Woodward: “Gaps” in Obama’s leadership nearly led to fiscal disaster

posted at 9:21 am on September 10, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama wants a second term as President, but was he up for even the one term he’s already had? Bob Woodward tells ABC News that significant “gaps” still exist in Obama’s leadership skills, and that he’s primarily the one to blame for the exacerbated partisanship that exists in Washington. Even Democrats admit that at times, “no one is running Washington”:

Woodward’s reporting in his new book, “The Price of Politics,” reveals a president whom he said lacked the “stamina” in turning personal relationships with congressional leaders into action the way some of his predecessors have done.

“President Clinton, President Reagan. And if you look at them, you can criticize them for lots of things. They by and large worked their will,” Woodward told Sawyer.”On this, President Obama did not.” …

“I am not ducking this. I am weighing evidence, and there’s evidence that he got on top of a lot of things, he did a lot of things. And there’s evidence that there are gaps,” he said. “He did not fix this.”

Woodward places particular blame for the failure to reach a deal with Obama, writing that the seeds of discord were planted early in his administration. He displayed “two sides” of his personality in early meetings with congressional leaders, Woodward said.

“There’s this divided-man quality to President Obama always. Initially he meets with the congressional leaders, he says you know, ‘We’re going to be accommodating, we’re going to listen, we’re going to talk, we’re going to compromise,” Woodward said.

“But then they — Republicans ask some questions and challenge him a little bit and he says, ‘Look I won. I’m in charge here,’ ” Woodward continued. “And the Republicans feel totally isolated and ostracized. And this was the beginning of a war.”

That’s what makes Obama’s assertion that a victory in November will give him an opening to “pop the blister” of polarization so laughable.  He’s responsible for much of that polarization anyway, and he has had at least a few opportunities to reach out and work with Republicans, especially on the 2009 stimulus package and again after the 2010 midterms.  He refused to meaningfully engage; Obama wanted Republican capitulation, not compromise, to the extent that even Democratic leaders in Congress ended up bypassing him altogether in the budget deal last year.  The blister is in the Oval Office, not the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.


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Gaps? Barky’s entire tenure has been one big gap.

Bishop on September 10, 2012 at 9:23 AM

Home Archives Green Room Ed Morrissey Show
Woodward: “Gaps” in Obama’s leadership nearly led to fiscal disaster

…Gaps?…what gaps?

KOOLAID2 on September 10, 2012 at 9:24 AM

…what leadership?

KOOLAID2 on September 10, 2012 at 9:25 AM

I won.

FU Barry.

GTFO.

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on September 10, 2012 at 9:26 AM

nearly? nearly?

it has been a total disaster.

tom daschle concerned on September 10, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Bishop on September 10, 2012 at 9:23 AM

…a REAL Bishop! (:->)

KOOLAID2 on September 10, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Mute button.

Ben Hur on September 10, 2012 at 9:27 AM

“Gaps” in Obama’s leadership nearly led to fiscal disaster

Well, his “Composite” girlfriend could have verified all of
this, no?

ToddPA on September 10, 2012 at 9:28 AM

How do you have a gap in something that was never there?

BettyRuth on September 10, 2012 at 9:28 AM

Imagine how he’d handle a real fiscal crisis in the next 4 years when simply raising the debt ceiling one more time is no longer sufficient.

Doughboy on September 10, 2012 at 9:29 AM

Let’s see…no private sector experience…no executive experience..no appreciable legislative experience…what could go wrong?

Galtian on September 10, 2012 at 9:29 AM

This punk grifter clown couldn’t run a hotdog stand in Battery Park yet I’m supposed to believe he has “gaps” in his ability to oversee the United States. Gotcha.

Barky is only in this thing for the perks and the plane, and you know damn well he wakes up every morning thinking “Aw shiite, please let me get through another day.”

Bishop on September 10, 2012 at 9:31 AM

You mean the financial disaster that was put off until January 1, 2013? Isn’t that when the Bush tax cuts expire, the ObamaCare tax goes into effect and all the sequestration cuts happen? Whether Obama wins or loses, it’s going to be a nightmare. A nightmare caused by this arrogant moron.

Night Owl on September 10, 2012 at 9:33 AM

The Polarization in Washington can be traced to Two Words;
“I Won!” said by…. Barack Obama!

That’s when the One set the whole tone.

jaydee_007 on September 10, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Whether Obama wins or loses, it’s going to be a nightmare. A nightmare caused by this arrogant moron.

Night Owl on September 10, 2012 at 9:33 AM

Look on the bright side, all the MRE’s I’ve been hoarding will finally get eaten, and my targets will finally create a challenge by actually moving.

Bishop on September 10, 2012 at 9:36 AM

…and you know damn well he wakes up every morning thinking “Aw shiite, please let me get through another day.”

Bishop on September 10, 2012 at 9:31 AM

I don’t think that. It is not part of his make up to be personally responsible. That he always finds some place else to place the blame shows that. As well as the way he treats adversaries and allies with the same disdain. Even when talking up fellow dems, it is more like work to him than anything else he has done.

What he thinks about every morning is the number of stupid people who don’t see how brilliant he is.

After his term, 0bama will be lost. His sycophants will not be able to cheer him up from the reality that he will no longer be relevant.

cozmo on September 10, 2012 at 9:40 AM

The blister is in the Oval Office, not the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.

lance forthcoming.

ted c on September 10, 2012 at 9:40 AM

Look on the bright side, all the MRE’s I’ve been hoarding will finally get eaten…

Bishop on September 10, 2012 at 9:36 AM

I feel for your taste buds.

cozmo on September 10, 2012 at 9:41 AM

The best line from the ABC article:

“The president was moaning, groaning, whining, demanding, threatening, and desperate. And wow,” Woodward said. “I asked the president about this and he said, ‘Well, you know, anyone who knows me, I don’t moan and groan and get desperate. But he acknowledges he was very angry.”

#denial

right of the dial on September 10, 2012 at 9:41 AM

Seems awfully convenient Woodward all of a sudden comes out with all this truthiness about the Won and splashes it all over the alphabets. Almost like the real power behind the power in DC has decided to toss the empty chair under a really big bus.

Kissmygrits on September 10, 2012 at 9:43 AM

“But then they — Republicans ask some questions and challenge him a little bit and he says, ‘Look I won. I’m in charge here,’ ” Woodward continued. “And the Republicans feel totally isolated and ostracized. And this was the beginning of a war.”

The proper response by the Republicans would’ve been to look the President straight in the eye and say “So did we, Mr. President. So did we.” Being a co-equal branch of governance and staring him down earlier would’ve unnerved the President sooner and saved this nation a truckload of sorrows.

ss396 on September 10, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Breaking:
Rasmussen
Obama 50
Romney 45

Full 3 day tracker following jobs report. #WTF

kevinkristy on September 10, 2012 at 9:48 AM

Question: Does anyone think any of this will penatrate the media like it would if it were about a Republican??

Seriously?

It should be damaging to Obama but will it?

bluealice on September 10, 2012 at 9:48 AM

“But then they — Republicans ask some questions and challenge him a little bit and he says, ‘Look I won. I’m in charge here,’ ” Woodward continued. “And the Republicans feel totally isolated and ostracized. And this was the beginning of a war.”

The proper response by the Republicans would’ve been to look the President straight in the eye and say “So did we, Mr. President. So did we.” Staring him down earlier in the game would have unnerved the President sooner and saved this nation from a great deal of sorrow.

ss396 on September 10, 2012 at 9:49 AM

When leading from behind, Barry O was renowned for his ability to find a gap…

Archivarix on September 10, 2012 at 9:50 AM

solid B-

screwauger on September 10, 2012 at 9:50 AM

The gap between his ears.

In Clint we trust.

Philly on September 10, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Any “gap” is Bush’s fault.

right2bright on September 10, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Question: Will anybody hear about this? Will it penetrate the media like it would if this were about a Republican???

Seriously?

This should hurt Obama, but it will be hidden.

bluealice on September 10, 2012 at 9:52 AM

Imagine how he’d handle a real fiscal crisis in the next 4 years when simply raising the debt ceiling one more time is no longer sufficient.

Doughboy on September 10, 2012 at 9:29 AM

He would blame others, smile, and saunter away as if he didn’t have a care in the world.

Paul-Cincy on September 10, 2012 at 9:52 AM

you know … he wakes up every morning thinking “Aw shiite, please let me get through another day.”

Bishop on September 10, 2012 at 9:31 AM

I’m not sure about that. There is a certain level of incompetence in some people where they are so incompetent that they don’t even see how bad they are at doing their job. They think things are just hunky-dory. This guy is sufficiently narcissistic that he probably thinks he’s doing a wonderful job. That is, if he thinks about doing his job well the way we would. If he is deliberately destroying the US from within, then he wakes up every day with a smile knowing that his plan is going splendidly.

AZfederalist on September 10, 2012 at 9:52 AM

Question: Does anyone think any of this will penatrate the media like it would if it were about a Republican??

Seriously?

It should be damaging to Obama but will it?

bluealice on September 10, 2012 at 9:48 AM

Welcome to the US of Sheeple…oh, and the moochers and looters too…that’s the majority of our electorate right there…surprised???…

jimver on September 10, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Pfft. Who cares what Woodward says, have you guys seen the polls?

This race is over.

newtopia on September 10, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Question: Will anybody hear about this? Will it penetrate the media like it would if this were about a Republican???

newtopia on September 10, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Question: Will anybody hear about this? Will it penetrate the media like it would if this were about a Republican???

Seriously?

This should hurt Obama, but it will be hidden.

bluealice on September 10, 2012 at 9:52 AM

3,2… until they call Woodward senile…

jimver on September 10, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Pfft. Who cares what Woodward says, have you guys seen the polls?

This race is over.

newtopia on September 10, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Go bury your head in the sand, moby.

wargamer6 on September 10, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Question: Will anybody hear about this? Will it penetrate the media like it would if this were about a Republican???

Will Romney have the courage to bring it up?

No?

Rass has Obama at 50, up by 5 and still climbing.

Mitt is such a terrible candidate and yet he alone possesses the ability to get it out.

newtopia on September 10, 2012 at 9:58 AM

Pfft. Who cares what Woodward says, have you guys seen the polls?

This race is over.

newtopia on September 10, 2012 at 9:55 AM

So, what’s your problem? If it”s over, what are you still doing here?…

jimver on September 10, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Go bury your head in the sand

That’s rich. Obama has a 8 point bounce from his convention, conservatives are going mum about it, and I’m the one burying my head in sand for pointing out the obvious.

57 more days of delusion until we can have real discussion about nominating authentic conservatives to run?

newtopia on September 10, 2012 at 10:00 AM

newtopia on September 10, 2012 at 9:58 AM

You have convinced us, your work here is done.

cozmo on September 10, 2012 at 10:01 AM

So, what’s your problem? If it”s over, what are you still doing here?…

jimver on September 10, 2012 at 10:00 AM

His job is to rile people up now.

wargamer6 on September 10, 2012 at 10:01 AM

The proper response by the Republicans would’ve been to look the President straight in the eye and say “So did we, Mr. President. So did we.” Being a co-equal branch of governance and staring him down earlier would’ve unnerved the President sooner and saved this nation a truckload of sorrows.

ss396 on September 10, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Except that when he said that, it was not the case. The Dems had a solid majority in the House and were on the way to a filibuster-proof Senate. Jugears was riding high on that and felt that he could appear before the cameras smiling about being magnanimous and “listening” to the minority party while in reality ignoring them. After the 2010 elections, the Republicans have been able to say that, and the willingness of the dems to compromise is apparent

AZfederalist on September 10, 2012 at 10:01 AM

AZfederalist on September 10, 2012 at 10:01 AM

That should say “unwillingness to compromise is apparent”. Meant what I initially wrote in a sarcastic tone, but it reads poorly

AZfederalist on September 10, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Go bury your head in the sand

That’s rich. Obama has a 8 point bounce from his convention, conservatives are going mum about it, and I’m the one burying my head in sand for pointing out the obvious.

57 more days of delusion until we can have real discussion about nominating authentic conservatives to run?

newtopia on September 10, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Yes, dear. Come back in 57 days then…we’re counting….

jimver on September 10, 2012 at 10:03 AM

He wouldn’t even be a good crack dealer.

docflash on September 10, 2012 at 10:05 AM

If it”s over, what are you still doing here?…

Sometimes you just hope you can just wake people from their silly dreams…I’m sure that’s just wishful thinking.

newtopia on September 10, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Breaking:
Rasmussen
Obama 50
Romney 45

Full 3 day tracker following jobs report. #WTF

kevinkristy on September 10, 2012 at 9:48 AM

If you follow Rasmussen, you’d be aware that he often has Obama leading or tied following the weekend. This sample includes not only Saturday and Sunday when Republicans and conservatives are routinely undersampled, but it also has the first full 3-day average after the convention wrapped up.

Let’s see where these numbers are on Thursday once the weekend is factored out. Now at that point if Obama is still at 50% and/or up 4-5 points on Mittens, then I agree it’s time to start worrying and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see a marked shift in strategery by the Romney campaign where they stop pulling punches and begin to go John Sununu on the guy 24/7.

Doughboy on September 10, 2012 at 10:06 AM

newtopia on September 10, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Hope and wishing, sounds like you would be a much better fit somewhere else. They have unicorns and skittles.

cozmo on September 10, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Doughboy on September 10, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Fair enough, but Gallup picked up the bounce much earlier and the President’s swing in favorables indicate his bounce isn’t over. This may grow 8 points or so. I don’t Mitt overcoming that without unbelievable debate performances, which I wouldn’t bet the farm on either.

newtopia on September 10, 2012 at 10:10 AM

That’s what makes Obama’s assertion that a victory in November will give him an opening to “pop the blister” of polarization so laughable. He’s responsible for much of that polarization anyway, and he has had at least a few opportunities to reach out and work with Republicans, especially on the 2009 stimulus package and again after the 2010 midterms.

If Obama wins, and Republicans keep the House and/or take the Senate, the gridlock WILL CONTINUE, and nothing will get done! If a Republican-controlled House AND SENATE pass bills after 2012, and Obama vetoes them, why would voters blame the Republicans?

This should be a good campaign weapon for the Republicans, especially those in the House–WE need to elect Romney to have a President who will sign our bills, and Obama is the cause of gridlock!

Steve Z on September 10, 2012 at 10:11 AM

They have unicorns and skittles.

And we have Bob Dole II. Tough choice. How about I sit this one out?

newtopia on September 10, 2012 at 10:11 AM

How about I sit this one out?

newtopia on September 10, 2012 at 10:11 AM

Now you have normal people hoping and wishing. Except we know you are intellectually incapable of not spewing your crap. So, you won’t stomp away petulantly and sit this out.

cozmo on September 10, 2012 at 10:14 AM

They have unicorns and skittles.

And we have Bob Dole II. Tough choice. How about I sit this one out?

newtopia on September 10, 2012 at 10:11 AM

It’s a free country.

jimver on September 10, 2012 at 10:16 AM

Look on the bright side, all the MRE’s I’ve been hoarding will finally get eaten, and my targets will finally create a challenge by actually moving.

Bishop on September 10, 2012 at 9:36 AM

That’s nice for you, but I have hoarded Ramen noodles exclusively. I am not looking forward to that.

I shot my gun for the first time a few weeks ago, with my 74 year old father (he just got his, too). We had to stop while a deer was walking by, about 25 yards behind the target we were shooting. As long as my targets are about 10 feet away and standing still, I’m set!

Night Owl on September 10, 2012 at 10:23 AM

As long as my targets are about 10 feet away and standing still, I’m set!

Night Owl on September 10, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Most times, they are. And heading right for you.

cozmo on September 10, 2012 at 10:26 AM

Night Owl on September 10, 2012 at 10:23 AM

And having eaten Ramen noodles and MRE’s, you chose wisely.

cozmo on September 10, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Go bury your head in the sand, moby.

wargamer6 on September 10, 2012 at 9:57 AM

…there’s sand in his anal cavity???

KOOLAID2 on September 10, 2012 at 10:29 AM

Sometimes you just hope you can just wake people from their silly dreams…I’m sure that’s just wishful thinking.

newtopia on September 10, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Aww, how noble of you, to dedicate your free time to our awakening…we’d be lost, lost, I’m telling ya, without your political mentorship….

jimver on September 10, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Go bury your head in the sand, moby.

wargamer6 on September 10, 2012 at 9:57 AM

…there’s sand in his anal cavity???

KOOLAID2 on September 10, 2012 at 10:29 AM

If he’s he’s at the beaches, yes….

jimver on September 10, 2012 at 10:34 AM

“Gaps” is just a polite way to say that he’s totally useless. Fishnets have gaps, too, in fact…they’re mostly gaps. So is BO.

At least fishnets are designed to use the gaps for something productive, though.

Bob's Kid on September 10, 2012 at 10:36 AM

And having eaten Ramen noodles and MRE’s, you chose wisely.

cozmo on September 10, 2012 at 10:27 AM

LOL! I never had MRE’s, but I can’t imagine they are very good.

Night Owl on September 10, 2012 at 10:36 AM

As a community organizer in Chicago Obama was exposed to only one type of politician and one type of politics. Mayor of Chicago and Chicago politics. Any wonder he acts this way? He thinks this is normal behavior and the rest of the world is out of step.

Herb on September 10, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Pfft. Who cares what Woodward says, have you guys seen the polls?

This race is over.

newtopia on September 10, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Carter said that into October…Dukakis measured for drapes

workingclass artist on September 10, 2012 at 10:40 AM

AP wants to know: Does pure racist hatred fuel Bob Woodward’s efforts to undermine the God King?

MTF on September 10, 2012 at 10:42 AM

AP wants to know: Does pure racist hatred fuel Bob Woodward’s efforts to undermine the God King?

MTF on September 10, 2012 at 10:42 AM

No, but he’s senile, you know…

jimver on September 10, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Sometimes you just hope you can just wake people from their silly dreams…I’m sure that’s just wishful thinking.

newtopia on September 10, 2012 at 10:06 AM

So what is your objective here? You say the race is over, it’s lost. You want us all to just cower in abject despondence, abandon all efforts to regain any momentum, just give up and acknowledge an Obama win? Is that what you are after here? Why even bother with us if the race is over and your guy is winning? What purpose does your random assemblage of electrons sent over the internet accomplish?

You must have been a real boost when you were growing up and your team was behind by a few points. I’ll bet you really boosted team morale. Let me guess, you were always picked second to last — you were the one nobody wanted because of attitude, the dude picked last just wasn’t a good player.

AZfederalist on September 10, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Obama has not been a leader, ever.

He is the biggest hoax upon the land, as Clint Eastwood correctly nailed it.

Schadenfreude on September 10, 2012 at 10:57 AM

How about I sit this one out?

newtopia on September 10, 2012 at 10:11 AM

Fine by me. I don’t give a rats ass what you do. Loser.

Bmore on September 10, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Hope and wishing, sounds like you would be a much better fit somewhere else. They have unicorns and skittles.

cozmo on September 10, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Did you give that weak kneed p u s s a cookie yet?

Bmore on September 10, 2012 at 11:01 AM

nearly

davidk on September 10, 2012 at 11:03 AM

How about I sit this one out?

newtopia on September 10, 2012 at 10:11 AM

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up governed by your inferiors.” ~Plato

davidk on September 10, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Never question a despot… What an absolute little pr!ck this guy is…

Pest on September 10, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Barry NEVER sees himself as the problem. Others are ALWAYS the problem. Barry NEVER fails. Others fail.

GarandFan on September 10, 2012 at 11:21 AM

The worse President in my lifetime. Or worst, your choice.

Bmore on September 10, 2012 at 11:22 AM

The solution is coming…Nov 6.

d1carter on September 10, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Almost like the real power behind the power in DC has decided to toss the empty chair under a really big bus.

Kissmygrits on September 10, 2012 at 9:43 AM

Could it be that Woodward has finally noticed that Obama has voted “present” for most of his term?

MJBrutus on September 10, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Did you give that weak kneed p u s s a cookie yet?

Bmore on September 10, 2012 at 11:01 AM

The last thing that nutball needs is more sugar.

cozmo on September 10, 2012 at 11:39 AM

You left out the crack about, going along for the ride, Republicans will have to ride in the back of the bus. BULLSH!T AZZHAT.

nimrod on September 10, 2012 at 12:01 PM

AZfederalist on September 10, 2012 at 10:01 AM

Everyone in Owe’s meeting WON their election. And that’s the point I think. Owe only sees himself; doesn’t recognize anyone else and their accomplishments.

katablog.com on September 10, 2012 at 12:07 PM

How about I sit this one out?

newtopia on September 10, 2012 at 10:11 AM

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up governed by your inferiors.” ~Plato

davidk on September 10, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Nice, but what a waste of quote on that one..

jimver on September 10, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Sometimes you just hope you can just wake people from their silly dreams…I’m sure that’s just wishful thinking.

newtopia on September 10, 2012 at 10:06 AM

You appear to need some waking up yourself. I made up my mind to vote for the Republican nominee by the end of January 2009. He’s not my first choice, but he won the majority of the votes in the Republican primary. Mitt is the only chance to get O out.

To paraphrase Mark Steyn, I’m not sure the Republicans can get us out of this mess, but I’m sure the Democrats can’t.

If you’ve got a better candidate, run them in the primary, but don’t sit out the general.

talkingpoints on September 10, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Gaps Chasms of leadership

dont taze me bro on September 10, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Barack Obama went into the White House thinking that to be President means you get to call all the shots, and everybody has to do what you say. It was obvious from day one that’s what he thought the Presidency was. It’s been a source of endless frustration for him that it isn’t that at all, and yet he doesn’t seem able to wrap his head around it. He’s still trying to dictate (or maybe Valerie and Michelle are doing the dictating), and he can’t seem to understand why everyone won’t go along with that.

We need to elect an actual adult to run the country, and get rid of this petulant child.

RebeccaH on September 10, 2012 at 2:23 PM

I think this book is coming out at a good time…a better time might have been a few weeks ago, but this book makes the case that Obama is not equipped for leadership. It is not just about right or left or Republican or Democrat..he simply does not have the temperament or skills for that kind of role…the narcissist.

Terrye on September 10, 2012 at 2:41 PM

‘Nearly’, what you mean nearly? We are experiencing a financial disaster.

Kissmygrits on September 10, 2012 at 2:54 PM