The empty-office presidency

posted at 8:48 am on March 23, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

My new column for The Week focuses on the, er, unique handling of the launch of a new war by Barack Obama.  Before we get to my take on Obama’s absence on a South American tour during the start of hostilities against Libya, though, let’s first get Dana Milbank’s take on what he casts as Obama’s tactical error.  Ducking out of town while the bombs started falling, Milbank writes, allowed Republicans to paint Obama as weak:

But the “weak leader” charge gained traction over the weekend, as Obama chose to launch the attack on Gaddafi’s forces while on an excellent adventure in South America with his family.

At about the moment the Tomahawk missiles began to rain down on Libya, Obama was joking with Brazilians about Carnival, the World Cup and the Olympics. Rather than hearing an Oval Office address announcing the new war, Americans got word from the president in a scratchy audio recording. As thousand-pound warheads pounded Libyan forces, Obama was kicking a soccer ball, seeing the sights and watching cowboys in sequins.

It was perilously close to George W. Bush’s My-Pet-Goat moment, when then-President Bush continued reading a storybook with children on Sept. 11, 2001, after he was told that the second World Trade Center tower had been hit. Bush later said he was trying to maintain calm; likewise, White House officials tell me the decision to proceed with the South America trip was made in part to convey that the Libya bombardment was not a major military action.

Obama administration officials calculated that he would take a hit for proceeding with the voyage. But they appear to have been surprised by the force of the weakling complaint, coming not just from usual suspects such as Karl Rove but from liberals such as my Post colleague Richard Cohen, who saw Obama “quite literally distancing himself from the consequences of his own policy.”

Sorry, Dana, but this isn’t comparable to Bush’s My Pet Goat moment.  For one thing, Bush may have waited a few minutes to finish up with the kids, but he didn’t absent himself from the response for four entire days.  Bush didn’t leave the country to finish reading the book to the kids, either.  Second, the 9/11 attack came as a surprise to Bush, while Obama launched this war himself and left the country knowing full well it would take place in his absence.

Let’s talk about that decision for a moment, too.  The White House wants to argue that the trip had been planned for months, and that they deliberately chose not to reschedule it as a show of strength.  Milbank buys into that, too:

Since his earliest days on the campaign trail in Iowa, he has made clear his aversion to the flavor-of-the-day news cycle, instead measuring his progress toward a few broad-brush goals, such as American competitiveness and America’s standing in the world. If something — like, say, the uprisings in the Middle East — doesn’t fit unambiguously within his big goals, his instinct is to brush it off.

“I know everybody here is on a 24-hour news cycle,” he told reporters once. “I’m not. Okay?”

The problem for Milbank and the White House is that they have already established a precedent on postponing previously-scheduled trips when emergent situations occur, as I point out in my column:

Obama had scheduled his tour of Latin America months earlier, but the same was true of his trip to Indonesia in 2010. That trip got postponed twice as domestic politics intruded on the president’s schedule. First, Obama pushed the date from March 2010 to June 2010 in order to push his health care reform bill to final passage. In June, he postponed the trip again, this time to take more control of the Gulf oil spill. It’s hard to argue that ObamaCare ranked as a higher priority than going to war, and yet Obama refused to delay his trip to Rio de Janeiro, where photo ops depicted him playing soccer in the street and watching children dance in the first two days of his war.

Recall that the trip to Indonesia wasn’t just your typical foreign junket, either.  Obama had insisted that only a man of the world such as he could heal the breach between the West and the Muslim world, and he pledged to leverage his unique life story to bridge that gap.  The speech in Cairo was part of that strategy, as was the trip to the most populous Muslim nation — Indonesia.  It carried considerably more weight for Obama’s global strategy than a trade tour of South America.  Yet Obama postponed that trip twice, with one postponement occurring so that he could flack ObamaCare a little more to get Congress to pass it.

That’s an interesting set of priorities.  Obama refused to leave the country when ObamaCare was at risk, but refused to postpone a trip while putting the US military in harm’s way in Libya for the first time.

Note too that Obama wasn’t the only one out of the country, either:

And where was the defense secretary at this time? The second in civilian command of the military also left town on the 20th. Gates was scheduled to leave on the 19th, but he waited a day to “keep tabs” on the military action in Libya. Did he fly to consult with a member of the military coalition imposing the no-fly zone to coordinate efforts, as Obama announced two days earlier? Not exactly; Gates flew to Russia, which had to be talked out of vetoing U.N. Resolution 1973.

Once again, let’s remember the stink that arose when Chris Christie and his lieutenant governor Kim Guadagno both left New Jersey for vacations at the end of last year and a freak snowstorm locked up the Garden State.  Liberals screamed about the dereliction of duty in having both executives out of state when an emergency arose.  Now we have the two men in civilian command of the military out of the country when starting a new war.

My column concludes that most presidents would have welcomed the opportunity to demonstrate leadership at this moment.  Obama preferred to play soccer in the streets and do a samba chair dance instead.

Update: I fixed the link to, er, my own column.  Yikes.


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Empty suit, empty office ….. Check!

grapeknutz on March 23, 2011 at 8:53 AM

While President Obama was elected as our nations first BLACK President.
No one would have believed that he would also be our nation’s first PART TIME PRESIDENT.

During the election, someone spoke of that 3 a/m call and who was most prepared to take it.

President Obama has had quite a few 3 a/m calls,, only problem was he was not in the White House to answer them.

President Obama,,, the very best thing the Republican Party has going for it in 2012!!

Delta Wild Man on March 23, 2011 at 8:53 AM

It was perilously close to George W. Bush’s My-Pet-Goat moment, when then-President Bush continued reading a storybook with children on Sept. 11, 2001, after he was told that the second World Trade Center tower had been hit.

Not even close, Dana. Bush was in the Oval Office that evening addressing the nation. And he spoke from that classroom a few minutes after he was informed that the 2nd tower was hit and gave another statement later that afternoon. He was not AWOL in any way.

I know the left desperately tries to cover for Obama’s shortcomings by trashing Bush, but in reality all they’re doing is making Dubya look like 100 times the President Barry could ever hope to be.

Doughboy on March 23, 2011 at 8:53 AM

Here’s the YOUTUBE LINK on Biden.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dRFJ6CF2Mw

if only we had a press that gave a rats rear about the Republic and would ask Biden about it, and press him on it.

Despicable Media.

PappyD61 on March 23, 2011 at 8:54 AM

Apples and oranges Dana

What a tool

cmsinaz on March 23, 2011 at 8:57 AM

Why am I afraid that the idiot independents of this country will forget all this when election day 2012 rolls around?

csdeven on March 23, 2011 at 8:57 AM

Sorry, Dana, but this isn’t comparable to Bush’s My Pet Goat moment.

Agreed. This had become more like a “Proust’s Rememberance of Pet Goats Past” moment.

apostic on March 23, 2011 at 8:57 AM

Spot on Doughboy

cmsinaz on March 23, 2011 at 8:57 AM

Why do I see Obama’s attitude towards performing his duties as President as like a petulant child having to stay after school for misbehaving? He doesn’t want to do it, but has to, and does so reluctantly. And he doesn’t quite get why he can’t just go outside and play like the other kids.

Paul-Cincy on March 23, 2011 at 8:58 AM

Sorry, Dana, but this isn’t comparable to Bush’s My Pet Goat moment. For one thing, Bush may have waited a few minutes to finish up with the kids, but he didn’t absent himself from the response for four entire days. Bush didn’t leave the country to finish reading the book to the kids, either. Second, the 9/11 attack came as a surprise to Bush, while Obama launched this war himself and left the country knowing full well it would take place in his absence.

To add onto that, when Bush went to the United Nations before the attack on Iraq, he did it because Tony Blair, Colin Powell and other coalition members wanted U.N. cover to justify the attacks. When Obama went to the U.N. for the go-ahead to attack Libya, the allies were the ones who wanted to act immediately, while it was the U.S. president who wanted the cover of a U.N. resolution before doing anything.

Barack Obama never wants to take responsibility for a controversial decision — he wants to vote “present” and then if things work out all right, come in at the end and take the credit. That’s also why he bugged out to Brazil without giving a speech; no speech to the public, then no video of Obama to throw back in his face if Qaddafi ends up remaining in power after this is all over.

jon1979 on March 23, 2011 at 8:58 AM

PappyD61 on March 23, 2011 at 8:54 AM

Since Joe brought up the “I” issue in the context of ME war, maybe a few of the GOP ought to apply it to Libya.

But noooo, that wouldn’t be ‘bi-partisan’.

petefrt on March 23, 2011 at 8:59 AM

“Mr. Empty Pants”

– Peg Bundy

Jerome Horwitz on March 23, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Yet the polls show Obama’s at 50%+ on Lybia. Guess the masses either aren’t paying attention or they’re cool with the CIC playing soccer while he sends troops to die. Either way it’s effed up.

angryed on March 23, 2011 at 9:01 AM

Doughboy on March 23, 2011 at 8:53 AM

And the Secret Service, et al, all wanted Bush to not go back to DC…but Bush demanded it, noting that he had to be there. It was his job and his duty.

I swear, if Obama gets a second term, I’ll be amazed and disappointed.

JetBoy on March 23, 2011 at 9:02 AM

Failure in chief

publiuspen on March 23, 2011 at 9:02 AM

Why am I afraid that the idiot independents of this country will forget all this when election day 2012 rolls around?

csdeven on March 23, 2011 at 8:57 AM

They won’t forget. Some may choose to ignore it, but those aren’t independents. They’re Democrats who don’t have the stones to admit it.

Doughboy on March 23, 2011 at 9:02 AM

Petefrt, they won’t go near the I word. Sad to say

cmsinaz on March 23, 2011 at 9:03 AM

It’s a pattern. Wasn’t Obama eating yogurt in flip flops in Hawaii while another top official was skiing right after the underwear bomber in Dec. 09?

Actions speak louder than words, and Obama’s actions are telling me to drop dead.

parteagirl on March 23, 2011 at 9:04 AM

*BREAKING NEWS*BREAKING NEWS*BREAKING NEWS*

“Obama canceling the remainder of his Latin American tour – by a few hours – because of the Libyan situation…..”

Seriously. It was just on TV reported like that. No Mayan ruins for him today.

Marcus on March 23, 2011 at 9:06 AM

If Dana’s piece is the best spin the WH can come up with, they are in some big time trouble..

unseen on March 23, 2011 at 9:06 AM

Punching the clock is for the plebs. He’s never been a pleb. You can’t expect his exceptional skills to be left unused in such a mundane manner. Barry works best as an intellectual fireman/engineer/astronaut. His abilities are far beyond those of us who think we know the answers. We should all be thankful we have someone who can make the decisions we are unwilling to make or are afraid to make.
Shame on all who doubt that he knows exactly the right thing to do at exactly the right time in exactly the right way. It will be a sad day, in 2017, when we have to say fare thee well to him. At least we’ll have Rushmore to remember him by.

Limerick on March 23, 2011 at 9:07 AM

And the Secret Service, et al, all wanted Bush to not go back to DC…but Bush demanded it, noting that he had to be there. It was his job and his duty.

JetBoy on March 23, 2011 at 9:02 AM

And they were right to be so cautious. I forget which one, but either the plane that hit the Pentagon or Flight 93 was intended for the White House.

Yet the polls show Obama’s at 50%+ on Lybia. Guess the masses either aren’t paying attention or they’re cool with the CIC playing soccer while he sends troops to die. Either way it’s effed up.

angryed on March 23, 2011 at 9:01 AM

I wouldn’t freak out about that. First of all, the public almost always supports the President when he first authorizes military action. Secondly, 50% actually ain’t that great. You figure he has nowhere to go but down from there and that couldn’t happen quickly if this drags on.

Doughboy on March 23, 2011 at 9:08 AM

“couldn’t” should be “could”

MUST PROOFREAD!

Doughboy on March 23, 2011 at 9:09 AM

Seriously. It was just on TV reported like that. No Mayan ruins for him today.

Marcus on March 23, 2011 at 9:06 AM

ROFL……I have come to the conclusion that the majority of Obama’s problems are due to the simple fact that he and his team have a fundemental belief that the avg American citizen is stupid.

He is wrong on this fundemental understanding and he continues to pay a heavy price for being wrong…..

unseen on March 23, 2011 at 9:09 AM

Marcus, how presidential of him…Dana will give it a big thumbs-up

cmsinaz on March 23, 2011 at 9:10 AM

‘Bush’s My Pet Goat Moment…’

Riiight. Obama’s ‘Moment’ has been going on for what…2 years now??

BigWyo on March 23, 2011 at 9:10 AM

This entire presidency has been Obama’s “Pet Goat Moment”.

vcferlita on March 23, 2011 at 9:11 AM

Chris Christie and his lieutenant governor Kim Guadagno both left New Jersey for vacations at the end of last year and a freak snowstorm locked up the Garden State. Liberals screamed about the dereliction of duty in having both executives out of state when an emergency arose.

Correction, my good man ….. Everybody screamed …. and for good reason. Major roads like Rt’s 35 and 36 totally unplowed for 4 days.

But I digress …. it’s snowing here today, and it’s bringing back memories.

Jerome Horwitz on March 23, 2011 at 9:11 AM

They won’t forget. Some may choose to ignore it, but those aren’t independents. They’re Democrats who don’t have the stones to admit it.

Doughboy on March 23, 2011 at 9:02 AM

I hope you’re right, but I think maybe this is the reason.

csdeven on March 23, 2011 at 9:11 AM

The White House wants to argue that the trip had been planned for months, and that they deliberately chose not to reschedule it as a show of strength. Milbank buys into that, too:

So, that probably explains why he’s planning to cut his trip short.

…actually, no, wait a second..

Ducking out of town while the bombs started falling, Milbank writes, allowed Republicans to paint Obama as weak:

THAT probably better explains why he’s planning to cut his trip short.

BlueCollarAstronaut on March 23, 2011 at 9:11 AM

Ot: Liz Taylor passed away….RIP

cmsinaz on March 23, 2011 at 9:12 AM

that most presidents would have welcomed the opportunity to demonstrate leadership at this moment.

Commanding men in battle is one of the greatest challenges, and honors that a man could ever experience.

In Afghanistan, COL Joseph Votel, commander of the Ranger Regiment, was the first Ranger out the door onto OBJ Rhino when we commenced an airborne forced entry mission into that country in 2001. GEN Barry McCaffrey beamed with jealous pride the next day saying what an opportunity it would be to be a Ranger company commander on such a night.

It is sickening to see a man constitutionally bound to be a commander over our fine military, absolutely shirk his responsibilities and abandon his post when his men went forward into battle. Paint a yellow stripe on him, better yet…..tattoo it.

ted c on March 23, 2011 at 9:12 AM

Seriously. It was just on TV reported like that. No Mayan ruins for him today.

Marcus on March 23, 2011 at 9:06 AM

Gotta get back and finish ruining this country.

BigWyo on March 23, 2011 at 9:13 AM

A real POTUS MAN with CAJONES & HONOR & LEADERSHIP qualities would have flown home, or postponed the trip with apologies, & been here to take charge & explain to the American people what was going on.
The man is a charlatan, a snake oil salesman, a poser, an empty suit, a moron, a POS.
God I weep for America.

Badger40 on March 23, 2011 at 9:13 AM

“I know everybody here is on a 24-hour news cycle,” he told reporters once. “I’m not. Okay?”

“…so when the phone rings at 3am, Hillary answers it.”

itsnotaboutme on March 23, 2011 at 9:13 AM

Ot: Liz Taylor passed away….RIP

cmsinaz on March 23, 2011 at 9:12 AM

Out to lunch but holy moly Cleopatra was hot.

RIP, Liz. You had me all twitterpated as a lad.

Limerick on March 23, 2011 at 9:14 AM

I grew up in a time where black men were stereotyped as lazy and shiftless and only in pursuit of their own pleasures. It took me a while, and personal experience, to discern that they were no more lazy or shiftless than any other race and that this stereotype was part of a generally racists attitude that was, thankfully, waning. Today we have a president who seems hell-bent on reinforcing that tired old stereotype. You’d think he’d be at least a little mindful of that danger. I guess when the universe revolves around you, you think only of the brilliance of your light, not of the shadows you cast.

SKYFOX on March 23, 2011 at 9:15 AM

“…so when the phone rings at 3am, Hillary answers it.”

itsnotaboutme on March 23, 2011 at 9:13 AM

she calls herself?

Usually, if the phone is ringing at 3am, it’s probably Hillary that’s calling anyway…..

ted c on March 23, 2011 at 9:15 AM

racists = racist

SKYFOX on March 23, 2011 at 9:16 AM

And at the same time BHO is AWOL playing in South America and telling Brazil to drill so we can buy…Sarah Palin is meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu
http://hotair.com/archives/2011/03/22/palin-visits-israel-skips-the-media
Striking contrast there. Who do you want answering the phone at 3 AM?

indypat on March 23, 2011 at 9:16 AM

Breaking:

Germans pull out of Nato Libyan operations…coalition falling apart…DRUDGE.

Would anyone choose to be in a foxhole with Barry?

PatriotRider on March 23, 2011 at 9:16 AM

Valarie Jarrett is in charge anyway. What difference does it make if the figurehead is in town or not?

SouthernGent on March 23, 2011 at 9:16 AM

Would anyone choose to be in a foxhole with Barry?

Me, Me !! Pick me !!

-L.S.

Jerome Horwitz on March 23, 2011 at 9:18 AM

indypat on March 23, 2011 at 9:16 AM

Yeah…question of the day to Barry…”Um, Mr President, just what American jobs did you create in Brazil, Chile, and El Salvador?”

Limerick on March 23, 2011 at 9:18 AM

Biden suggests impeachment for the President.

ted c on March 23, 2011 at 9:14 AM

OMG their own words will destory them on this. Isn’t there a bible verse to this effect?

unseen on March 23, 2011 at 9:19 AM

Ot: Liz Taylor passed away….RIP

cmsinaz on March 23, 2011 at 9:12 AM
Out to lunch but holy moly Cleopatra was hot.

RIP, Liz. You had me all twitterpated as a lad.

Limerick on March 23, 2011 at 9:14 AM

crap…RIP LIZ…always thought Ivanhoe was her best picture…

unseen on March 23, 2011 at 9:20 AM

Would anyone choose to be in a foxhole with Barry?

PatriotRider on March 23, 2011 at 9:16 AM

Unthinkable.

petefrt on March 23, 2011 at 9:21 AM

Night of the Iguana…RIP Liz…

PatriotRider on March 23, 2011 at 9:23 AM

Out to lunch but holy moly Cleopatra was hot.

RIP, Liz. You had me all twitterpated as a lad.

Limerick on March 23, 2011 at 9:14 AM

You know, I’m racking my brain but I don’t think I’ve seen any movie of hers other than Cat On a Hot Tin Roof. She did look great in that though.

Doughboy on March 23, 2011 at 9:24 AM

Today we have a president who seems hell-bent on reinforcing that tired old stereotype. You’d think he’d be at least a little mindful of that danger. I guess when the universe revolves around you, you think only of the brilliance of your light, not of the shadows you cast.

SKYFOX on March 23, 2011 at 9:15 AM

Sometimes I think the racists picked Obama to ensure another black man would never have the chance at the POTUS again…

Just think what major league baseball would be like if we had an Obama instead of a Jackie Robinson as the first black player. Would MLB have continued with the experiment? I seriously hope people do not blame an entire race because of the actions of Obama.

unseen on March 23, 2011 at 9:24 AM

Sometimes I think the racists picked Obama to ensure another black man would never have the chance at the POTUS again…

unseen on March 23, 2011 at 9:24 AM

He’ll make it very difficult for another black Democrat to be elected President. But I don’t think the nation would hesitate for one second to elect someone like Col. West if he were the GOP nominee.

Doughboy on March 23, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Remember a couple of months ago when Time magazine tried to compare Scooter to President Reagan? Epic failure. However, he does resemble a well-known and beloved figure: Waldo.

kingsjester on March 23, 2011 at 9:29 AM

ObaMao has spent a lifetime acting out My Pet Scapegoat. Decisions and actions of consequence are everybody else’s responsibility but his.

Present! (He thinks that he is a gift to the world simply for being.)

onlineanalyst on March 23, 2011 at 9:31 AM

unseen on March 23, 2011 at 9:20 AM

She was one of the great American Actresses. There was one scene in Cleopatra that was quite memorable and risque at the time.

kingsjester on March 23, 2011 at 9:31 AM

He’ll make it very difficult for another black Democrat to be elected President. But I don’t think the nation would hesitate for one second to elect someone like Col. West if he were the GOP nominee.

Doughboy on March 23, 2011 at 9:28 AM

I hope you are right.

unseen on March 23, 2011 at 9:31 AM

She was one of the great American Actresses. There was one scene in Cleopatra that was quite memorable and risque at the time.

kingsjester on March 23, 2011 at 9:31 AM

Yes. She was a great actress. She was the female John Wayne.

unseen on March 23, 2011 at 9:33 AM

I seriously hope people do not blame an entire race because of the actions of Obama.

unseen on March 23, 2011 at 9:24 AM

That is not an issue for conservatives; never was. I can think of a couple of conservative black Americans I’d work for and vote for quite happily. True racism belongs to the left; always did.

SKYFOX on March 23, 2011 at 9:34 AM

Sometimes I think the racists picked Obama to ensure another black man would never have the chance at the POTUS again…

unseen on March 23, 2011 at 9:24 AM

Doesn’t make a whole lotta sense for racists to put a black man in as POTUS…so there won’t be a black POTUS…

JetBoy on March 23, 2011 at 9:36 AM

He’ll make it very difficult for another black Democrat to be elected President. But I don’t think the nation would hesitate for one second to elect someone like Col. West if he were the GOP nominee.

Doughboy on March 23, 2011 at 9:28 AM

He’ll only make it difficult for another left-wing Democrat to be elected…race has never been an issue here. Oh, the left tried that battle cry, if you criticize Obama, yer raaaacist! Didn’t work.

JetBoy on March 23, 2011 at 9:38 AM

He is wrong on this fundemental understanding and he continues to pay a heavy price for being wrong…..
unseen on March 23, 2011 at 9:09 AM

I think Obama pays almost nothing for believing most Americans are stupid. Obama could extend his trip/vacation for a month tomorrow and the media would cover and make excuses for him…and the largely ignorant electorate would just lap it up like momma’s milk.

marybel on March 23, 2011 at 9:40 AM

My column concludes that most presidents would have welcomed the opportunity to demonstrate leadership at this moment. Obama preferred to play soccer in the streets and do a samba chair dance instead.

And he looked like a sloppy drunk, sitting in that chair.

Geesh. Paint a giant L on his forehead and call it done.

GrannyDee on March 23, 2011 at 9:42 AM

True racism belongs to the left; always did.

SKYFOX on March 23, 2011 at 9:34 AM

Maybe… I always thought that racism knows no party nor race. It is a human trait to protect the tribe form the unknowns. It is IMO simple being practiced the most in the left today.

unseen on March 23, 2011 at 9:44 AM

I think Obama pays almost nothing for believing most Americans are stupid. Obama could extend his trip/vacation for a month tomorrow and the media would cover and make excuses for him…and the largely ignorant electorate would just lap it up like momma’s milk.

marybel on March 23, 2011 at 9:40 AM

I disagree. Nov 2010 shows you are wrong.

unseen on March 23, 2011 at 9:45 AM

I hope you are right.

unseen on March 23, 2011 at 9:31 AM

Just look at those viral YouTube videos with West. One aspect about the audiences that can’t be missed is their diversity. It’s not all white or all black. He appeals to people of all backgrounds because his race is not what makes him stand out. Certainly being a black conservative Republican in Congress places him on a very short list, but it’s his character, his story, his rock solid conservative principles, and his charisma that’s made him such a rising star in the GOP.

Doughboy on March 23, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Doughboy on March 23, 2011 at 9:45 AM

I would vote for West even if his voting record is a disappointment to me because I know he fundamentally understand America. but Obama’s term in office will be a major obstacle for him to overcome for many.

unseen on March 23, 2011 at 9:49 AM

Jetting away to a foreign country at the start of military operations in Libya is indeed a huge tactical screw-up for the Obama admin. A gift for anyone who runs against him in ’12. No amount of defiant arrogance and media cover is gonna soften the fallout.

RepubChica on March 23, 2011 at 9:50 AM

Well, he isn’t even Pres**ent Obama now…

rgranger on March 23, 2011 at 9:52 AM

The trip wasn’t postponed because Michelle, her kids, and the rest of the entourage really wanted to spend Spring Break in South America instead of in the White House, and this was the only way they could do it on the taxpayers’ dime. I bet they weren’t all that thrilled about Indonesia and seeing where Daddy grew up.

spudmom on March 23, 2011 at 9:53 AM

“It was perilously close to George W. Bush’s My-Pet-Goat moment,”

It’s worse than that. It’s perilously close to being Dana Milbank.

Dusty on March 23, 2011 at 9:53 AM

It was perilously close to George W. Bush’s My-Pet-Goat moment

That’s all the farther I needed to go, Dana is not going to criticize Obaka without saying GWB was worse.
Dickhead

darwin-t on March 23, 2011 at 9:54 AM

We all know Obutthead, and Milbank are full of crap.

The real question is….how many people out there are STILL buying the liberal spin?

capejasmine on March 23, 2011 at 9:58 AM

I can not believe, watching Obama, that he is running in 2012.
Honestly, I know his world sized ego won’t allow him not to run but I can not imagine a POTUS more fundamentally unhappy with the job.
He is imcompetent, unhappy and becoming increasing inpotent. I also realize that there is probably hope on his part and others for tanking the economy and remaking the US blah blah blah but I just can not see the man child doing this until 2016. The first family is going to run out of vacation spots.

ORconservative on March 23, 2011 at 9:58 AM

No Dana, it’s more like Dana Milbank appearing on TV in a hunter’s costume, moment.

Washington Post…still maintaining the dumbest stable of columnists ever assembled under one roof.

MNHawk on March 23, 2011 at 10:01 AM

Empty office, empty suit. Go figure.

tgharris on March 23, 2011 at 10:03 AM

Jetting away to a foreign country at the start of military operations in Libya is indeed a huge tactical screw-up for the Obama admin. A gift for anyone who runs against him in ’12. No amount of defiant arrogance and media cover is gonna soften the fallout.

RepubChica on March 23, 2011 at 9:50 AM

Not really. The spin from the liberal old media will be ‘President cuts his trip short to return to DC because of Lybia situation. He’s so concerned…’

slickwillie2001 on March 23, 2011 at 10:06 AM

[MNHawk on March 23, 2011 at 10:01 AM]

LOL. I had forgotten about that one.

Dusty on March 23, 2011 at 10:07 AM

Queen Nancy and her minions proved that the government can operate without a budget.
Barackoli is showing us the country operate without a president.

countrybumpkin on March 23, 2011 at 10:07 AM

So much fail for just one (for lack of a better word) man.

Bruce MacMahon on March 23, 2011 at 10:11 AM

Ever notice how the One’s polling numbers seem to go up when he is away from D.C.? I’d love to know what’s behind that.

Blackacre on March 23, 2011 at 10:17 AM

For the record, I was reading a Drudge link, here, on Robert Gates and towards the end they report,

President Barack Obama, speaking in Santiago, Chile, yesterday said the U.S. would hand off its leadership role “in a matter of days, not a matter of weeks.”

I know it is just another instance of Obama’s incompetence, but I do think it ought to be highlighted. First, the action would take “days not weeks” and we weren’t in charge and not in the lead. Now it’s morphed into handing off leadership in days not weeks and who knows how long it will be. With the rate at which we’re losing coalition members there’ll be no one to hand off to and we’ll be the only ones doing the job.

I was thinking last night that someone needs to sit Obama down and give him a serious talking to, to impress upon him the seriousness of position he is in. This continued fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants sh$t is way, way past just being a domestic problem we’ve come to joke about.

But those who need to explain it to him needs to be impressive enough for him to accept it and it needs to be from both sides of the aisle. I’d suggest it be some former presidents, maybe all four.

Dusty on March 23, 2011 at 10:27 AM

The spin from the liberal old media will be ‘President cuts his trip short to return to DC because of Lybia situation. He’s so concerned…’

slickwillie2001 on March 23, 2011 at 10:06 AM

By a whole 2 hours. He’s only skipping a sightseeing trip to some ruins to avoid more photos of him being seen as a tourist as opposed to CiC. They can try and spin that to the brain dead I suppose. The damage is done.

RepubChica on March 23, 2011 at 10:28 AM

Remember how psycho liberals got when it took George Bush ten whole seconds to jump up and head for the Oval Office after the surprise 9/11 attacks?

You can bet your ass none of them do.

logis on March 23, 2011 at 10:29 AM

Dana must be wearing his clown nose at work again…

d1carter on March 23, 2011 at 10:40 AM

Ducking out of town while the bombs started falling, Milbank writes, allowed Republicans to paint Obama as weak:

It’s the Republican’s fault. Those dirty Republicans. I bet Bush put them up to it.

petunia on March 23, 2011 at 10:42 AM

Dana must be wearing his clown nose at work again…

d1carter on March 23, 2011 at 10:40 AM

Does he wear his clown nose over his brown nose?

SKYFOX on March 23, 2011 at 10:59 AM

our nation’s first PART TIME PRESIDENT

SERIOUSLY?!?!?
That would imply, like…at LEAST 20 hours a week worth of HIS time…WORKING FOR US.

I call bullsh!t.

tree hugging sister on March 23, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Yeah…question of the day to Barry…”Um, Mr President, just what American jobs did you create in Brazil, Chile, and El Salvador?”

Limerick on March 23, 2011 at 9:18 AM

Unloading the oil from the ships when it comes in from Brazil?
Maybe if his numbers are bad enough he will be too ill to run again. Oh, hope, hope, hope!

Bambi on March 23, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Someone send Barry a BUYING SHRIMP sign he can hang on the office office doorknob.

saint kansas on March 23, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Amazingly
Weird
Obama
Legacy

That will never make into history books.

*sigh*

/jilted jingle dude
//not really a jingle

Ugly on March 23, 2011 at 11:30 AM

This attack on Libya is nothing but a calculated, yet convenient WAG THE DOG to take attention off this country’s continuing economic disaster. Remember what Rahm Emanuel said: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste”. There’s been a crisis building right here in America. The tsunami of debt and deficits are burying over 44 states, and Obama’s economic advisors know it just as much as his political advisors do.

States across the US are facing the largest budget deficits in history. Budget shortfalls in 44 states and the District of Columbia could reach $140 billion for fiscal year 2012, which begins this July 1 for most states. These huge deficits come as federal stimulus funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be largely depleted by the end of fiscal year 2011.

Obama knows full well he’s taking a political hit on this Libyan excursion, but this stunt will not make the illness of our economy go away.

Rovin on March 23, 2011 at 11:30 AM

President Barack Obama, speaking in Santiago, Chile, yesterday said the U.S. would hand off its leadership role “in a matter of days, not a matter of weeks.”

Well. The hell with Congress and their opinion into committing our forces to battle and then to hell with retaining any leadership control over them. It’s pretty easy to commit someone else’s kid into war and relinquish the responsibility to oversee his mission and personal safety, as well as the property of the US that could get ruined. The president has acted irresponsibly on both the decision to commit forces in the absence of Congressional notification as well as the relinquishing of any leadership role that could help guarantee their morale, mission accomplishment, and well being during their mission.

Travesty.

ted c on March 23, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Geesh. Paint a giant L on his forehead and call it done.

GrannyDee on March 23, 2011 at 9:42 AM

make it yellow paint.

ted c on March 23, 2011 at 11:33 AM

It’s simple. Mr. Obama is lazy, shiftless and interested only in the trappings of office. He has never had a real job and does not have a work ethic of any consequence. This is not rocket science. It gets to character. History will not be kind to this fellow.

Mason on March 23, 2011 at 11:35 AM

He must have been awfully sure no Americans would die over Libya while he was on vacation. Such faith in our Armed Forces!

unclesmrgol on March 23, 2011 at 11:46 AM

After seeing the picture of the oval office empty, it made me think of a good photo shop photo of the oval office with a very transparent or see through Obama sitting at his chair. It really doesn’t matter whether he is in it or not he is still an empty president.

inspectorudy on March 23, 2011 at 11:48 AM

empty office? matches the suit.

ted c on March 23, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Ot: Liz Taylor passed away….RIP

cmsinaz on March 23, 2011 at 9:12 AM

..once more, The Pantload gets rescued by an overshadowing media event.

(RIP as well, Liz.)

The War Planner on March 23, 2011 at 11:54 AM

“I know everybody here is on a 24-hour news cycle,” he told reporters once.
“I’m not. Okay?”

.
“I don’t follow the news.”
“I make it.”

mrt721 on March 23, 2011 at 11:55 AM

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