Printed letters, Feb. 3, 2010

Obama fails to meet campaign promises

President Obama’s record in office does not square with his campaign promises or with many of the statements made in the State of the Union address. One way to measure his performance during the first year is to evaluate his record against three fundamental principles of leadership.

First, do what you say you’re going to do. Second, prioritize your tasks. Third, when you take on a difficult task, begin with the end in mind. Candidate Obama promised transparency in government, no earmarks, bipartisanship and no role for lobbyists in government.

The president’s record in office shows that those promises were a clever fiction. His campaign staff used them to appeal to the electorate’s desire for change in the Washington culture. They never intended to make good on their promises. However, they failed to realize that one’s credibility is a precious resource. Once lost, you can never regain it.

President Obama and his administration can finesse this issue while in office, but when he runs for re-election the American people will wonder if they can believe his promises the second time around. A leader, when faced with many critical tasks, must rank them in order of importance. Once they are prioritized, he must pursue those that take precedence until completion.

President Obama took immediate action on the economy on entering office. However, he did not finish the job as he turned to other tasks. The result is that now, a year later, we are going to reset our priorities and focus again on the economy and jobs.

Finally, when one underakes a difficult and complex task one needs to frame what he or she wants to achieve when the job is done. The more complex the task, the more detailed the planning. President Obama, rather then taking a leadership role in formulating the stimulus bill and health care reform, abrogated these responsibilities to the Democrat-controlled Congress.

We have seen the results of this hands-off approach. President Obama needs to show “change we can believe in” if he wants to lead this country.


Obama continues his spending spree

Less than a week after our president, in his State of the Union address, mouthed his deep and abiding concern for the country’s fiscal crisis and announced his intention to cut discretionary spending, an AP story outlines his plan to spend $200 million on security for the trials of Muslim terrorists in an as-yet-unnamed U.S. city.

And yet, while $200 million is likely viewed as chump change in light of the trillions of dollars he proposes to spend in his upcoming budget, how stupid must he believe the American people to be not to see through this apparent double-speak?

Worse yet may be his cavalier ignorance of the implications involved with trying these enemy combatants, including the 9/11 plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, in U.S. criminal courts instead of in the military tribunals created for the purpose.

In so doing, he most generously grants constitutionally provided citizens’ rights to foreign nationals,  guarantees them a world stage from which to spew their bile and heedlessly brings ashore the virtual assurance of further attacks on American soil by the radical Islamic organizations who sponsored these thugs in the first place.

Congratulations to President Obama. He is about to score a trifecta for the bad guys. And that, combined with his most recent double-speak, gets him a triple-double for his stats. Way to go, buddy!



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