I like to give links and hat-tips on Obamateurisms whenever I can, but today’s hat tip is a bit unique. This time, Barack Obama himself tipped me off to this Obamateurism — and actually committed the bigger Obamateurism while recounting it. Obama spoke with George Stephanapoulos and discussed why his first year was a flop, or at least his take on it (via The Corner):
“If there’s one thing that I regret this year is that we were so busy just getting stuff done and dealing with the immediate crises that were in front of us that I think we lost some of that sense of speaking directly to the American people about what their core values are and why we have to make sure those institutions are matching up with those values,” Obama told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview at the White House.
The president said he made a mistake in assuming that if he focused on policy decisions, the American people would understand the reasoning behind them.
“That I do think is a mistake of mine,” Obama said. “I think the assumption was if I just focus on policy, if I just focus on this provision or that law or if we’re making a good rational decision here, then people will get it.”
In other words, Obama gave himself a good, solid B-plus instead of an A because he failed to explain his utter brilliance to us all year long. Without him spoon-feeding his self-evaluations to us, presumably in small words so that all of the bitter clingers can understand them, the American public is apparently too dumb to evaluate Presidents on their own.
Talk about arrogance …
Ask yourselves this: was Obama’s big problem in 2009 getting too involved in legislative efforts and not spending enough time in front of the cameras talking about himself? On his signature domestic-agenda issue, Democrats in Congress repeatedly complained that Obama wasn’t involved at all. On Afghanistan, Obama took almost four months to decide whether he would properly resource the strategy to which he had committed in March, during which he spoke to a joint session of Congress, did two media tours talking to reporters about ObamaCare while sitting on the sidelines on negotiations, and took a tour of Asia that accomplished absolutely nothing and a trip to Copenhagen in which other world leaders actively ignored him.
Just for the record: according to Mark Knoller at CBS, in 2009 Obama gave 42 news conferences (most of them joint “availabilities” with foreign leaders), 52 addresses or statements specifically about health care, with a total of 411 speeches, comments, or remarks. In addition, Obama did 158 interviews in his first year in office. He also held 23 town hall meetings, including two out of the country. It’s not for lack of opportunity that Obama didn’t get to explain himself.
Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.
Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!