Palin to Obama: A little humility might work wonders

posted at 7:00 pm on August 31, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

What does Barack Obama want most when preparing for a prime time Oval Office speech to the nation?  Offhand, I’d guess one or two of Bill Clinton’s speechwriters, or perhaps these days even George W. Bush’s, but probably not advice from the Democrats’ bête noire, Sarah Palin.  That’s too bad, though, because Palin actually has good advice for the President from her Facebook platform, particularly in her conclusion:

As Americans tune in to watch President Obama, it is important to remember the facts. He opposed the surge. He predicted it would fail. He said it would make things worse even after it dramatically improved the situation. He voted to cut off funds for our brave soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines fighting in Iraq. For months he refused to accept that the surge he fought was actually a spectacular success. As President Obama usually likes to look backwards and declare the state of everything to be “George Bush’s fault,” my hope is that tonight he stays consistent and looks backwards, and in this case acknowledges that credit should be given where credit is due.

Along with the points that Bill Kristol made yesterday, I too have some suggestions for the president. President Obama, please show grace, humility and some honesty before the American people tonight. Please don’t declare “Mission Accomplished” and then saunter away with an assumption that your opposition to the Iraq strategy was key to our troops’ success. Please end the political posturing. Admit you were wrong about the surge. Recognize what our brave armed forces have achieved. Admit that the strategy long advocated by Republicans, proposed by President Bush, led by Generals Petraeus and Odierno, and executed by thousands of America’s finest – our brave men and women in uniform – brought violence under control and made responsible withdrawals possible. The more honest you are about the past, the more likely it is you will gain the support of the American people for your Iraq policy in the future. We need to be able to trust the White House war strategy, as our children’s future depends on it. Being honest with us tonight is a good starting point in building trust.

To some extent, Obama has admitted he got the surge wrong in Iraq by both implementing the same strategy in Afghanistan and assigning David Petraeus to run it.  Robert Gibbs went far enough this morning to acknowledge that the surge improved security in Iraq, while at the same time issuing a flood of nonsequiturs about how political and diplomatic efforts succeeded as well — as though Bush had never used either in his years-long rebuilding project in Iraq or had never acknowledged their necessity.  To the contrary, even when ordering the surge, Bush insisted that the solution in Iraq would take much more than a military effort — but that the surge was necessary to stabilize Iraq enough for diplomacy and politics to work.

Gibbs also claimed that the Anbar Awakening somehow played a role separate from the surge.  It’s true that a few of the Sunni tribes began to work with the Americans before the surge, but the reason why most of them got on board was because Bush committed publicly to stay until the fight was over.  If Gibbs and Obama think the Awakening would have continued while the US hotfooted it out of Iraq, they understand little about how and why those tribal chiefs switched sides in the first place.

Why not just explicitly admit that Bush got it right?  Palin correctly notes that acknowledging the obvious builds a certain level of credibility, and praising one’s political opponents gives one a sense of grace, both of which are lacking in Obama’s presidency at the moment.  While Bush steadfastly maintains his silence about his successor, Obama spends most of his time attacking Bush.  In fact, it’s not quite accurate to call Bush a political opponent of Obama, since Bush has yet to openly oppose Obama on anything.  It’s much more accurate to call Obama a political opponent of Bush, and perhaps one in perpetuity, since Obama seems interested in talking about almost no one else.

I suspect that this good advice will get ignored, just as John Boehner’s good advice to Obama to dump his economic team and start over got ignored, and for the same reason.  To listen to such advice is to be seen as admitting fault, which is seen as weakness in politics.  The real weakness, though, is in Obama’s distant connection to the electorate, which another self-serving Oval Office speech will only exacerbate rather than remedy.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Palin is a relentless female warrior princess.

Correction: Xena Learjet Bendy Straws.

Grow Fins on August 31, 2010 at 10:04 PM

Palin is a relentless female warrior princess.

Correction: Xena Learjet Bendy Straws.

Grow Fins on August 31, 2010 at 10:04 PM

We understand that’s a lot easier than defending your Captain Kickass.

ddrintn on August 31, 2010 at 10:06 PM

Hilarious. Obama tries to claim himself some of the credit for Iraq, and Palin is reminding everyone that the Bush he loves to blame really deserves the credit more, and that Obama fought it all the way.

That’s just not easy for a narcissist to hear.

I think Palin just took all the joy out of the day for Obama.

And Gretchen Carlson didn’t exactly help either.

didymus on August 31, 2010 at 10:06 PM

ddrintn

Obama’s almost as lame as McCain would’ve been. Believe me, he’s hardly Captain Kickass these days….

Grow Fins on August 31, 2010 at 10:13 PM

Expecting honesty and humility from Zero would be like expecting to win the power ball. The odds are not in your favor.

Kissmygrits on August 31, 2010 at 10:14 PM

ddrintn

Obama’s almost as lame as McCain would’ve been. Believe me, he’s hardly Captain Kickass these days….

Grow Fins on August 31, 2010 at 10:13 PM

Awwwww. Such bitter, bitter disappointment.

ddrintn on August 31, 2010 at 10:16 PM

Palin always screws Obama over. Always. She pre-empts him when he’s gonna say something big and prescribes a course of action and alternatives, all of which are good, but none of which he will follow because Palin offered them. And she knows this! All he can do is take the stupid course which gets him knocked by the populace, so she stays in the catbird seat with great choices and gets props for political savvy and policy choices—not from Obama and the lamestreamM. It’s a wonderful thing to watch Palin working Obama over. She’s inside his loop and he has no idea how she got there or how to get her out. Sheer political genius on her part.

SilentWatcher on August 31, 2010 at 10:30 PM

If the DOTUS had 1/2 the honor of this guy (and his wife) this country might not have the doubts about him that we do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_dnE0KODsE

1-20-13, come soon.

PappyD61 on August 31, 2010 at 11:16 PM

Palin always screws Obama over. Always. She pre-empts him when he’s gonna say something big and prescribes a course of action and alternatives, all of which are good, but none of which he will follow because Palin offered them. And she knows this! All he can do is take the stupid course which gets him knocked by the populace, so she stays in the catbird seat with great choices and gets props for political savvy and policy choices—not from Obama and the lamestreamM. It’s a wonderful thing to watch Palin working Obama over. She’s inside his loop and he has no idea how she got there or how to get her out. Sheer political genius on her part.

SilentWatcher on August 31, 2010 at 10:30 PM

I love the first sentence of your post. It’s a pitch perfect description and makes me laugh out loud; she does “always screw him over”, with ease and a bit of the divil, too.

You’re analysis is really perceptive and on the wavelength of a truly remarkable woman. Your insights are interesting and funny, please keep ‘em coming.

obama is just a mangy coyote who can’t for the life of him avoid a beating by the roadrunner named Sarah.

tigerlily on August 31, 2010 at 11:19 PM

Humiliy + Obama = Snow + Hell

year_of_the_dingo on August 31, 2010 at 7:09 PM

THREAD WINNER!!

PappyD61 on August 31, 2010 at 11:23 PM

*Must remember to use this power only for good*

tigerlily on August 31, 2010 at 8:01 PM

Wow, I bought that! Scary indeed…

Maquis on August 31, 2010 at 8:36 PM

Hope you don’t have nightmares and I’m sorry for the delay in getting back to you, Maquis. I’m just a little busy with writing up my obama speechwriter’s resume. ;)

tigerlily on August 31, 2010 at 11:26 PM

I don’t understand this bendy straw/Grow Fins deal. Did Palin talk about bendy straws in a speech or something and it offended GF?

Dongemaharu on August 31, 2010 at 11:32 PM

Dongemaharu on August 31, 2010 at 11:32 PM

It was in the boilerplate of the contract that those PDSers found when they went dumpster diving at that UC Stanislaus event. The contract said she had to have water with a bendy straw. I believe these things are included by the WSB not by Sarah herself, sort of as an assurance that they would read the contract.

Ted Torgerson on August 31, 2010 at 11:51 PM

I don’t understand this bendy straw/Grow Fins deal. Did Palin talk about bendy straws in a speech or something and it offended GF?

Dongemaharu on August 31, 2010 at 11:32 PM

No, she had the nerve to request bendy straws be made available at her speaking engagements. I’ve used straws as a way to hydrate while preserving the lipstick. Sarah might have the same idea. Great minds, and all… ;)

tigerlily on August 31, 2010 at 11:52 PM

Ah, ok. Thanks for the replies, Ted and Tiger.

I think you guys didn’t finish the story, though. I mean, did she hold someone hostage with these straws, or embezzle money using the straws….somehow?

..Does GF have a dumpster fetish? Not that there’s anything wrong with that….

Dongemaharu on September 1, 2010 at 1:01 AM

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most intelligent, handsome and humble of them all? Why that’s right. I knew it all along, of course. I just like to hear you say it. (Child Emperor)

Tav on September 1, 2010 at 1:21 AM

Obama’s almost as lame as McCain would’ve been. Believe me, he’s hardly Captain Kickass these days….

Grow Fins on August 31, 2010 at 10:13 PM

-
Well, I agree with that last part. He’s more like Major Jackass… Either that or a bad ventriloquist’s dummy with his own head up his a**.

RalphyBoy on September 1, 2010 at 1:52 AM

Obama just CAN’T bring himself to admit publicly that (oh horrors!) George W. Bush could have been RIGHT about anything, or that he (Obama) could have been wrong.

Obama’s entire rise to the Presidency was based on his opposition to the Iraq war, while even Hillary Clinton supported the war in principle, although not the strategy adopted. McCain won the Republican nomination mostly based on his early advocacy of the “surge” strategy, which WORKED. Before the economy turned south in September 2008, McCain was slightly AHEAD in the polls, and Obama actually profited from the bank failures.

But Obama is so convinced of his own greatness that he can’t bring himself to admit that a political adversary (Bush, McCain, or Palin) could actually be RIGHT about something, even in retrospect, when the facts are obvious to everyone else. Obama could actually GAIN in the polls by crediting Bush for the “surge” strategy, which might please people who are social or fiscal liberals but military hawks, such as those who supported Hillary Clinton in 2008.

But Obama dreams on, while independent voters start wondering whether Sarah Palin makes sense after all.

Steve Z on September 1, 2010 at 11:57 AM

Sarah has what Obama completely lacks; Integrity! She also has a moral compass reminiscent of Ronald Reagan or Margaret Thatcher! If she is paired with a steady conservative vice president such as Huckabee or Romney to be her right hand, it would be astounding what they could accomplish and the recovery that the United States would go through. However, No Republican could be worse than Obama! None!

Marco on September 1, 2010 at 3:03 PM

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