Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Worst Year in Washington

It was no contest. President Obama did not have any competition for the “honor” of having had “the worst year in Washington.”

By now the Washington media has seen the truth about President Obama. Hope may die hard, but die it does.

Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post offers the verdict. Remarking that he still retained some hope for Obama last year, he now says that even that hope is gone:

Twelve months ago, we also awarded Obama the worst year in 2013, calling 2013 his "lost year" because he spent it salvaging old accomplishments rather than building his legacy. But even then, we saw a possible path back to relevance. Now, all that appears left for the Obama presidency is a narrowing of both vision and accomplishment.

What tied together all of 2014's failures, stumbles and necessary evils was a growing sense among the public that Obama simply isn't up to the job to which he has been twice elected.

According to the polls, the American people agree:

In CNN-Opinion Research Corp. polling in December 2008, more than three-quarters of Americans said that the phrase "can manage the government effectively" applied to Obama; by March 2014, just 43 percent said the same. (And that was beforeproblems at the Department of Veterans Affairs were revealed later that month.) A late 2013 Washington Post-ABC News poll found a similar result, with just 41 percent of respondents saying Obama "is a good manager." A Pew Research Center survey in July showed that 44 percent of respondents believed that Obama was "able to get things done," a number not far from the 42 percent of people who said the same of George W. Bush at a similar point in his presidency.

It was not about the economy. Serial failures in the conduct of foreign policy showed Americans that their president had no presence and commanded no respect on the world stage.

(Now we are waiting to see whether the nation will, yet again, diminish the national brand by electing another president who commands no respect on the world stage.)

Cilliza writes:

Obama's longtime pledge to "reset" relations with Russia was exposed as frighteningly naive when President Vladimir Putin moved into eastern Ukraine with impunity. Obama's response to Putin's aggression — sanctions — was derided as using a spray bottle to put out a five-alarm fire.

Then there was Iraq, the "dumb war" that Obama was elected in no small measure to end. He seemed to do that once, removing the last combat troops from the country in 2011. But then came the rise of the Islamic State, the militant group that now controls much of Iraq and Syria, made particularly infamous by its heinous tactic of beheading captives.

One like to say: better luck next time, but it looks as though the Obama presidency has run out of luck. There will be no next time.


Sam L. said...

"It was not about the economy." Actually, not JUST about the economy. All those failures emphasized that anything he did about the economy would be no better than what he'd already done to the economy.

Ares Olympus said...

It looks like Cillizza's purpose is to tell people what they want to hear since there's no reason to read past the first sentence otherwise, maybe like a politician, except he actually can't accomplish anything.

Spin, spin, spin, weeeeeeee!

The real question is why people want to be spun so vigorously?