Oval Office speech another low-key effort

posted at 8:45 am on September 1, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

When Barack Obama went out on the campaign trail in 2007, the media fawned over his oratorical skills as though he was the reincarnation of Edward Everett.  As President, however, Obama has revealed himself to be a mediocrity when not delivering campaign speeches.  Certainly some outlets remain for the kind of stemwinders he delivers at fundraisers and campaign appearances, but his addresses to the nation as President have been mainly filled with cliches, platitudes, and vague statements rather than anything profound or at least informative.

Last night, Obama delivered yet another mediocre performance in what should have been a perfect setting: a war speech as Commander in Chief.  He had the ability to be inspirational and talk of a great victory over tyranny and oppression; instead, he praised the performance of the troops without actually ever explicitly thanking them for it and skipped entirely any notion of victory.  Instead of being gracious and effusive, Obama seemed to want to tamp down any enthusiasm over the effort made over the last several years in Iraq, a curious position for a Commander in Chief to take.

His one reference to his predecessor, who bucked strong opposition from Congress (including Obama) to persevere in the winning surge strategy, was to note that George Bush loved his country and the troops, about as dismissive as one could be without simply ignoring Bush entirely in the speech.  Why bother mentioning Bush at all if that’s what Obama had to say about him?  It sounded very much like an afterthought, a way of checking a box on his way to get to the end of the speech.

Obama then watered down his C-in-C status by oddly interjecting four paragraphs about the economy.  Unlike a State of the Union address that moves cleanly from topic to topic in an omnibus manner, Obama shoehorned this brief speech on economics before returning to veterans affairs and reassuming the C-in-C mantle.  If Obama wanted to give a comprehensive speech on White House policies, that would have been his prerogative, but the speech was billed as a war speech, and Obama went right back to war issues.  Even that would have been a minor point had Obama said anything original to justify it — but instead, we got the usual platitudes and no specifics at all.  Once again, the sense was that of checking boxes on a list.  Bush?  Check.  Economy?  Check.

It’s not to say that the speech was bad, or that it had no redeeming qualities.  None of it was bad, really, just mainly unremarkable with a couple of exceptions.  I did like this part:

Two weeks ago, America’s final combat brigade in Iraq –the Army’s Fourth Stryker Brigade –journeyed home in the pre-dawn darkness. Thousands of soldiers and hundreds of vehicles made the trip from Baghdad, the last of them passing into Kuwait in the early morning hours. Over seven years before, American troops and coalition partners had fought their way across similar highways, but this time no shots were fired. It was just a convoy of brave Americans, making their way home.

That was a rather well-written (and well-delivered) acknowledgment of the reality of the war on terror.  There will be no surrender ceremonies on the deck of the USS Missouri, no capitulation documents, no terms of unconditional surrender.  We will exit this war victoriously simply by going home on roads that we have made safe.  This was the high point of the speech, perhaps made so by the utter lack of anything noteworthy, new, or even well-spoken in the rest of it.

Barack Obama took office as supposedly one of the most well-read, inspirational figures of our time.  With each speech, Obama diminishes in stature, essentially mailing in his efforts and seeming to care little if anyone notices it.

Update: Bill Kristol liked it better than I did, but he scored it on a curve:

President Obama opposed the war in Iraq. He still thinks it was a mistake. It’s therefore unrealistic for supporters of the war to expect the president to give the speech John McCain would have given, or to expect President Obama to put the war in the context we would put it in. He simply doesn’t believe the war in Iraq was a necessary part of a broader effort to fight terror, to change the Middle East, etc. Given that (erroneous) view of his, I thought his speech was on the whole commendable, and even at times impressive.

Well, he’s not Candidate Obama any longer, nor is he Senator Obama.  He’s President of all the people, and his performance should reflect that.  I don’t expect a speech written by John McCain, but an explicit acknowledgment of the successes gained in the past few years would have been nice, as well as specifics about the nature of our commitment to keeping them in place.  Other than platitudes of restating our commitment to Iraq in the vaguest possible terms, there was no there there.  Why bother with a speech filled with the same vague generalizations he’s been saying about Iraq for the past nineteen months?  Shouldn’t this have been a moment for specifics on issues like building an air force and navy for Iraq, the conditions that will allow us to fully withdraw, and why we want to remove ourselves from a key strategic location on Iran’s border rather than maintain a presence in Iraq much as we do for South Korea?  Or do we wait for another Oval Office address for those specifics?


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Comment pages: 1 2

The speech was boring, but the Oval makeover is hideous. Seriously!

lizzie beth on September 1, 2010 at 8:51 AM

i didn’t watch.

kelley in virginia on September 1, 2010 at 8:51 AM

Obama seemed to want to tamp down any enthusiasm over the effort made over the last several years in Iraq, a curious position for a Commander in Chief to take.

Of course he wanted to tamp down anything even remotely like calling Iraq a victory because he was vehemently opposed to the entire war and especially the surge. He would have been called out for his hypocrisy in many venues and his thin skin can’t support that.

Johnnyreb on September 1, 2010 at 8:52 AM

We have spent over a trillion dollars at war, often financed by borrowing from overseas. This, in turn, has short-changed investments in our own people, and contributed to record deficits.

Yes, Obama’s economic policy and the Democratic Congress had nothing to do with the deficit.

Must be nice to live in an alternative universe.

pain train on September 1, 2010 at 8:52 AM

As bland and uninspired as the new decor in the Beige Room, I mean, the Oval Office.

Wethal on September 1, 2010 at 8:52 AM

It seemed to me that his heart really wasn’t in the speech. It wasn’t about him, or advancing his policies, so he phoned it in.

It was boring, convoluted, and dishonest.

Blarg the Destroyer on September 1, 2010 at 8:52 AM

Dang could the Oval Office be any uglier. Those curtains are awful – worse than the coffee table and I didn’t think that was possible.

gophergirl on September 1, 2010 at 8:53 AM

The speech was boring, but the Oval makeover is hideous. Seriously!

lizzie beth on September 1, 2010 at 8:51 AM

I wonder if he used his friend Oprah’s set designer. Looks like the set for a talk show. Or maybe a sitcom.

Wethal on September 1, 2010 at 8:53 AM

“Our success in Iraq has everything to do with the hard work of our men and women in uniform, the Iraqi people, and President Bush’s resolve. It has nothing to do with President Obama’s campaign promise to carry out the previous administration’s plan for returning US troops from Iraq.”

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas

Mr_Magoo on September 1, 2010 at 8:53 AM

Spot on Capt. Ed..Spot on!..:)

Dire Straits on September 1, 2010 at 8:54 AM

The great contradiction was his call to focus now on domestic issues which is what we all have been doing for the past year and a half with the stimulus and Obamacare.

rob verdi on September 1, 2010 at 8:54 AM

Did you know that those curtains are a holdover from the Bush years.

I just think the speech like everything else the guy says just isn’t believable. He is like a person taking the oath in court and then lying on the stand.

I find it hard to be disrespectful to the president in such situations but it is hard.

tomas on September 1, 2010 at 8:54 AM

So Kristol gave it a positive review, Howard Fineman and Keith Olbermann panned it, and Meghan told O’Reilly she gave it a “tee-hee. C-plus. OK, a C. tee-hee C-minus.” Got it.

Marcus on September 1, 2010 at 8:54 AM

At least he had his teleprompter in front of him. I get tired of watching him ping pong between reading off of the usual two at 45 degrees left and right.

MarkT on September 1, 2010 at 8:55 AM

I listened to it on the radio and it sounded dull. He has more “it” in his voice during the Saturday morning radio/youtube addresses.

myrenovations on September 1, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Are those Persian tapestries?

jerrytbg on September 1, 2010 at 8:55 AM

He’ll save his gloating for the GOP.

Mr_Magoo on September 1, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Obama has nothing useful to say until he gets down on his knees and begs America to forgive him for misleading them. Until that moment he is just an unpleasant odor stinking up the room.

Metanis on September 1, 2010 at 8:55 AM

He’ll probably get a bounce in the polls for this because the setting and the gravity of the situation. That won’t last.

And as for the Oval Office makeover: Seriously? 1980s beige?

TwilightAuthor on September 1, 2010 at 8:56 AM

I watched Criminal Minds instead.

Mr_Magoo on September 1, 2010 at 8:57 AM

I wish he would stop trying to fix our economy and go on vacation for two years. That would at least cost us less, even with Lady Michelle holding the purse strings.

toongoon on September 1, 2010 at 8:58 AM

I thought something was wrong him. Is he sick? It was quite listless.

faraway on September 1, 2010 at 9:00 AM

Our humble but lovable Dictator In Training Pants™ gave an address last evening ?

I was watching something important – My Yankees beating Oakland and also enjoying some VERY good Scotch (Famous Grouse – Black).

The only thing I’d actually be interested in hearing The Jihadist At 1600™ say is “I resign”.

…..and that has about as much chance of happening as does our friendly neighborhood Moose Limbs declaring a world-wide cessation of Jihad because they realized they’re all “misunderstanding” things.

——–

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2009/04/06/crossroads-turkey

“We seek broader engagement based on mutual interest and mutual respect. We will listen carefully, we will bridge misunderstandings, and we will seek common ground. We will be respectful, even when we do not agree. We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world — including in my own country.”

E T Cartman on September 1, 2010 at 9:00 AM

When Barack Obama went out on the campaign trail in 2007, the media fawned over his oratorical skills as though he was the reincarnation of Edward Everett.

More like Edward Everett Horton. Still have fond memories of him narrating “Fractured Fairy Tales” on the old “Rocky and Bullwinkle” shows as a sprout.

Del Dolemonte on September 1, 2010 at 9:00 AM

Gee Mr. Obama, those are lovely drapes!

Eddie Haskell

50sGuy on September 1, 2010 at 9:01 AM

The speech was boring, but the Oval makeover is hideous. Seriously!

lizzie beth on September 1, 2010 at 8:51 AM

LOL!
I’ve seen more attractive rooms at Holiday Inn back in the ’80′s!
I couldn’t make myself watch it and had to make do with Mark Levin’s version. (Loved the snoring…!)

Jenfidel on September 1, 2010 at 9:01 AM

There will be no surrender ceremonies

That was strange. He didn’t mention victory, but he mentions surrender (ours?).

faraway on September 1, 2010 at 9:02 AM

More like Edward Everett Horton. Still have fond memories of him narrating “Fractured Fairy Tales” on the old “Rocky and Bullwinkle” shows as a sprout.

Del Dolemonte on September 1, 2010 at 9:00 AM

A man after my own heart!
I loved “Fractured Fairy Tales!”

Jenfidel on September 1, 2010 at 9:02 AM

His one reference to his predecessor, who bucked strong opposition from Congress (including Obama) to persevere in the winning surge strategy, was to note that George Bush loved his country and the troops, about as dismissive as one could be without simply ignoring Bush entirely in the speech. Why bother mentioning Bush at all if that’s what Obama had to say about him? It sounded very much like an afterthought, a way of checking a box on his way to get to the end of the speech.

Not to MS-DNC hack Rachel Maddow. She had an on-air cow about his reference to Bush, and all of my otherwise intelligent Leftist friends agree with her.

Del Dolemonte on September 1, 2010 at 9:02 AM

Oboobi had a speach last night? Dang, i missed it./

SHARPTOOTH on September 1, 2010 at 9:02 AM

I do love the new chocolate motif in the Oval Office

faraway on September 1, 2010 at 9:03 AM

Actually, Ed, though I admire you tremendously, you are wrong. That speech was abominable, not for what it did or didn’t say, but for what it didn’t do. Taking the speech out of context, it was boring but fine. You’re right there, no great shakes, no great slips, but that is absolutely the wrong way to understand that speech.

The president had a purpose in giving a speech, and unless that purpose was to make millions of Americans shrug, he failed miserably. Perhaps the numbers will show that I’m wrong, maybe the speech will give him a huge bump in the polls and help democrats, while also giving him back some of his authority within his party and with the people. But I just don’t see it, if anything it further eroded the view of Obama as strong and in charge and leaves him looking weak, small minded, and lost.

The fact that no one is talking about how strong and clear voiced that speech made him look tells me that he failed miserably. It only muddies things further, and leaves us more divided. The people that love Obama will say it was a good speech. The people that hate Obama will say it was a bad speech. The people in the middle will still be in the middle. He needed, at very least, to fire up his base. He didn’t change anything – and right now he needs change. His party needed hope – and change – and he delivered neither.

The election is just over 60 days away and he just tossed one of the biggest bombs in his arsenal and got ‘pop’ instead of ‘bang.’

That is about as big a disaster as you can get. So, Mr. Morrisey, I respectfully disagree with your analysis.

WashingtonsWake on September 1, 2010 at 9:03 AM

I watched a few seconds and threw up in my mouth. He looked like a really small man last night. He has the charisma of an undertaker.

David in ATL on September 1, 2010 at 9:03 AM

I couldn’t make myself watch it and had to make do with Mark Levin’s version. (Loved the snoring…!)

Jenfidel on September 1, 2010 at 9:01 AM

It’s the first speech of Obama’s I ever ever listened to and I would not have done it without the Great One. Even if he did fall asleep.

Marcus on September 1, 2010 at 9:03 AM

speech…

SHARPTOOTH on September 1, 2010 at 9:03 AM

Did you know that those curtains are a holdover from the Bush years.
tomas on September 1, 2010 at 8:54 AM

No, they’re not.
Zero just had the Oval Office “redecorated.”
Hopefully, Moochelle will do a Scarlett O’Hara with them when they leave the White House in January of 2013!

Jenfidel on September 1, 2010 at 9:05 AM

The real purpose of this speech was to get everyone to focus on Bush. It worked. Both the right and left have taken the bait. He hopes his base will be reminded of their BDS and will come out to vote.

faraway on September 1, 2010 at 9:05 AM

There was no celebration of or for the Iraqi people because there is nothing to celebrate. There was a ramp up of violence directed at the Iraqi police, directed at the Iraqi government, a government which appears to be paralyzed at least at the national level.

There was no reason for this speech. Even making the claim that ‘combat’ has ended is a lie, and the entire world knows it.

This was the President of the United States telling the Iraqi people, “Ok. That’s it. We’re done, we’re leaving. You are on your own. Afghanistan, you’re next.” Then he tacked on a few remarks about the US economy with a veiled and ugly reference to the unpopular decisions, diktats that Obama will be issuing in the near future.

And who ever set up the lighting for this speech should be shot(figuratively speaking), Obama looked like a zombie, a maniac, a panic stricken, terrified, grim faced man as though preparing to order a pogrom.

Skandia Recluse on September 1, 2010 at 9:06 AM

He’ll probably get a bounce in the polls for this because the setting and the gravity of the situation.
TwilightAuthor on September 1, 2010 at 8:56 AM

I would seriously doubt that. The pollsters were on maximum overdrive gonna-blow strength to keep him above the dreaded 39% up until the speech seems to me.

Marcus on September 1, 2010 at 9:07 AM

This is what we’re left with. He can’t upset his base, which he would do if he made any reference to victory, love of country, patriotism, basically anything Americans have traditionally held sacred. Those people–the people who really aren’t all that into America–are his strongest supporters. Which, sadly, says a heck of a lot about Obama. But he also has to say something positive, even if it’s the luke-warm platitudinous drivel we got last night. This is somewhat new territory. We have president who really doesn’t like his country all that much, but who needs to appeal to people who do in order to get elected while still holding on to his un-patriotic America-hating base.

WarEagle01 on September 1, 2010 at 9:09 AM

Bush’s war, Bush’s surge, Bush’s timetable. So, of course BO will take credit for success even though he was against the surge, against the timetable, and against the war.

jbh45 on September 1, 2010 at 9:09 AM

Carville ambushed Ari Fleischer last night on CNN with the Bush Lied stuff. He got ambushed again this morning on Morning Joe by Richard Engel. So watch for the JList approved “Bush Lied” scenario all week.

faraway on September 1, 2010 at 9:09 AM

Charles Krauthammer thought it was odd too. He was soo boring and his monotone…plus he looked like a deer in the headlights.

becki51758 on September 1, 2010 at 9:10 AM

E T Cartman on September 1, 2010 at 9:00 AM

I actually switched from the Yankees game to watch the speech. Fortunately I was later rewarded with Teix’s 3 run bomb. And bourbon. Scotch is for Mad Men night.

The reason there was no passion in Dear Liar’s speech last night is because it had to deal with the 1)US 2)military and 3)victory. Three things The Whine does not like. Which is why He’s a Mussolini-lite.

rbj on September 1, 2010 at 9:11 AM

IMHO, you nailed it Ed. One thing that really jumped out at me in a negative way was when he noted the trillion we spent in a decade for war in Iraq. It immediately reminded me of the trillion he has spent in one year with absolutely nothing to show for it. Even if you are vehemently anti-Iraq war, that contrast does not make Obama look good and reminded everyone (or should have IMO) what a bad job he is doing. Was he implying that he would have spent TWO trillion but for ‘W’s Iraq policy?

JimP on September 1, 2010 at 9:11 AM

…his addresses to the nation as President have been mainly filled with cliches, platitudes, and vague statements rather than anything profound or at least informative.

He doesn’t just speak in platitudes. He thinks in them too.

His bit on the economy was a disgusting display of his pettiness. Bush’s expenditures for fighting terrorism are to blame for today’s 9.5% unemployment and deficits that are bankrupting the country?

Get real, Barry. Gimme a break!

petefrt on September 1, 2010 at 9:11 AM

Why bother mentioning Bush at all if that’s what Obama had to say about him?

Because it was an opportunity to damn him with faint praise?

Buy Danish on September 1, 2010 at 9:12 AM

He had an obligation to reconcile the divergent narratives.

Three years ago, he said the war was lost. Last night he said it was won.

A crack addict who decides to quit drugs and return to his family has to explain the inconsistency. “Then, I was selfish and confused, now I see that my family matters to me.”

No family should welcome a crack addict home without asking him to explain himself and state his intentions for the future.

America ought not welcome Mr. Obama in the house until he acknowledges the offenses he committed and vows to change himself.

jeff_from_mpls on September 1, 2010 at 9:12 AM

OT: The private sector “unexpectedly” shed 10,000 jobs in August.

I know Harry Reid thinks that sort of figure is good news, but a negative jobs number(even one that small) in the middle of Recovery Summer is terrible.

Doughboy on September 1, 2010 at 9:13 AM

Time to “turn the page” on Øbama.

petefrt on September 1, 2010 at 9:13 AM

I have to say I to think Obama looked ill. He gave Charlie Crist a run for the money on the orange oompa loompa look.

sandee on September 1, 2010 at 9:14 AM

There was no reason for this speech. Even making the claim that ‘combat’ has ended is a lie, and the entire world knows it.

This was the President of the United States telling the Iraqi people, “Ok. That’s it. We’re done, we’re leaving. You are on your own. Afghanistan, you’re next.” Then he tacked on a few remarks about the US economy with a veiled and ugly reference to the unpopular decisions, diktats that Obama will be issuing in the near future.

Skandia Recluse on September 1, 2010 at 9:06 AM

I’m afraid you’ve pretty much summed it up.
But even more worrying is that he practically told our enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan that they would soon be able to have the run of the place in both countries with no worries that we’ll do much of anything about it.

*I resent him saying that “Americans were divided about the war[sic]“. The WOT was voted on by a bipartisan Congress and all “dialogue” about the war should have ended there.

There’s no reason to “turn the page” short of outright victory–we owe it to the fallen and to each other for the American blood and treasure we’ve spent and for our security as home, as well as that of the new democracies.

Jenfidel on September 1, 2010 at 9:14 AM

And who ever set up the lighting for this speech should be shot(figuratively speaking), Obama looked like a zombie, a maniac, a panic stricken, terrified, grim faced man as though preparing to order a pogrom.

Skandia Recluse on September 1, 2010 at 9:06 AM

It’s possible that they did their best. That’s a disturbing thought, isn’t it”

Cody1991 on September 1, 2010 at 9:15 AM

He’s so mailing it in at this point they should call him Postmaster General instead of Commander in Chief.

I don’t think he has any desire at this point for a second term.

It’s finally starting to dawn on him that he just doesn’t have what it takes for this job and I don’t even think he wants it any more.

He’ll try and hang on until the end of his term but I am becoming pretty much certain he won’t even run in 2012.

NoDonkey on September 1, 2010 at 9:15 AM

Boy o Boy…that Oval Office decorating looks like the inside of DeNiros house in the movie Casino. 1970′s guido…yech…

PatriotRider on September 1, 2010 at 9:16 AM

Oval office…1970′s Mob guido look..

PatriotRider on September 1, 2010 at 9:17 AM

I acknowledge Obama as my President. This is yet another issue over which he and I disagree.

ss396 on September 1, 2010 at 9:18 AM

i didn’t watch.

kelley in virginia on September 1, 2010 at 8:51 AM

I’d rather be waterboarded.

Caper29 on September 1, 2010 at 9:18 AM

petefrt on September 1, 2010 at 9:11 AM

It occurs to me that if he (and his lapdogs in the media/Left) continues with the theme that the war caused unemployment, they will have to re-write the history of FDR, as we have been told all our lives that the war got America out of the Depression.

Buy Danish on September 1, 2010 at 9:18 AM

I’ve seen a lot of comments about how the Oval Office is less attractive than it used to be.

We need to be grading it on a Michelle curve.

It is now the most beautiful and well appointed office in the the history of this great country. I think I have a crush on it.

Dorvillian on September 1, 2010 at 9:19 AM

Take Sominex Obamanex tonight and sleep… safe and restful sleep… sleep.. sleep!

(Maybe he was trying to calm the nation… but putting it into a stupor with his soporific speechifying.)

profitsbeard on September 1, 2010 at 9:19 AM

Good speech, bad speech, it doesn’t matter.

Any word that comes out of this man’s mouth has to be taken in the context of who he is, not what he says. Anything he says that rings “good” or “right” or “true” is rendered irrelevant by his character, which he has demonstrated over, and over, and over again to be that of a belly-crawling slug.

IronDioPriest on September 1, 2010 at 9:20 AM

And all the loonies on the left are screaming because zero didn’t blame Bush enough.I think their collective heads are gonna explode. Can’t wait till election night. It will look like that scene in Mars Attacks when they play that Slim Whitman song and all the aliens heads explode!

sandee on September 1, 2010 at 9:22 AM

I acknowledge Obama as my President. This is yet another issue over which he and I disagree.

ss396 on September 1, 2010 at 9:18 AM

Sadly, he doesn’t acknowledge you as a citizen.

This gentleman by his own admission is here to transfer wealth from a very large segment of American society to a very small, vocal, and violent segment.

jeff_from_mpls on September 1, 2010 at 9:23 AM

I thought something was wrong him. Is he sick? It was quite listless.

faraway on September 1, 2010 at 9:00 AM

He is depressed in having to work a little. I think he needs a vaca !

Dasher on September 1, 2010 at 9:25 AM

I refuse to watch, listen or give any of my time to this man. Unfortunately, as C-in-C, my nephew in Afghanistan and my son who was just commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the great US Army have to listen to him. God bless them for having an empty suit as a boss.

Those drapes remind me of the drapes that Julie Andrews used in The Sound of Music for play clothes for the Von Trapp children. The material must have been left over from Mrs O’s inauguration outfit.

Beaglemom on September 1, 2010 at 9:27 AM

I watched the Reds destroy the Brewers instead. Aroldis Chapman, in relief, threw 4 fastballs over 100mph, including one clocked at 102.

fossten on September 1, 2010 at 9:27 AM

I was wrong yesterday in thinking Obama wouldn’t mention Bush, but right in that, if he did, the left would go into a purple rage over even the mere mention of Bush’s name … which was Obama’s problem of his own making.

He came into office with the left thinking he was going to change everything Bush was doing, to the point that the U.S. would be out of Iraq before the summer of 2009, then he and his staff realized any bug-out from Iraq or Afghanistan would leave the administration with no excuses if the action was followed by another successful terrorist attack within the United States.

So he didn’t do what the left wanted, and — when he could finally give last night’s speech based on the Bush withdrawal timetable — didn’t have the absence of shame the left wanted, and couldn’t avoid mentioning Bush at least once.

Even if it was as tepid a mention as possible, that was still one mention too many for the Maddows and Olbermanns out there, and it’s a forerunner of what’s going to happen next year. Obama’s going to try and employ the Clinton-Morris triangulation strategy as tepidly as possibly, doing little or nothing of substance while just saying he’s moving back to the middle, but even if he doesn’t sign a single bill similar to the welfare reform measure Clinton did, just the mere idea of triangulation will drive the left into apoplexy.

jon1979 on September 1, 2010 at 9:27 AM

I thought something was wrong him. Is he sick? It was quite listless.

faraway on September 1, 2010 at 9:00 AM

He’s preoccupied.

Mark my words, the things you think a president focuses on are not the things Mr. Obama has on his mind.

jeff_from_mpls on September 1, 2010 at 9:28 AM

But even more worrying is that he practically told our enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan that they would soon be able to have the run of the place in both countries with no worries that we’ll do much of anything about it.
[...]
There’s no reason to “turn the page” short of outright victory–we owe it to the fallen and to each other for the American blood and treasure we’ve spent and for our security as home, as well as that of the new democracies.

Jenfidel on September 1, 2010 at 9:14 AM

100% agree. I felt a new surge (no pun intended) of insecurity. I’m sure I’m not alone there and not surprising given his overall approach to foreign policy/national defense.

November can’t come fast enough. Pardon my fatalism, but with this abdication of duty, I hope it’s not too late.

Bee on September 1, 2010 at 9:31 AM

He’ll run in ’12, he’ll just look even more miserable doing it.

I’ve never seen a president look more miserable being president then this guy.

But I know his mentality and he won’t resign. He’s stuck with his job for another 2 years.

B Man on September 1, 2010 at 9:31 AM

Boy o Boy…that Oval Office decorating looks like the inside of DeNiros house in the movie Casino. 1970′s guido…yech…

PatriotRider on September 1, 2010 at 9:16 AM

And if there is a kitchenette off the Oval Office, it probably has been redone with Avacado or Harvest Gold appliances.

Wethal on September 1, 2010 at 9:31 AM

We all love our country and the troops and are proud of what they accomplished. For that we are called tea baggers.

Looks like he dyed his hair and dropped a few pounds. Vacations are tough.

Kissmygrits on September 1, 2010 at 9:33 AM

Carville ambushed Ari Fleischer last night on CNN with the Bush Lied stuff. He got ambushed again this morning on Morning Joe by Richard Engel. So watch for the JList approved “Bush Lied” scenario all week.

faraway on September 1, 2010 at 9:09 AM

For more on that turd Engel, read the past couple of days’ posts on Newsbusters. They nail him to the wall.

Del Dolemonte on September 1, 2010 at 9:35 AM

Cody1991 on September 1, 2010 at 9:15 AM

It would be interesting to get some reaction from professional set designers.

Skandia Recluse on September 1, 2010 at 9:36 AM

OT: A new Quinnipiac Poll now shows that the number of NYC residents who want the Mosque built somewhere else has skyrocketed since their last poll. Now more than 2/3 of them say “build it somewhere else”.

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/08/31/2010-08-31_more_than_twothirds_of_new_yorkers_want_mosque_moved_away_from_ground_zero_poll.html

Del Dolemonte on September 1, 2010 at 9:36 AM

Maureen Dowd Is Right
Jennifer Rubin – 09.01.2010 – 8:33 AM
… well, about practically nothing. But even a broken clock is right twice a day. Her time has come:

“The Oval Office was done over by chi-chi decorator Michael Smith, who was paid $800,000 to refurnish the lair of the former Merrill Lynch C.E.O. John Thain to the tune of $1.22 million — an effort that featured the notorious $35,000 antique commode.

The Oval Office, the classiest, most powerful place on earth, is now suffused with browns and beiges and leather and resembles an upscale hotel conference room or a ’70s conversation pit.”

My first reaction was – $800,000 for that! And she’s right, you know, the place looks pretty bleh. And really brown. She doesn’t care for the rug either:

“The cream-of-wheat colored rug is made of 25 percent recycled wool and features 100 percent recycled quotes around the border that have significance for President Obama. “(Which means, of course, that the next chief executive will want to carpet copy-edit and put his or her own special quotes on the Oval rug. If the Tea Party triumphs, it might be “Don’t Tread on Me.” If Sarah Palin ascends, it will no doubt be a mama grizzly bear rug, personally bagged by her.) …

“Sidetracked by the mosque fight and now admirably plunging into brokering a Middle East peace, Obama clearly needs a reminder about what really counts as the Democrats prepare to get their clocks cleaned. The rug should quote James Carville’s famous admonition: ‘It’s the economy, stupid!’”

(OK, the bear rug would be cool. But I personally think Palin should forgo any animal heads on the walls.)

Dowd thinks the message is off-key:

“The recession redo, paid for by the nonprofit White House Historical Association, was the latest tone-deaf move by a White House that was supposed to excel at connection and communication. Message: I care, but not enough to stop the fancy vacations and posh renovations.

Listen, it’s not taxpayers’ money, so I suppose people can give cash for whatever they want. But it does sort of reinforce the impression that the man doesn’t know the value of a dollar.”

Jen Rubin at Commentary.

Wethal on September 1, 2010 at 9:37 AM

Victory is not in his vocabulary, unless it is about him

cmsinaz on September 1, 2010 at 9:37 AM

Would you want to fight for a commander in chief like Zero?

iam7545 on September 1, 2010 at 9:38 AM

The man looked too small for the moment…
Why even give that speech?

mjbrooks3 on September 1, 2010 at 9:38 AM

The oval office looks horrific for what it’s supposed to symbolize.

Class is indignant. The narcissistic malicious nuveau riche rube in it will never grow up and will never possess class.

Schadenfreude on September 1, 2010 at 9:38 AM

He’s President of all the people, and his performance should reflect that.

And this is his problem. Obama treats anyone who disagrees with him as the enemy. He expects the American public to just bow down to his decrees without question. He folds like cheap suit to everyone in the world but he will not even listen to opposing views in his own country. He needs to go somewhere that embraces dictators.

Cindy Munford on September 1, 2010 at 9:39 AM

Wethal, all that was missing was the shag carpet

cmsinaz on September 1, 2010 at 9:39 AM

Barack Obama took office as supposedly one of the most well-read, inspirational figures of our time. With each speech, Obama diminishes in stature, essentially mailing in his efforts and seeming to care little if anyone notices it.

He’s the incredibly shrinking president. All those who hoped he would grow into the job and its responsibilities must have been smoking Grade A pot. He was never, and never will be, presidential material. The reasons are obvious. When I hear conservatives “hoping” he’ll be able to take off the training wheels and ride a big boy bike on his own I just shake my head. There’s nothing there. Full. Stop.

As for acknowledging him as president my attitude is that he won the election, but he isn’t my president. He has constantly, shamelessly and openly displays his contempt for ordinary Americans who are the backbone of this country. He doesn’t like us, and I don’t like him. He has gone along with Pelosi and Reid inflicting great harm on decent people who simply want jobs. All we hear is that we are inconsequential, dangerous, racist, irrational or whatever they wish to label us on any given day. The bottom line is that all we get is an ever increasing bill for their follies.

If anyone thinks this guy can rise to the challenge, you are mistaken. He’s had nearly two years. Instead of showing some spirit, some moxcy and a new found appreciation for this country he is shrinking into a hole.

I want him to stay there and shut up.

Cody1991 on September 1, 2010 at 9:39 AM

Buy Danish on September 1, 2010 at 9:18 AM

Yup, he can say anything, no matter how demonstrably wrong or self-contradictory, when he has the media covering for him.

petefrt on September 1, 2010 at 9:39 AM

Wethal, all that was missing was the shag carpet

cmsinaz on September 1, 2010 at 9:39 AM

And where’s the lava lamp?

petefrt on September 1, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Bush spend a trillion Dollars to free 50 million people, Obame is spending over a trillion dollars to enslave 300 million

billhedrick on September 1, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Cindy, spot on!

cmsinaz on September 1, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Why bother mentioning Bush at all if that’s what Obama had to say about him?

Because leading up to the speech, there had been a lot of speculation in the media and on the internet about whether or not Barry would have the grace to acknowledge Bush’s contribution to the Iraq victory.

Giving Bush credit and admitting that Barry had been completely wrong about the surge would have been the classy thing to do (so we knew that was never going to happen). Faulting Bush for starting the war, and/or failing to mention Bush at all, would have struck most Americans as petty and spiteful (and was no doubt Barry’s first preference). So Barry’s best compromise was to mention Bush, but in the insipid way that he did.

AZCoyote on September 1, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Obambi, the puppet President, was just going through the motions. His handlers told him he had to give a speech to mark the official end of ‘combat operations’ in Iraq. So he did. But it wasn’t something that interested him, not like golf, or basketball, or hanging out with his Chicago radical friends.

Charles Krauthammer pointed out on Fox’s Special Report that this was exactly the wrong time to close the door on Iraq—Al Qaeda is attempting a comeback, and the government is in tatters. But Obambi and his handlers just want to get all this ‘war’ stuff out of the way, so they can get back to working on the New Socialist States of America.

I didn’t watch the speech. I knew it would be a non-event.

MrLynn on September 1, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Obama talking about winning the war is as comical as his talking about the economy. This empty suit is illiterate on both scenarios. His calling is really as a travel agent to consult on going on vacations. Hey, Obama, leave the adult stuff to grown ups.

volsense on September 1, 2010 at 9:42 AM

Worst CINC ever.

Mojave Mark on September 1, 2010 at 9:44 AM

It would be interesting to get some reaction from professional set designers.

Skandia Recluse on September 1, 2010 at 9:36 AM

Perhaps in a couple of months it won’t matter. I can’t imagine that we will see much of him if Republicans take the House and possibly the Senate. He won’t be able to cope.

Cody1991 on September 1, 2010 at 9:44 AM

Bush spend a trillion Dollars to free 50 million people, Obame is spending over a trillion dollars to enslave 300 million

billhedrick on September 1, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Thread winner!! So true.

Cody1991 on September 1, 2010 at 9:45 AM

Please remember that the timetable for troops in Iraq was negotiated under George Bush, not by Barrack Obama:
November 17, 2008: Troops leave by end of 2011, US and Iraq agree

Monday 17 November 2008: All US forces will leave by 2011, Baghdad cabinet agrees

Obama did not become President until January 2009.

albill on September 1, 2010 at 9:45 AM

Petefrt, yes :)

cmsinaz on September 1, 2010 at 9:45 AM

Was it just me, or did the placing of all the family pictures behind him seem a bit phoney and forced?

kingsjester on September 1, 2010 at 9:45 AM

I listened to the speech by way of Mark Levin. His commentary and snoring was hysterical. It was a bad speech given by a bad actor. He can hardly go through the motions anymore. Small small man…

sandee on September 1, 2010 at 9:46 AM

Cindy, you hit the nail on the head. Obama cosiders anyone who disagrees with him as the enemy unless it comes from those outside our borders. Sad to have a president who puts his own interests above the best intersts of our country. The silent majority is waking up.

volsense on September 1, 2010 at 9:47 AM

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