Thursday, September 9, 2010

Okay Barack, You Just Lost Me.

With the recent announcement that President Obama will be attending the 9/11 memorial at the Pentagon, rather than Ground Zero, I'm officially convinced that this guy has no common sense when it comes to matters of public perception and symbolic gestures. Seriously, how much sense does it make to avoid NYC and send in your 2nd string point guard (Biden) to run the show? I makes none, and that's why I'm about thisclose to abandoning the good ship Obama.

I hate overusing sports analogies, but the more I see Obama do silly stuff like this, it reminds me of coaching basketball. I always tell my kids to keep it simple. Whenever possible, you score points in the easiest, most efficient way possible: the layup. Your chances of success are better the closer you are to the basket. Layups are gimmes.

Obama doesn't even attempt layups. His entire Presidency thus far has been a series of halfcourt heaves. Sometimes you'll make these, but it's probably not the best idea to make them your entire offensive repertoire. Obama, for better or (in this case) for worse, seems to live (and die) by the long bomb.

For those who have no idea what I just said, look at it like this. I agree with a good 85% of what Obama's done legislatively. Those are the half court heaves. Getting healthcare passed is a 50 footer. Financial reform is a reverse turnaround J from the 3 point line. The stimulus package was a desperation buzzer beater from underneath the opposing team's basket. These were "high level of difficulty" shots, but he made em'. Unfortunately, these shots only count for 3 points each.

On the other hand, Obama hasn't bothered with taking care of the easy stuff, the mostly pointless symbolic gestures that come along with being the President. Holding a press conference in the Gulf the day the oil rig exploded is a layup. Going to Ground Zero for the 9/11 Commemoration is a layup. Going to church, say, once a month, is a layup. Wearing a flag lapel pin everyday on the campaign trail? Deuce. Putting your hand over your heart every time during the national anthem? Easy two. Taking a vacation in the Gulf that's more than just a 27 hour photo-op. Off the glass, and one.

[Editor's Note: I won't even get started about this Administration's unwillingness to play even a token amount of defense. That's another post and another sports analogy altogether.]

For a guy so smart when it comes to the big picture (legislation/ideas), Obama is incredibly dumb when it comes to the small stuff (symbolic gestures) that helps sell the big picture. He's like that guy everyone knows at work who's brilliant at the actual job itself, but has zero people skills, and keeps forgetting to fill out a timesheet. He generally succeeds in spite of himself, but if he ever got all his sh*t together, he'd be absolutely dangerous. That's sorta how I feel about Obama.

A small businessman should take women's watches, because he would face cheap casio watches calamity, enjoy a shop having cheap swatch watches & tiffany bracelet sale, you will also see the low cost life insurance, they are top class quality.

If folks increasingly seem to think you're a Muslim, why not visit a new church (with the press pool following you) one Sunday every month? You'd avoid the Reverend Wright level of scrutiny (you aren't joining the churches, just visiting) yet still give little ammo to those who think you're not "religious". If you watched the prior President get (fairly) pummelled for a slow response to a Gulf tragedy, common sense would dictate that you get your behind down there and respond quickly (in person!) when another occurs. If you're already being assailed for not being "patriotic" enough, why would you avoid going to Ground Zero, a place which, fairly or not, most people still consider the epicenter of the 9/11 tragedy? In short, why do you keep shooting yourself in the foot by passing up easy opportunities for a PR win?

I hate discussing issues like religion, patriotism, and personal empathy within the realm of public relations wins, but reality is, that's a big part of being the President. You aren't just a policy wonk, you're the person folks (fairly or unfairly) turn to for assurance that things are okay, even when they aren't. That's part of the job description. You have to sweat the small stuff. Have to.

Sad as it might seem, if Obama loses in 2012 (and I'm actually beginning to think it's possible), it will not be entirely because of the economy, or Republican opposition, a deficit, or wars he didn't start. Nope, much of it will be totally self-inflicted, and totally preventable.

All because Barack passed up wide open layups.

Question: Am I going overboard with the apocolyptic talk as usual, or should Barack be paying more attention to the small details, rather than giving his opposition even more ammo? Do you agree with the decision to skip Ground Zero and go to the Pentagon for the 9/11 commemoration?

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