Failure of Leadership, not economy stain Obama’s presidency

Being the President of the United States is a lot like being the quarterback of a football team: you get too much credit when the team wins and too much of the blame when your team loses.

Let’s be very clear: Barack Obama cannot be the sole bearer of the blame for what has happened since he’s been president. The mortgage bubble burst while he was campaigning, turning our financial system on its head.

Solidarity in the European Union is waning as countries like Greece, Italy and Spain slog through their own economic   crisis, while conflicts in Gaza, Egypt and Libya rage along with U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But President Obama looks nothing like candidate Obama. Candidate Obama was exuberant, charismatic, optimistic and passionate. Obama’s biggest failure is not failing to fix the economy, it’s failing to lead  the people when the people needed him most.

I truly believed he would go down as the greatest orator in the history of the U.S. presidency, a man who could command the moment, tackle it, and even if the policies of his administration were failing, could convince us he had it covered.

Briefly, I want to make one other important point. It should also be noted that the policies of Barack Obama have not strengthened or improved the United States. Regardless of the circumstances he inherited, the actual policies he’s put in place have not had any sort of long-term impact, except a negative one on our debt.

This site does a fantastic job laying out the harsh economic realities of the Obama administration.

Almost 4 million more people are living in poverty now than when Obama took office. The average amount of time a person spends out of work has more than doubled. Median income has fallen while health insurance premiums have gone up 25%.

There are 3 million fewer jobs in our economy today than in 2008 and inflation has increased 100 fold since Obama took office. Gas prices have tripled, and 50% more people are on food stamps now than three years ago.

Startling numbers to be sure, but certainly not entirely the fault of the President. His power as a legislator is vastly overstated.

On the other hand, his power as an agenda-setter, a voice of calm and resolve cannot be.

This, truly, is where the Obama presidency has failed. Lately, whenever soon-to-be-former President Obama speaks, the market goes down.

His approval rating is a measly 41%, depicting just how little confidence people have in his ability to lead this country.

Where is the Obama so many millions voted for? Where is the man with charisma in spades and the power to captivate us without laying out any kind of clear plan? Sometimes we need that. Sometimes we need to hear and believe things will be fine, even if a plan as to how that can happen isn’t put on the table.

Has the act grown tired? Have we heard so many flowery words from the President that those words don’t have the same effect on us?


The most powerful moments in Barack Obama’s legacy so far have come from the campaign trail. The speech he gave at the Democratic National Convention was one of the most compelling speeches of our time.

That leader never emerged during the debt ceiling negotiations nor has it resurfaced now in the face of a double-dip recession.

Following George W. Bush, this country was yearning for a leader, someone they could truly get behind. How quickly they forgot how loved he was in the face of the greatest tragedy in our nation’s history. President Bush was the leader we needed him to be after September 11, regardless of how his policies crippled our economy.

He was a leader in the face of tragedy and crisis.

While Obama’s policies have been inadequate and unpopular, it’s likely nothing could have brought us out of the quagmire of this deep recession. The problems were too intractable and Congress too petulant.

But during times of this country’s greatest need, Obama blamed others, whether it was Republicans, private jet owners, or oil companies. He has failed to stand up and say, “As the leader of the free world, I have to do more and I will.”

We may not agree with all of his policies,  but America wants a president to be accountable even when its not all his fault. Soon-to-be-former President Obama has been many things, but accountable is not one of them.

Instead of rising above the partisanship like he promised, Obama has created a bigger rift among people in this country, pitting one against another. He has failed to rise to the challenges in front of him and rally support of people behind him.

The country voted for a change it believed in. Now, they’re stuck with a leader no one believes in.

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One thought on “Failure of Leadership, not economy stain Obama’s presidency

  1. […] in October, I insisted it was the President’s greatest responsibility not to the policies themselves, but to unite […]

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