Mort Zuckerman, the owner and publisher of New York Daily News says the “incredible deflation of Barack Obama” is underway. Zuckerman endorsed Obama for president, and lost, allegedly, some $40 million to Bernie Madoff and his Ponzi Scheme. He is not happy with his president.
There is some very cheeky analysis in his article in U.S. News and World Report, which he also heads. He referred to Obama’s excess appearances on television as “promiscuity,” and follows that up with “Now he faces the iron law of diminishing novelty.”
Perhaps the inevitable outcome was disappointment—and on this Obama has
not disappointed. Alas, he has accelerated the deflation of hope with
his extraordinary volume of public appearances.
In his first six months, he gave three times as many interviews as
George W. Bush, four times as many prime-time news conferences as Bill
Clinton, and more interviews than both combined: 93 for Obama and 61
for his two immediate predecessors. He appeared on five Sunday talk
shows on the same morning, followed the next day by David Letterman,
the first-ever presidential appearance on a nighttime comedy show. In
another week, he squeezed in addresses to the U.S. Climate Change
Summit, the U.N. General Assembly, the U.N. Security Council, and a
variety of press conferences.
Zuckerman moves from personality to substance:
Poor results. But Obama’s problems are more than a
question of style. There is doubt aroused on substance. He sets
deadlines and then lets too many pass. He announces a strategic review
of Afghanistan, describing it as “a war of necessity,” only to become
less sure to the point that he didn’t even seem committed to the policy
that he finally announced.
As for changing politics in Washington, he
assigned the drafting of central legislative programs not to cabinet
departments or White House staff but to the Democratic congressional
leadership of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid the very people so mistrusted by the public. Who could be surprised
that the critical bills—the stimulus program and healthcare—degenerated
under a welter of pork and earmarks that had so outraged the American
public in the past?
Zuckerman hits Obama on legislation that had no time to be read by lawmakers (stimulus plan and health care). He hit him on the economy and Obama’s ambivalence to the real creation of “jobs, jobs, jobs.” He hit him for not recognizing the people’s “distaste” for “big government, big spending and big deficits.”
Instead of concentrating on jobs, jobs, jobs, he made the decision to
“boil the ocean” and go for everything, from comprehensive health
reform to global warming to a world without nuclear weapons … and the
beat goes on….
This was more than the Congress could absorb and more than the country could understand….
The result is a widespread concern that progressive taxation to pay for
the “nanny state” will snuff out future opportunities that Americans
believe they deserve for themselves and their children….
The consequence is that there isn’t a single critical problem on which
the president has a positive public rating.
Only a minority of
Americans now believe the president will make the right decisions for
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