of how we handle emergency management, the fact that many of my recommendations were adopted and are being put in place as we speak, I think, indicates the degree to which we can provide the kinds of support and good service that the American people expect.

Byron also felt the need to correct the record about Obama’s reference to “Wasilly”:

Just for accuracy’s sake: Alaska’s budget in 2008 was $11.2 billion, and the state employed about 15,000 people, so while it was nowhere near the size of the federal government — no state is — it was considerably larger than the Obama campaign. But the bigger point of the interview was Obama’s argument that his ability to run a good campaign proved he had executive ability, even though he had no executive experience. Now we are in a situation that cries out for executive experience and leadership — ironically enough, in the Gulf again — and some who accepted Obama’s argument back in 2008 are rethinking things this time around.

I pointed out the same thing at the time. I also pointed out the difference between legislating and being in charge:

Did Barack Obama pass legislation bearing his recommendations for emergency management? A list of “actions” taken by Obama in the wake of Katrina compiled by a supporter doesn’t exactly lend itself to that conclusion. Once one strips out all of the speeches, the actual legislative actions appear to mostly consist of adding his name as co-sponsor to the bills of others, and it’s unclear whether any of the bills Obama did introduce ever passed.

Even if they did, it gives him no experience at managing disasters.  Governors and mayors have to manage disasters, and when they succeed, they save lives.  When they fail, as we saw in Katrina, it costs lives.

Well, no one can say I didn’t warn people.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at obamaisms@edmorrissey.com with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!


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dear zero, please shut down the federal govt. like ny state will do. It will give those of us who produce, some needed breaks on your confiscation of our wealth.

rightside on June 11, 2010 at 8:09 AM

re: his experience at managing disasters: I think his first term’s agendas qualify as doing so…

apostic on June 11, 2010 at 8:12 AM

Did you plug the whole today daddy?

Who put that boot print on the back of your pants daddy?

Rovin on June 11, 2010 at 8:12 AM

But the bigger point of the interview was Obama’s argument that his ability to run a good campaign proved he had executive ability, even though he had no executive experience.

Anyone listening now? They weren’t then.

donh525 on June 11, 2010 at 8:14 AM

“Daddy, I meant plug your damn pie hole!”

Caper29 on June 11, 2010 at 8:17 AM

Did you plug the whole today daddy?

Whoops—”hole for whole” mo caffine please

Rovin on June 11, 2010 at 8:19 AM

re: his experience at managing disasters: I think his first term’s agendas qualify as doing so…

apostic on June 11, 2010 at 8:12 AM

There’s no managing going on; his first term is America’s biggest ever man-caused disaster.

OhioCoastie on June 11, 2010 at 8:20 AM

He’s not managing a disaster; he’s facillitating it.

Disturb the Universe on June 11, 2010 at 8:22 AM

He is truly going to make Carter shine as a President.

Johnnyreb on June 11, 2010 at 8:22 AM

Look at the bright side. As long as Sarah continues to write facebook posts critical of Obama, and Obama continues to acquiesce and do what she tells him to, we will at least have the charred remains of a Republic to rebuild upon when she becomes president in 2012.

turfmann on June 11, 2010 at 8:25 AM

“Daddy, did you plug Whole Foods today?”

apostic on June 11, 2010 at 8:26 AM

Best as I can see, his first nearly 17 months have pretty much been a disaster, and it is difficult to see how the remainder of his first (and only, I sincerely hope) term will only be worse. He has drastically increased the federal debt, and he has encouraged a deranged congressional leadership to take additional steps that will only make the debt situation worse. He has at best snubbed and at worst abandoned US allies and emboldened America’s enemies making an already dangerous world moreso. I’m glad you provided the transcript Ed, because I can’t stand the sound of this santimonious fool’s voice.

ProfessorMiao on June 11, 2010 at 8:28 AM

He is truly going to make Carter shine as a President.

Johnnyreb on June 11, 2010 at 8:22 AM

Jamie and Adam on Mythbusters did prove one can shine a piece of excrement.

Disturb the Universe on June 11, 2010 at 8:28 AM

Did you plug the whole today daddy?

Who put that boot print on the back of your pants daddy?

Rovin on June 11, 2010 at 8:12 AM

Oh, He’s plugging us alright.

Do I have to cheer for Dear Liar’s incompetence, simply to save us from His malevolence?

rbj on June 11, 2010 at 8:28 AM

Bystander-in-Chief Obama: phoning it in during breaks from the NBA Finals.

BuckeyeSam on June 11, 2010 at 8:28 AM

The country had to give the phony a shot at it. It worked – he got elected, and now everyone knows.

There’s a great clip from James Carville (and Mary Matalin) on Newsbusters where James is absolutely railing against a CNN lib reporter (on another CNN show) who suggests that the oil spill is “beneath” the president and pulling down his poll numbers. James goes off on these liberals who would be shrieking if oil was washing up on Long Island Sound. Obama is the enema some of these liberals needed to clear their eyes, they were so full of it before.

Marcus on June 11, 2010 at 8:28 AM

I miss that stoopit cowboy…

ladyingray on June 11, 2010 at 8:29 AM

So Obama managed his own campaign? That must be news to David Plouffe.

Fluffy McNutter on June 11, 2010 at 8:31 AM

All hat… no cattle…

Khun Joe on June 11, 2010 at 8:31 AM

The only disasters that ObaMao is interested in managing are those that cover his own very vulnerable azz. His vast spin machine in the WH and in the media have to be working at warp speed.

onlineanalyst on June 11, 2010 at 8:32 AM

As much as I like kicking his ass when he is down, we should consider that the Gulf was bad for the GOP president. The Gulf is bad for the Democrat president.

Maybe it’s time to put some effort into cutting our ties with the Gulf.

myrenovations on June 11, 2010 at 8:32 AM

I love the new graphic…

beatcanvas on June 11, 2010 at 8:32 AM

I miss that stoopit cowboy…

ladyingray on June 11, 2010 at 8:29 AM

I miss them both. The one from Texas and especially the one from California.

donh525 on June 11, 2010 at 8:35 AM

Mother Nature has a lot of nerve… getting in the way of Øbama’s transformational agenda.

petefrt on June 11, 2010 at 8:35 AM

“Everybody was kung foo fighting…….
That dude was fast as lightning,
In fact it was a little bit frightning…,”

5u93rm4n on June 11, 2010 at 8:36 AM

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1285332/Follow-Islamic-way-save-world-Charles-urges-environmentalists.html

This is an example of where the Progressive movement is taking the world and it’s people. Obama is a true Progressive, along with the American media. One world rule strictly guided by Islam. The oil leak in the gulf is a distraction to this man, and will be used as a tool to take away our energy needs. Obama and the Progressives have one goal in mind, and they are moving rapidly.

Keemo on June 11, 2010 at 8:36 AM

Tai bo Toonces?

onlineanalyst on June 11, 2010 at 8:36 AM

Fluffy McNutter on June 11, 2010 at 8:31 AM

Perhaps we should have elected Obama’s campaign manager, instead.

DrMagnolias on June 11, 2010 at 8:39 AM

Let’s face it. Even Alvin Greene could probably do a better job than Obama.

Disturb the Universe on June 11, 2010 at 8:41 AM

Let’s just stretch those big ears over the hole. That will stop the flow of oil.

search4truth on June 11, 2010 at 8:41 AM

Being in charge is hard……

The audacity of this man is staggering….

cmsinaz on June 11, 2010 at 8:41 AM

Michelle – Why haven’t you plugged that hole in all this time wimpy? And, by the way, while we’re on the subject of non-plugging……………………….

50sGuy on June 11, 2010 at 8:42 AM

That was always one of my fav lines of his from the campaign. The sheer arrogance / sarcasm / stupidity / whatever of focusing on Wasilla & ignoring her leadership of a whole state was almost as astounding as the lack of pushback from anyone in the MSM.

KS Rex on June 11, 2010 at 8:43 AM

The Msm has some explaining to do …..throwing this man softball questions and propping him up….just disgusting

cmsinaz on June 11, 2010 at 8:45 AM

Even if they did, it gives him no experience at managing disasters.

He is doing a pretty good job of making sure his Presidency is a disaster.

albill on June 11, 2010 at 8:46 AM

“Daddy I heard about another hole, a donut hole. When are you going to plug that damn hole too? Or will Mommy eat it?”

Obama Tells Seniors Health Bill Will Work For Them, June 8

Tuesday’s event was timed to coincide with the release later this week of the first batch of $250 checks to seniors who fall into Medicare’s prescription drug coverage gap, known as the “doughnut hole.” Some 4 million elderly and disabled people will get checks this year, a down payment on the law’s approach to closing the doughnut hole entirely over the next decade.

The first question came from a woman in the audience: Why can’t he close the doughnut hole faster?

Obama’s answer: “It’s very expensive.”

Brat on June 11, 2010 at 8:49 AM

That was always one of my fav lines of his from the campaign. The sheer arrogance / sarcasm / stupidity / whatever of focusing on Wasilla & ignoring her leadership of a whole state was almost as astounding as the lack of pushback from anyone in the MSM.

KS Rex on June 11, 2010 at 8:43 AM

It’s scary how media played that selective narrative so willingly.

the_nile on June 11, 2010 at 8:50 AM

He’s just following Rahm’s advice–”Never let a good crisis go to waste.” He sees an opportunity to demonize the oil industry and to him, the ends justifies the means.

Beaglemom on June 11, 2010 at 8:51 AM

There’s no managing going on; his first term is America’s biggest ever man-caused disaster.

OhioCoastie on June 11, 2010 at 8:20 AM

I shudder to think that the worst is yet to come.

docdave on June 11, 2010 at 8:52 AM

turfmann on June 11, 2010 at 8:25 AM

She apparently needs to be more specific. Meeting with these people is something he can do, taking their advice or actually doing something proactive on the clean up/containment seems problematic for him.

Cindy Munford on June 11, 2010 at 8:57 AM

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1285332/Follow-Islamic-way-save-world-Charles-urges-environmentalists.html

This is an example of where the Progressive movement is taking the world and it’s people. Obama is a true Progressive, along with the American media. One world rule strictly guided by Islam. The oil leak in the gulf is a distraction to this man, and will be used as a tool to take away our energy needs. Obama and the Progressives have one goal in mind, and they are moving rapidly.

Keemo on June 11, 2010 at 8:36 AM

I guess when Charles takes the throne we can officially kiss the UK goodbye. Such a buffoon.

ProfessorMiao on June 11, 2010 at 8:57 AM

I shudder to think that the worst is yet to come.

docdave on June 11, 2010 at 8:52 AM

Be of good cheer. November is coming.

OhioCoastie on June 11, 2010 at 8:58 AM

Look what you did, America.

I’m sorry, but I accept the Darwinian consequences. The once-great USA is in her final days.

Thanks to all you conservatives who went into teaching rather than let the communists and fascists take control of our children!

Oh wait. Hey, how’s that office cube working out for you? Got some nice pictures up there? Yes? A little Dilbert cartoon? Yes? Good, good.

This was self-inflicted, my friends. It began a generation ago, and its undoing — if undoing is even possible — will take at least a century.

jeff_from_mpls on June 11, 2010 at 9:02 AM

ProfessorMiao on June 11, 2010 at 8:57 AM

It’s not Charles I’m worried about, it’s the depth of the Progressive movement that he bows to that worries me the most. The UN is somewhere near the top of this ladder; who or what sits on top. Obama is a puppet, but a puppet sitting in the most powerful position in the world. Bringing the people to our knees, taking away our wealth and rendering us powerless…

Keemo on June 11, 2010 at 9:04 AM

I wonder when people are going to start calling the Deepwater Horizon hole a “gusher” rather than a “spill.” This gusher is a “spill” like Katrina was a “tropical depression.”
.
Every time we allow the administration and the Lame Legacy Media to characterize this spewing, pressurized, petroleum geyser expelled into the Gulf of Mexico as “a spill” we minimize the expected action of the incompetent Federal Executive and excuse the slow, unsure, tentative, “learn-on-the-job” behavior of B. H. Øbummer.

ExpressoBold on June 11, 2010 at 9:07 AM

I shudder to think that the worst is yet to come.

docdave on June 11, 2010 at 8:52 AM

You should.

Jan 1, 2011 the taxation rules change. Radically. Dramatically. The tsunami is already in mid-ocean. We’re the idiots on the beach commenting on political events like a chariot race in the Coliseum.

You haven’t seen panic or cataclysm. This? This is still a good-time “hey let’s all yell at eachother on Fox News and yuk it up in the green room afterward.”

Things are coming undone.

jeff_from_mpls on June 11, 2010 at 9:08 AM

Someone might want to also mention how off he was on the numbers, especially now.

He was 300 times off on the number of people required to do the job and 1000 times off on the price. Remind anyone of healthcare reform?

barnone on June 11, 2010 at 9:10 AM

…ability to run a good campaign. If dear leader ran the campaign, then what did Ax do?
…legislation that I passed dealing with this issue post Katrina. Pardon me, sir, but that’s taking a lot of credit for something that you only participate in, maybe. Sounds just like all the other AA employees I’ve known in the corporate world.

Kissmygrits on June 11, 2010 at 9:15 AM

Well, you know, my understanding is, is that Governor Palin’s town of Wasilla has, I think,

Actually, Ed, he said “yo,” not “you know,” (as always) & he childishly said “Wasilly,” not “Wasilla.”

itsnotaboutme on June 11, 2010 at 9:17 AM

…ability to run a good campaign. If dear leader ran the campaign, then what did Ax do?

Precisely. Obama didn’t run the campaign. Obama was the product — packaged and sold.

NeighborhoodCatLady on June 11, 2010 at 9:18 AM

Love the new graphic, Ed! Please make it permanent.

Cody1991 on June 11, 2010 at 9:23 AM

All the obamateurisms to date, and all those to come from now to November mean nothing if we can’t translate that into a real conservative takeover of at least one house of Congress. That is our only hope to put the brakes on the runaway spending, power grabbing and rampant incompetence of this administration. If we fail, we are truly lost and there will be no return to sanity in our lifetimes. Yeah, it’s that important.

SKYFOX on June 11, 2010 at 9:24 AM

I find it oddly satisfying that it took the msm almost two years to see what we on the right knew about Mr. President from day one. That he was an inexperienced, reckless, narcissistic fool who had no business being in the Senate, much less in the Oval Office. Now they demand something that he’ll never be able to give…leadership. I shudder to think how much damage he’ll cause over the next two years. Will everything be in ruins by then?

scalleywag on June 11, 2010 at 9:31 AM

I’m guessing that Hillary is laughing her head off, thinking that if a domestic – rather than foreign policy – crisis brings Obama down, she might have a chance to challenge him for the nomination in 2012.

ProfessorMiao on June 11, 2010 at 9:32 AM

How flexible is Obama? Because he’s got his own ass to kick as well.

capejasmine on June 11, 2010 at 9:46 AM

ProfessorMiao on June 11, 2010 at 9:32 AM

Curiously I don’t see Hillary as much of an improvement over Obama. Like him, she has no executive expeience, unless you count trying to control her husband – lost cause there, and she is infavor of the same socialist programs as he is (remember her attempts with Hillarycare). Only thing in favor of Hillary is her citizenship – we know she is an native born American.

docdave on June 11, 2010 at 9:52 AM

I doubt that Hillary is laughing so much. The State Department is where careers go to die, and Hillary knows that.

NeighborhoodCatLady on June 11, 2010 at 9:53 AM

Now we are in a situation that cries out for executive experience and leadership — ironically enough, in the Gulf again — and some who accepted Obama’s argument back in 2008 are rethinking things this time around.

Such arrogance must and is being punished, and this is just the beginning.

There are no gods on Earth.

Schadenfreude on June 11, 2010 at 9:55 AM

Captain Kick Ass as the Brits see him:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/cartoon/

Cody1991 on June 11, 2010 at 10:11 AM

Empty suit = empty results. Very predictable.

GarandFan on June 11, 2010 at 10:49 AM

He’s just following Rahm’s advice–”Never let a good crisis go to waste.” He sees an opportunity to demonize the oil industry and to him, the ends justifies the means.

Beaglemom on June 11, 2010 at 8:51 AM

When I heard Rahm-A-Long-A-Ding-Dong utter those now infamous words, my first thought was, “Uh-oh, our country is in bigger trouble than we can even imagine.”

Little did we know…

GrannyDee on June 11, 2010 at 11:27 AM

Your problem is you are measuring his job performance by a standard, when he needs and has always had a lower set of standards to be measured by. Just like when he was in schools.

jukin on June 11, 2010 at 11:38 AM

When Hurricane Gustav was bearing down on Louisiana in August 2008, Governor Bobby Jindal received and accepted an offer of National Guard troops and humanitarian aid supplies from…Governor Sarah Palin. This was BEFORE she became McCain’s nominee for Vice President–she did it because she believed it was her duty as a fellow Governor.

After the BP oil spill, Governor Jindal requested from President Obama about 1,000 miles of oil containment booms, and a permit to dredge sand to protect the Louisiana marshes from the oil spill…and he is still waiting.

Which “executive” got things done–the Audacity of HopeyChange Community Organizer or the mayor of Wasilly? Which one is stuck on stupid and can’t even build a sandbar?

Steve Z on June 11, 2010 at 11:39 AM

the bigger point of the interview was Obama’s argument that his ability to run a good campaign proved he had executive ability,

An argument that was always total bull$hit, although none of his interviewers ever bothered to point that out to their viewers/readers.

The candidate doesn’t run the campaign; he or she has to spend all his or her time making appearances and speeches, doing media interviews, preparing for debates, and doing that most important and time-consuming of all tasks — hitting donors up for money. The candidate doesn’t have time to run anything — which is why they hire campaign managers.

AZCoyote on June 11, 2010 at 11:50 AM

The Kaptain Kickass Klan.

This is what an empty suit looks like in operation. He actually said it.
He claimed he didn’t want to talk to the BP man. Said it would be words instead of action.
That is Obama. Words and no action. Finger pointing.
Community organizers specialize in finger pointing.

seven on June 11, 2010 at 1:37 PM

What a moron…oh wow (she said with less than enthusiasm) he said he was going to kick arse. Big deal. I think my dead cat could do more arse kicking than this cardboard cut out of a president. Can we have a recall election? Declare a no confidence consensus like the Unions do? I mean, he wants the nation unionized, why don’t we give it a go?

Driefromseattle on June 11, 2010 at 11:48 PM