I’m continually amazed by the people who supported Obama. There were some brilliant men and women who were convinced he was going to swoop in and by his mere presence alter for the better Washington and by extension America. Of course those of us who knew Barack Obama by his past actions and not by his campaign sloganeering knew he was a man who had been marinated in leftist ideology since his childhood and put that ideology to work as an Illinois state senator, an education board director, and a US senator. Still, very smart people such as Warren Buffett supported Barack Obama in spite of this, convinced he was a centrist and a moderate. Buffett’s support was very important in getting Barack Obama elected but now that Buffett sees that he has unwittingly, as Ed Morrissey notes, supported Nero, Buffett is trying to give Obama advice in the hopes he finally takes it. If Obama fails to turn around the economy and instead sends us spiraling into a depression, how will the brilliant investment genius look then? How many Americans voted for Obama despite of some misgivings because brilliant men like Warren Buffett endorsed him?
BUFFETT: …And, Joe, it–if you’re in a war, and we really are on an economic war, there’s a obligation to the majority to behave in ways that don’t go around inflaming the minority. If on December 8th when–maybe it’s December 7th, when Roosevelt convened Congress to have a vote on the war, he didn’t say, `I’m throwing in about 10 of my pet projects … [snip] …
JOE: Yeah, but you might–might not have fixed…
BUFFETT: But I say…
JOE: You might not–you might not have fixed global warming the day after–the day after D-Day, Warren.
BUFFETT: Absolutely. And I think that the–I think that the Republicans have an obligation to regard this as an economic war and to realize you need one leader and, in general, support of that. But I think that the–I think that the Democrats–and I voted for Obama and I strongly support him, and I think he’s the right guy–but I think they should not use this–when they’re calling for unity on a question this important, they should not use it to roll the Republicans all.
BUFFETT: I think–I think a lot of things should be–job one is to win the war, job–the economic war, job two is to win the economic war, and job three. And you can’t expect people to unite behind you if you’re trying to jam a whole bunch of things down their throat. So I would–I would absolutely say for the–for the interim, till we get this one solved, I would not be pushing a lot of things that are–you know are contentious, and I also–I also would do no finger-pointing whatsoever. I would–you know, I would not say, you know, `George’–`the previous administration got us into this.’ Forget it. I mean, you know, the Navy made a mistake at Pearl Harbor and had too many ships there. But the idea that we’d spend our time after that, you know, pointing fingers at the Navy, we needed the Navy. So I would–I would–I would–no finger-pointing, no vengeance, none of that stuff. Just look forward. ..[snip] …
BUFFETT: Well, I was going to mention to Joe that you’ve heard this comment recently from some Democrats recently that a `crisis is a terrible thing to waste.’
BUFFETT: Now, just rephrase that and since it’s, in my view, it’s an economic war, and–I don’t think anybody on December 7th would have said a `war is a terrible thing to waste, and therefore we’re going to try and ram through a whole bunch of things and–but we expect to–expect the other party to unite behind us on the–on the big problem.’ It’s just a mistake, I think, when you’ve got one overriding objective, to try and muddle it up with a bunch of other thing
Barack Obama brought Warren Buffett into his Transition Economic Advisory Board, created after he won the election last November and that met on November 7th. That Buffett has come out to publicly to criticize Obama’s handling of the economy means that whatever advice Buffett gave Obama, Obama hasn’t followed.
Today Howard Fineman tells us in amazingly blunt fashion that the Washington establishment is concerned Obama “doesn’t have what it takes.” You’ve heard some in the media pose the question, “has he taken on too much too soon?” What they are actually asking is this: “is he unfocused, undisciplined, and too concerned with covering all his constituency bases instead of focusing only on what is of great import right now – the economy?” So it seems:
They have some reasons to be concerned. I trace them to a central trait of the president’s character: he’s not really an in-your-face guy. By recent standards–and that includes Bill Clinton as well as George Bush–Obama for the most part is seeking to govern from the left, looking to solidify and rely on his own party more than woo Republicans. And yet he is by temperament judicious, even judicial. He’d have made a fine judge. But we don’t need a judge. We need a blunt-spoken coach.
Obama may be mistaking motion for progress, calling signals for a game plan. A busy, industrious overachiever, he likes to check off boxes on a long to-do list. A genial, amenable guy, he likes to appeal to every constituency, or at least not write off any. A beau ideal of Harvard Law, he can’t wait to tackle extra-credit answers on the exam.
But there is only one question on this great test of American fate: can he lead us away from plunging into another Depression?
If the establishment still has power, it is a three-sided force, churning from inside the Beltway, from Manhattan-based media and from what remains of corporate America. Much of what they are saying is contradictory, but all of it is focused on the president
From there Fineman lists all the concerns the Washington Establishment has right now, and it’s a long one.
Is any of this a surprise to any of us who paid attention? No. To those of us who realized early on that Obama was shockingly inexperienced, this is not a surprise. Actually the only surprise to us is that he’s floundering so quickly. I for one thought for sure we wouldn’t see how incompetent the man was for at least 6 months.
Unlike his other positions in the Illinois senate and the US senate, there is no other job above President of the United States, so he’s pretty well stuck. He’s going to have to do what he has never done before: make decisions that will provide visible, positive results, and much to many of Obama’s Washington establishment supporters’ dismay, it’s not working out so well.