Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I Never Promised You A Rose Garden: Obama Already Working to Lower His Own Bar for Effecting "Change," Should He Be Elected

No one ever said Barack Obama wasn't smart, or that he didn't plan far down the political road. From what I've read and heard recently, he's already figured out that his grandiose promises of "change" pose a problem for him: no one, no matter how skilled, how 'messianic', can change something like the way Washington, or indeed the country, works overnight. Even more simply, many people massively overestimate the effect a single individual, even the president, or his or her administration, can have on the course of the country (little things like the global economy, rogue nations, acts of God, etc., can throw a little wrench into even the best-laid plans of a president).

So, what's the problem that Obama faces? Well, when you campaign on a promise of "change," and you don't deliver, people will lose faith and you will come under massive criticism for failing to meet your own goal. So, Obama, ever the clever politician, is already seeking to diminish expectations for the effectiveness of his presidency, should he win. He has already realized that he cannot meet the promises he has made, even as vague and empty as they are, given that he has positioned himself as the guy who will turn Washington around on a dime the first week he's in office.

This attempt to manage expectations has not happened overnight. Only a few weeks ago, Obama promised grand change to an enthusiastic crowd, but then admitted it'll be a long slog:
"I'll be honest with you," he said. "We've dug ourselves into a hole, and it's going to take some time to get out." He also said that change for some issues could be "two or three years away."

Now, we're hearing it may even take him two terms.

Wow, ya gotta hand it to this guy. He hasn't even gotten the Dem nomination, but he's already campaigning for his second presidential term.

Clearly, he's buying some insurance. Don't blame me, he says, if my first term is a failure by the very standards I've set--the problem in Washington is simply too big for anyone to handle in only four years, and the GOP has made such a mess of things, what could anyone have done?

The message is subtle, but it's clear. Obama doesn't believe the package he's trying to sell to the masses, because it's unrealistic. Obama is sowing the seeds now to be able to say in the future, I never promised you a rose garden.

Oh, but you did. And now, you're already backing away.


Anonymous said...

GREAT post. TA, and thanks for telling it like it is with Obama and his teflon rhetoric and mantra of change. I heard him say that many plans will have to be realized in his SECOND term. Where I come from that's called "chutzpah" of the highest order. He hasn't been nominated, much less elected, and this guy is already talking about his second term.

His mistake concerning his "uncle" and his help in liberating the death camp at Auschwitz gives us yet another hint about this slick talking politician. Once the campaign truly begins I'm sure we're going to be subjected to more theatre of the absurd from this man.

Lot's of "food for thought" in your post today, TA. I hope that others begin to LISTEN to what Obama says so they can begin to play it back in the very near future.

Anonymous said...

Obama version of history, cited in his speeches, shows the Junior Senator doesn't know that:

When Truman met with Stalin, Stalin was an ALLY. The President of Iran is no ally.

When Kennedy met with Khruschev, the summit was a disaster and led to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

When Auschwitz was liberated, it was by the Russians, not the Americans.

Obama is not qualified. The Oval Office is no place for on the job training as Commander in Chief.

Look at his record in the Senate -- one bill passed and no hearings, ever, for the subcommittee he CHAIRS.

Don Castella said...

Obama has had to back off on his claim that if elected president he would meet with enemies and terrorist leaders without preconditions. under pressure, he has backpedaled on meeting Ahmedinejad. now Obama has moved from looking reckless to feckless. I'd like to think that our efforts at Vets for Freedom were responsible in some small way for pushing the teflon senator back into reality. (See Illinois veteran SSG Garrett Anderson ask Obama serious questions at: Today we released another video that challenges Obama's credibility on Iraq: (See VFF member SPC Kate Norley ask Senator Obama when he plans to visit Iraq here:

PossibleFuture said...

I seriously doubt even Paul Bunyan could clean up the mess in a few years.

Team America said...

Well, Reagan got the hostages out of Iran, reformed the tax code, reduced Carter's double-digit inflation, eased the energy crisis and defeated the Evil Empire. Not bad for a few years work.

Of course, it took a Republican to fix those problems.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it will take Obama longer than he expected because he will be dealing with Democratic majorities in the Senate and House of Representatives.

I mean, let's look at Springfield as the classic example of Democrats running wild. Do we want that in Washington, D.C. as well?

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

highly recomend, it's a new website started by a guy who worked for mccain and went to chicago, some interesting discussion from what looks like high school kids who have worked for mark today about the race and moderates.

PossibleFuture said...

TA, fama crescit eundo.
My head is spinning.

Team America said...

PossibleFuture- what's the "rumor" here, Mr. Latin Scholar? (fama crescit eundo = "the rumor grows as it goes", or close enough). It's all words out of Obama's mouth.

Of course, he's accused people before of using his exact words against him, or was that Reverend Wright?

Vir sapit qui pauca loquitur.
(It is a wise man who speaks little.)

Anonymous said...

I love President Reagan, but you can't give him the credit for freeing the hostages in Iran. It may have been some fear on the part of the Iranians, but I think it was more of a stick in the eye of Pres. Carter. Reagan was at one of his inaugural balls as the hostages left Iranian airspace.

PossibleFuture said...

I was referring to your response to me (look up the definition of "rumor").

You validated my point. It would take a mythical figure (Paul Bunyan, Ronald Reagan, your choice) to clean up the mess W has left us.

And, if Reagan could accomplish all those things -- as well as Iran-Contra, huge federal deficit, arming Saddam Hussein with chemical weapons and Osama Bin Laden's gang with Stinger missiles -- while mostly napping, maybe there's hope that Barack Obama could fix at least some problems.

He may never be the second coming of Christ that Ronald Reagan was, but I give Obama credit for stating that the scale of the damage requires that the needed repair will take time. His message of change is quite different from your hyperbolic claim that he promised he would "turn Washington around on a dime the first week he's in office."

Anonymous said...

TA's quote, It is a wise man who speaks little, that makes the case in point. Obama keeps talking. The more he talks the less he is to be believed. A guy who is naive, who has never shown that he has the capacity or the will to work in a bi-partisan manner, work at all on any meaningful legislation either when he was an IL Senator or in DC, gives many pause for concern AND for alarm. He talks a lot. Perhaps he should be listening more.

Anonymous said...

Did you see Dan Seals on FOX today getting hammered by Neil Cavuto for buying gas for votes??!! I have had it, as a democrat I am so embarassed. Does Seals not understand he is hurting incumbent Democrats like Melissa Bean with that stunt that backfired? As if it took that stunt for people to see that gas prices are high.

I seriously think Seals should be looking at ways to solve problems or tell voters his plan rather than stunts that were designed for democrat challengers in 2006...BEFORE we took control of the House!!

Anonymous said...

Now the Seals team has come full circle on their “event.” Turns out the truth is in the latest Waukegan News-Sun, which gave them a “Dart” instead of a “Laurel” for their performance.

The Seals Team DID NOT notify the municipality in advance of the event as they previously claimed.

The exact article is as follows:


“To Democratic 10th District congressional candidate Dan Seals, who last week held an event to highlight the cost of gas. He decided to offer gas to motorists at $1.85 a gallon, the price of gas when the incumbent, U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk, R-Highland Park, went to Washington in 2001. A huge traffic jam appeared on Milwaukee Avenue in Lincolnshire. Lincolnshire police were not amused and charged Seals’ campaign $2,200, which was paid the other day, for traffic detail. Said Seals: “In hindsight, had we anticipated such an overwhelming response from people who are so frustrated with the high price of gas and Washington’s failure to address this issue, we would have contacted local officials ahead of time, but we were as surprised as anyone about the response.” Let this be a lesson to other pols: Call ahead.”

Usual Seals for Congress behavior. State one thing, do something else, get caught at it, fib about it, then come full circle and grudgingly admit it.

Congressional material? I think not.

Anonymous said...

Oops! Forgot to sign. Anon 9:03 posting is mine.


Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

Because it's already a gloomy day I did what I promised I wouldn't: I read the catwoman's blog today. It worked! I'm smiling. Why? Because her rantings and ravings and Kirk bashing that's so over the top and stupidly silly made me smile. What also made me smile is that nobody is commenting over there so she's talking to her cat!

TA, I owe you a debt and more. If you hadn't started your Blog I'd be walking around as I did in 06, punching a ball, scowling, being angry and frustrated. Thanks!

And as for sicko catwoman, it's almost laughable that everything on the planet is our congressman's fault in some damn convoluted way. Hopefully after 11/4 she and her cat will disappear forever.