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Monday, February 06, 2012


Donald Pay

Pffff. Really? I bet you test everyone at all times orally and don't require students read or write anything. I notice you write this blog rather than video tape it. Clearly that says something about your leadership style. Not only that, it shows you how removed you are from reality, as removed as, how do you put it, Newt's moon base. And it shows something quite "other" about you, even though you're not black and "Muslim" and don't have a birth certificate that's authentic.

I notice you did minimal questioning of Pete Carrels on your show, and it is supposedly oral communication. Didn't know your stuff?

larry kurtz

@NPRinskeep Steve Inskeep, "Romney stump speech: Obama doesn't understand US economy. ABC/WaPo poll: Obama understands people's econ problems better than Romney, 52-37."

Mark Anderson

Yes, Romney would be much more forthcoming.

D.E. Bishop

Interesting article. I wonder about this:

"His relationship with Washington insiders is described by members of both parties as "remote," "distant" and "perfunctory."

Should he have a close relationship to Washington Insiders? Isn't that usually considered a negative? Isn't it better that he hear from a doctor, a businessman, and a fisherman? Real people?

It's odd that meeting with the latter is described as "ensconced in the protective bubble of the Secret Service." Meeting with Washington Insiders sounds much more Bubble-ish. In addition, where should he go that he would not be "ensconced in the protective bubble of the Secret Service." Isn't that the whole point?

You say it bothers you that Obama leaves a written trail of his decisions. And that he allows his staff to do their work without hanging over their shoulders. Why do you think the only time Obama works is at the very end of the day? Apparently, that is the time that he works on the binder of documents.

I would like to know a lot more about how he directs and works with the staff, than what one reporter relates. It's quite likely there is much more to it.

Your post reads like a lot of spin. I'll hold out for more info.


Petty Ken... Really petty...

Ken Blanchard

D.E.B.: thanks for the comment. The Lizza article provides a rare glimpse inside the White House. What is shows is that the President governs late at night, all by himself. Contrary to Dave's comment, it is not petty to point that out.

Forming relationships with insiders is an essential part of a President's job. He is he ultimate insider. The leaders and key members of Congress are also insiders. That's where governance happens: "inside" the government. He needs to establish relationships with the people who move bills in the House and Senate. How else can he provide leadership? Maybe the answer is that he largely does not.

I have pointed out this peculiar characteristic of Obama in a series of posts over the last several years. Obama taught for twelve years at Chicago Law, but no one there ever seemed to get to know him. He never attended the roundtables at the University Faculty Club where some of the best legal minds in the nation presented their thoughts and research. Of course, he had no research of his own to present. He never published a single piece of scholarship. Despite that stint as a teacher of Constitutional Law, no one has any idea what his views are, which is very rare for a professor.

You have plenty of information to go on.

Ken Blanchard

Donald: I am flattered that you consider me as a model against which the President of the United States may be favorably compared. I would note that, unlike the current President, I actually talk to my colleagues and they have some idea of what I think. On the rare occasions when I actually have some influence over a policy, it happens when a number of people have gathered around a table to converse and not in the dead of night. I never thought to be considered worthy of the Presidency, but since you are willing to lower the bar to the level above, even I can compete.

Donald Pay

What I see in all these articles (James Fallows has one in The Atlantic) is you have a lot of the self-selected elite insiders leaking their whining about not having enough access or not getting enough strokes. These are people who think they are "the entitled," who imagine they deserve more of the President's time, and who's self esteem depends on the President fawning on them ("Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job).

Actually, the people who have the most influence over policy are people who can research and write, not those who sit around a table thinking they are saying something profound.

D.E. Bishop

Ken, thank you for your courteous response. You said:

"Forming relationships with insiders is an essential part of a President's job." Okay. You decry Obama is "elite, removed, aloof." Yet he is also roundly criticized for being in a bubble, and not relating to people. Tell me if I understand this correctly:

The president should develop close relationships with DC insiders and power brokers, but not be in a bubble.

That's sounds really contradictory to me. Aren't those insiders and power brokers a big part of the bubble? And aren't the people on the street outside of the bubble? Is there a specific balance that a president should achieve? 45% in the bubble, 45% out of the bubble, 10% his own private life?

It sounds like a setup to me. Lose/lose for Obama.

I'm just asking . . . .

Bill Fleming

D.E.B., Now that KB can't peddle his doom and gloom about the economy he's having to test ever more esoteric arguments as to why Obama shouldn't be given a second term. This one is his lamest lament yet. It sounds like Gingrich wining because he had to sit in the back of Clinton's plane. Awww. Sad. And here all those GOPers have been so nice to the guy. Hilarious.

Ken Blanchard

Bill: I have been making this argument for a long time. I once accused you of being opposed to fiscal responsibility. You reacted with indignation. Your comment above confirms my point.

D.E.B.: This doesn't seem to me to be all that hard. It's NOT talking to people that puts you in a bubble. It's TALKING to people that gets you out. Presidents are supposed to talk to important people. That is simply part of the job. He is supposed to talk to foreign leaders. He is supposed to talk to members of Congress and especially the leadership. As far as one can tell, he has no personal relationship with any member of Congress. I ask again: how else can he move legislation?

I have drawn on information from a number of sources, all of them in good standing on the Left. Lizza and Hunt leave no doubt that the President is about as isolated as it is possible for a man to be. As I have shown, in detail, this has been his pattern all his adult life. He went to Harvard Law school and taught at Chicago, but he didn't do anything at either place, so far as one can tell. There is a great scandal here. Unfortunately it will go unrecognized and uncorrected, for the President will never lack for enablers.

larry kurtz

Bill is right, Ken; you are merely schooling your readers in your typical red state mantra.

President Obama has a young family and revels in his daughters activities. Hanging out with a bunch of wonks on a daily basis gets very old very quickly. This President is at least as involved with executing the duties of his office as any have been.

Don't give up, Ken: choose life, your mother did.

Donald Pay

Talking to people in the bubble gets you nowhere. It keeps you in the bubble.

The problem with you, KB, is you want to have it every way. You have blogged negatively when Obama talks to real people (the 99 percent) rather than to the Orange Man or the Tennessee Rattler, or the elitist corporate crowd. I asked you once for your list of the people Obama needed to consult. So far you haven't provided one. You have a problem when Obama talks to people you don't approve of, and you have a problem when he reads. So, until you can provide a list of the KB-approved people for the President to talk to, just move on.

D.E. Bishop

Sorry KB, but there is just not a case to be made here. Obama has faults and issues that I'd like him to address, but this "Bubble-Time" stuff just doesn't hold up.

I want Obama to be more aggressive on the fairness issue, and I want him to go to single-payer health care. I want him to be more confrontational in response to false and distorted Repub attacks. I want him to be braver, and stick his neck out more. I know those things aren't what will get him re-elected, but in addition to being a realist, I have a strong streak of idealism.

I want Obama to get us out of the damn wars! On the other hand, I do want Clinton to continue her strong condemnation and diplomatic efforts against the undemocratic and dictatorial despots.

Obama's "Bubble-Time" is not very important in the scheme of big issues facing the great U.S.of A.


Found hope I found the book and started again. I just fiinhsed the section on Health Care. I disagree with Sen. Obama there. I think the largest savings would result from getting the private insurance companies out of the business. The government administers Medicare at a much lower overhead.On the other hand (with a nod to the Senator) some solutions are effective, but politically impossible.

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