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Spill Reveals Obama’s Lack Of Executive Experience

In mid-February 2008, fresh from winning a bunch of Super Tuesday primaries, Barack Obama granted an interview to “60 Minutes” correspondent Steve Croft. “When you sit down and you look at [your] resume,” Croft said to Obama, “there’s no executive experience, and in fact, correct if I’m wrong, the only thing that you’ve actually run was the Harvard Law Review.”

“Well, I’ve run my Senate office, and I’ve run this campaign,” Obama said.

Seven months later, after receiving the Democratic presidential nomination, Obama talked with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. At the time, the news was dominated by Hurricane Gustav, which was headed toward New Orleans and threatening to become a Katrina-like disaster. “Some of your Republican critics have said you don’t have the experience to handle a situation like this,” Cooper said to Obama. “They in fact have said that Governor Palin has more executive experience. …”

“Governor Palin’s town of Wasilla has, I think, 50 employees,” Obama answered. “We have got 2,500 in this campaign. I think their budget is maybe $12 million a year. You know, we have a budget of about three times that just for the month. So, I think that our ability to manage large systems and to execute, I think, has been made clear over the last couple of years.”

Obama ignored Palin’s experience as governor of Alaska, which was considerably bigger than the Obama campaign. But his point was clear: If you’re worried about my lack of my executive experience, look at my campaign. Running a first-rate campaign, Obama and his supporters argued, showed that Obama could run the federal government, even at its most testing moments. He could set goals, demand accountability, and, perhaps most importantly, bend the sprawling federal bureaucracy to his will.

Fast forward to 2010. The oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico is gushing out of control. The Obama administration is at first slow to see the seriousness of the accident. Then, as the crisis becomes clear, the federal bureaucracy becomes entangled in itself trying to deal with the problem. “At least a dozen federal agencies have taken part in the spill response,” the New York Times reports, “making decision-making slow, conflicted and confused, as they sought to apply numerous federal statutes.”

For example, it took the Department of Homeland Security more than a week to classify the spill as an event calling for the highest level of federal action. And when state officials in Louisiana tried over and over to win federal permission to build sand barriers to protect fragile coastal wetlands from the oil, they got nowhere. “For three weeks, as the giant slick crept closer to shore,” the Times reports, “officials from the White House, Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Environmental Protection Agency debated the best approach.”

The bureaucracy wasn’t bending to anyone’s will. The direction from the top was not clear. And accountability? So far, the only head that has rolled during the Gulf crisis has been that of Minerals Management Service chief Elizabeth Birnbaum. But during a May 27 news conference, Obama admitted he didn’t even know whether she had resigned or been fired. “I found out about it this morning, so I don’t yet know the circumstances,” the president said. “And [Interior Secretary] Ken Salazar’s been in testimony on the Hill.” Obama’s answer revealed that he hadn’t fired Birnbaum, and he couldn’t reach a member of his Cabinet who was a few blocks down Pennsylvania Avenue.

Given all that, perhaps candidates in future presidential races will think twice before arguing that running their campaign counts as executive experience.

A few days before Obama won the White House, Bill Clinton joined him for a late-night rally in Kissimmee, Fla. Clinton, who became president after 12 years as a governor, told the crowd not to worry about Obama’s lack of executive background. Given the brilliance of Obama’s campaign, Clinton said — and here the former president uncharacteristically mangled his words a bit — a President Obama would be “the chief executor of good intentions as president.”

Chief executor of good intentions? Perhaps that’s what Obama is now. But with oil gushing into the Gulf, that’s just not good enough.

(Source: Byron York – Washington Examiner)

13 Responses

  1. What’s the hiddush? He never claimed to have any executive experience (of course, neither did McCain or Hilary Clinton).

    On the bad side (for conservatives), he may be able to improve over time, which could lead to his being reelected.
    He also has to learn he’s not a community organizer in Chicago. But he did manage two ivy degrees, and his law school grades represent tests graded anonymously, so he isn’t stupid (perhaps dumb, but not stupid).

  2. Presidential critics no. 1 & 2 just don’t get it. President Obama is a highly analytical member of the intelligentsia. He is bringing together the greatest minds and building a consensus. We in the United States have to apologize to the oil for keeping it down for so long, just so we could selfishly spoil ourselves with a non-toxic food supply.

    And with that in mind, the President will be holding a landmark press conference next month in which he will press the “reset” button, and invite the oil well to sit down in serious negotiations without precondition. If those negotiations don’t convince the well that ruining the US environment ad infinitum is completely unacceptable, then the President will convene with our allies at the UN to deliberate economic sanctions against the well–“with teeth”.

    Of course, in fairness the President has sworn not to completely cut off the well from leaking gajillions of barrels of oil onto the United States, because Americans and the well both know that they need to live side by side in peace and security. As such, he has demanded an international investigation into BP’s unprovoked and disproporationate attempts to plug up the leak. The President regrets the loss of golf balls.

    It goes without saying that, while the President feels its important to grovel to the oil well, his traditional democratic voter base–including the endangered whales–may have to be thrown under the bus in pursuit of his highminded ideals.

  3. 3 akruma,

    McCain didnt have experience?? WHAT ARE YOU SMOKIN????? You know, every so often you really say things that are WAY off.

    Last I checked John McCain has been a Rep and a Senator since 1983! Your guy was a rabble rouser and not much more. Oh, sorry he was a senator for 100 days before he heard the voice that told him to run for president.

    The man is the WORST president we have ever had. Worse than Jimmy Carter, FRD, Wilson or any other lib/socialist youve had. He will be OUTTA THERE in 2013!!

  4. as usual YW runs articles that are written like a 4th grader on lots of sugar. An article criticizing Obama says everything about the tsurah and nothing about the toichen of the oil spill then you know the article isn’t worth the paper its written on and the writer isn’t what a journalist should be. And furthermore, when we read the writer’s attempt to make points about inexperience the writer ironically brings enough evidence to defeat his own argument against Obama’s lack of experience. Incredible that YW would publish such an incompetent article. Furthermore even worse the writer understandably leaves out all of the information we know of Obama’s skill set and the lack of other president’s skill sets that show no correlation between the criticism offered by the writer. Furthermore and most imprtantly, the writer refuses to mention an actual example of mishandling of the attempt to close the leak. Why? Because there is none. The article is a journalistic disaster of the first order and for that YW should have kept it out. But prpobably they couldnt resist including it since the president is a liberal schor.

  5. The Yeshmeeva World continues to cry and whine, but in the last week, during its greatest diplomatic blunder of the last five years, Obama has stayed out of Israels way and allowed them the immunity to defend itself from its enemies. He has done exactly what I was hoping he would do, stayed out of it while displaying support for the countries right to defend itself.

    I know that the tendency in American Yeshmeevish politics is to “bash bash bash” until they’ve turned a decentm, well meaning pro israel president into the reincarnation of Hamman harasha, but its just a reason you all have no credibility.

    I thank Hash-m every day for Obama.

  6. Uhhh ….yeah….Obama is really pro Israel.
    What exactkly did he “stay out of”?

    A real leader would have unequivically supported Israel and told Turkey, to shut up.

    Further, he would have told Iran that their military was NOT going to “escort” any new terrorists on any other boats as they said they are planning to do.

    And he would never have spent his first year in office apoligizing for America defending freedom telling the world “America has done things wrong”.

    No leader goes around apoligising for their country unless they start a war and are defeated like Germany and Japan were, in WW2.

  7. Posts 7 and 8, you can now come out of hybernation, the winter is over. Obama Pro Israel? If you read between the lines of his comments, then you would have heard him saying, if not for the elections in November, I would have been the one to cancel the meeting with PM Netanyahu for attacking th ewell meaning activists.
    You guys need to smell the coffee.

    As for Post 7, runwitharetz, you write “Furthermore even worse the writer understandably leaves out all of the information we know of Obama’s skill set.” Do you have any clear examples of his skill set? were you referring to his inappropiate language that he used the other day? Or were you referring to the slow response to the oil spill (don’t forget this was the problem with Bush II and Katrina — a slow response, where are all those democtarts that were killing Bush, is it OK since it is Obama now?), or are you referring to his foreign Policy with Iran, Israel, palestinians? we would love to here some examples.

    ItsFunToBeBT , Thank you for the laugh, but isn’t it sad?

  8. 7. Why are you criticizing YWN for an article / story they lifted from another news source? Is it perhaps because the article was actually criticizing your avoda zora, Barack Hussein Obama mmmm mmmm mmmm???

    Leave YWN alone!

  9. aaym comments on my comment in #10
    Here are my return comments:
    aaym obviously doesnt know what the meaning of the phrase
    ” a president’s skill set” ….is referring to. That is why aaym’s comment on this is incoherent.

    I’ll just make this remark: the writer of the article didnt give examples of actual incorrect responses to plugging the spill. The writer alluded to vague things he imaginatively would have had obama do …yet none concern a response to actually plugging the spill
    AAYM doesnt seem to comprehend English or have a critical thinking skill set.

  10. 8. I would love to think you thank HKBH every day because Obama as our President is obviously bringing us closer to Moshiach. However judging from the rest of your post I am thinking you probably have a mizbayach of sorts in your dining room where you worship the almighty government & the liberals that kill it. These would be the same socialist ‘liberal’ democrats who keep taking away your freedom & liberty.

    You mentioned that he stayed out of the terrorist incursion via boat a few weeks ago & allowed Israel to do what was needed. Funny, but most of everyone else seems to recall the regime being very critical of Israel INCLUDING the sham at the UN.

    You really need to get off that ObamaMania kool-aid you’re on. The fun & games are over. He’s been in office for a year & a half and the country is going down the drain with his goal of European style socialism – something which most European countries are trying to get AWAY from!

    I guess you are happy as long as he has someone’s donkey (he DIDN’T say donkey!) to kick but does that make you feel better? Does it help your wallet? NO!

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