The president of the United States appeared on “The View” yesterday, a daytime TV chat show for women, featuring such intellects as Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg.
It’s hard to imagine Lincoln doing that, or FDR, or Jack Kennedy, who had a sense of style. Even Ronald Reagan, who’d spent part of his life in show business, knew how to be president. He would not enter the Oval Office without a jacket on. He did not do talk shows. He understood symbols.
This wasn’t Obama’s first outing on the talk circuit. He did Jay Leno last year, was widely criticized for lowering the stature of the presidency, but apparently wasn’t listening. When you bow to a Saudi king and grovel to America’s enemies, it’s hard to lower the stature of the office much further.
Mr. Obama’s appearance on “The View” was inappropriate. Yes, yes, I know, Richard Nixon did “Laugh-In” in the 1960s, uttering the line, “Sock it to me?” But he was a lawyer at the time, not president.
I recall picking up a paper in the early 1990s and seeing a photo of President Bill Clinton, behind his Oval Office desk, wearing a jogging suit. I said to an associate, “This man is in trouble.” It was instinctive. Some presidents know how to act, know what’s expected of them, and some don’t. And, clearly, some don’t care.
This president, Mr. Obama, is in trouble. Americans are turning against him. One of his great attributes, his likability, is fading. Many don’t like him any longer. They see him as something of a fake, a make-believe president put in office by a vastly immature political base and an army of willing journalists. They see him as a man constantly running for an office he already holds.
Is Obama finished? No president is ever “finished” until his last day in office. Harry Truman made the most spectacular comeback in modern presidential history in 1948. Reagan was down for a time.
The difference, though, is that Obama is carrying extra baggage: He is disturbingly inexperienced. He has proven to be an ideologist of the left. His comments during the campaign, incredibly ignored by a gullible American public, showed that he doesn’t much like his own country.
An ABC report on the president’s appearance said this:
“So why sit down with ‘The View’s’ feisty and opinionated five hosts in the first place?
“‘I was trying to find a show that Michelle actually watched, and so I thought this is it, right here,’ he said. ‘All those new shows, she’s like, eh, let me get the clicker.’
“On Tuesday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the decision was made to put the president on ‘The View’ because it provides an opportunity ‘to talk to people where they are.’”
You know, that’s really pathetic stuff.
If the president recovers, it will probably be because of some significant, popular act in foreign policy. But he will have to make the same decision that Harry Truman made when he began his fight back in 1948. He will have to decide that some support is not worth having, and that he must start to govern a nation, not a faction. Truman allowed some of the racial segregationists to walk out on him, maintaining his principles. He also told the party’s leftist fringe where they could go, and it wasn’t Heaven. He showed what he was made of.
Will Mr. Obama show what he’s made of? I’d like to be pleasantly surprised, but I’m afraid we’ve already found out.
from URGENT AGENDA (www.urgentagenda.com)
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