Every President, except for George Washington, inherited something from the previous administration. Sometimes this is good and sometimes it is bad.
President Barack Hussein Obama has been talking for quite some time about the “mess” that he inherited from George Walker Bush. He has made references to mops and other allegories to describe the challenges that he has faced. While that is all well and good for the first few days of the Presidency, at a certain point BHO needs to own the problem.
That day is today.
There is no defined time for the honeymoon period of a new candidate. Most people felt that September 11, 2001 was close enough to the inauguration of George Walker Bush (just under 9 months) that the attacks on that dreaded day were at least partially the fault of William Jefferson Clinton. The honeymoon is certainly longer than the first 100 days that are all the talk at the beginning of a term. Everyone seems to agree that it doesn’t extend beyond a year from the date the person is elected.
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This is a great book. Everyone should read it (or listen to it).
I just finished the Audible version of this book. It was excellent. Here are some learnings:
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- James Earl Carter was more incompetent than even I thought he was.
- William Jefferson Clinton was not as incompetent at Carter, but he was close.
- George Walker Bush did a pretty good job with most of the Mideast, did a plausible job of getting rid of Saddam (which the book admits had to happen) and then bungled the reconstruction. Okay, this really wasn’t a big learning but it was worth noting.
- Ronald Wilson Reagan did an excellent job with the Middle East as did Nixon and Ford. George Herbert Walker Bush barely gets a mention which is surprising since he put together the coalition to kick Iraq out of Kuwait.
For the past decade or two, Ronald Wilson Reagan set the standard as “The Great Communicator” while he was President of the United States. There is no question that he excelled over the many bumblings of George Walker Bush as David Letterman has so aptly recorded for us!
However, it is already clear that President Barack Hussein Obama is going to take the mantle of the Great Communicator if he hasn’t already done so.
Here are some of his accomplishments so far:
Congratulations to BHO and his staff on all of this. I am sure that it has been quite difficult! Our government has never been the center of excellence for the use of technology. Clinton’s team was extremely frustrated at the lack of technology when they moved into the building.
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The current President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama, has had a very troubled start to his Presidency. Not only did he inherit a mess in the economy, but he has had multiple mis-steps in his selection of his cabinet and advisors. While the tax problems with Daschle and others have plagued the first few nominations, now there is even some concern about his most important advisor, his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel. There has also been some criticism for his first international discussions, the first phone call he made to a foreign power was to President Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian Authority.
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For the last two posts we have been exploring the claim that George W. Bush is the worst President of the United States ever. This post continues the job of grading W on the various issues that he faced in his two terms of office. See the previous posts to get the background for where we are now.
We are wimps – A – Osama Bin Laden and Sadam Hussein counted on the fact that the US doesn’t like to stay in the fight when the going gets tough (Vietnam and Somalia are great examples). He stood his ground and got destroyed politically to prove this wrong. Much of the animosity most Americans feel about W stems from his unwillingness to allow the cut and run mentality to take over. But now our enemies don’t just assume that we will run home to mommy when the bullets start flying.
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It is probably too early to truly grade W and rank him among his peers. Time will tell if his policies were somewhat effective or total garbage. If you are going to grade a President, you need to take a more inclusive look and not just talk about his various failings. Also the “what if” discussion in that grading is incredibly important such as, “What if President Bush had not gone after Saddam Hussein – what would the world be like?”
It is also difficult to grade individual events because they are so intertwined (Libya, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Al Qaida, Palestine, Syria are all different variations of the same problem). That said – here are my thoughts on the 19 things that GW did (or didn’t do):
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The web is filled with pronouncements that George W. Bush is the worst President of the United States ever (or not). I thought I would spend a few moments on the subject. This is a multi-part post so come back later to read more on this subject. Better yet, subscribe to the feed and you can get it delivered to your email or feed reader.
First, lets look at what the historians say about W or at least how they grade other Presidents. Wikipedia has a pretty good write up on the subject so let’s start there. As with all of the recent Presidents there is a lack of the number of surveys and rankings. We can see from the couple that are there that the Wall Street Journal ranked him 18th out of 42 and Siena put him at 23. That is squarely in the middle of the pack and nowhere near the worst. The worst Presidents tend to Harding, Grant, Andrew Johnson, Nixon and Buchanan. Depending on your political bent, you could throw Carter or Coolidge into this mix for the worst. W doesn’t appear to be in this company.
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I regularly listen to KCRW’s “Left, Right and Center” on my iPod. While I enjoy the intelligent discussion I think they should rename the program to “Left, Very Left, Ultra Left, and Pretty Far Right”. The show now has a blog so I think it is fair to chastise them a little and condemn them for not being as open as they claim that they are – if they disagree they can say so on their blog.
Tony Blankley does an excellent job of holding down the right. His opinions are typically well thought out and his intellect does a decent job in offsetting the radical left. My biggest complaint is that he always seems to have predicted everything and wrote about it months ago and it is amazing that us mortals have only just now got to where he has been for a long time. It appears that, in his opinion, if we were just smart enough to read his column every week we wouldn’t have any problems in the world.
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I am a big fan of the music of Sheryl Crow. I have all of her CDs and have bought each one (no, I didn’t “borrow” someone else’s MP3 files). I have enjoyed her music over the years but, to be honest, her first CD was probably her best and she could be accused of coasting since then – a couple good songs per CD with so-so songs after that.
I have listened to Ms. Crow’s latest CD several times. It is titled “Detours”. It is an apt title since it is a detour from her usual high quality work! I feel like the Democratic Party, Al Gore, and Laurie David have been injected into my brain via my ears! To think that I spent $15 for a CD of political propaganda.
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