By PEGGY NOONAN
A new president arrives with a “New Deal” in the midst of a great economic crisis. He later leads the nation in a great war against fascism.
As we see the Obama administration unraveling before our eyes, we know one thing for sure: Obama isn’t an FDR. And he isn’t a JFK or even a Reagan, after whom he said he would model his “transformative” change presidency.
He may, sadly, turn out to be worse than Jimmy Carter. It is sad because, when the American people need a president to assert strong, positive leadership at home and abroad, Obama is failing us.
On Thursday, the president held his first press conference in over 300 days — nearly 10 months since his last one. FDR would be turning over in his grave. FDR regaled in his informal fireside chats, not to mention his frequent press bull sessions — right in the Oval Office.
At his rare press conference, President Obama informed us, 36 days since the BP spill began, that he is in charge, that he has been in charge since the spill began, and that he takes full responsibility for what has happened.
Isn’t it a tad bit late to do this?
A new Zogby poll released Thursday shows that just 16 percent of the country believes that the federal government has handled the spill crisis well
At the press conference, Obama appeared somewhat apologetic for the problems so far.
Some already have begun applauding him for his acknowledgements of his mistakes since the BP disaster began.
“In case you were wondering who's responsible, I take responsibility," Obama said. "It is my job to make sure that everything is done to shut this down."
Watching it brought to mind President Kennedy’s public mea culpa over the Bay of the Pigs fiasco.
But there is a big difference between JFK's handling of that matter and Obama’s apology.
And unlike Obama’s crisis, Kennedy inherited the
The BP crisis is wholly owned and operated by Barack Obama.
And his handling of the disaster, even just the public relations stemming from it, has been woeful.
What we are witnessing is harsh reality bumping up against President Obama’s façade and shattering the glass — a glass image created by oratory, image and an adoring press.
The BP matter is emblematic of a much broader leadership problem the president has.
We see this problem surfacing in the brewing Sestak matter
Joe Sestak alleged last summer that the White House offered him a job if he would not run for Senate.
For almost a year, the White House has refused to explain this serious allegation.
The best Obama could tell the press Thursday was this: "There will be an official response shortly on the Sestak issue, which I hope will answer your questions," Obama said, adding: "You will get it from my administration.
"So — and it will be coming out, when I say shortly, I mean shortly. I don't mean weeks or months. I can assure the public that nothing improper took place. But as I said, there will be a response shortly on that issue."
All of this should not come as a real surprise.
Before Obama became president, his running mate, Joe Biden, warned that the new president would be tested.
Here’s what Biden said: “Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the
Biden was wrong on the timing, but prophetic on the point.
Our president has been tested by al-Qaida, which apparently has tried to pull off two major terror attacks in the past year alone, first with the
Both failed only because of the incompetence of the terrorists. And in both cases, the president reacted weakly, treating these incidents as legal matters and the terrorists as just criminals deserving of legal rights.
Obama also was tested after the Fort Hood incident, again treating this case as a criminal matter. His chief law enforcement officer, Attorney General Eric Holder, won’t even say that these terrorist incidents could be linked to “radical Islam.”
Since Obama has taken office, he has been tested consistently by the Iranian regime, which flouted free elections to keep its radical president in power. Once again, Obama was timid and delayed in his response to this outrage.
And his administration has looked silly as
Obama has failed another test, this time from
This is no time for such weakness coming from the leader of the free world.
My God, Joe Biden was right. We elected a 47-year-old senator who has no real-world experience, and he is being tested by our enemies. They are seeing his true mettle.