Thursday, May 05, 2011

Being The Adult

I am repeatedly bemused, to use Obama’s own term, by what appears to be just sheer amateurish performance by the White House staff in the past couple of years. Much was made of how Obama had surrounded himself with consummate professionals, Geithner, Clinton, Gates and the like, but the day-to-day performance of the White House has been just weird on altogether too many occasions.

There have been constant leaks of what direction executive planning was going, often triggering all sorts of outrage. After the hue and cry went on for a while we would get an official announcement that no, the White House was not planning to do that at all, or that it was planning something similar but with a slightly different twist to it. I had begun to think that these leaks were deliberate, a ploy to sort of “test the waters” before actual strategy was finalized, and I didn’t like that idea very much.

Now we have Leon Panetta and John Brennan prattling away about major firefights and the use of women as “human shields” in the aftermath of what has to rank as one of the administration’s most noteworthy and popular achievements, with the end result that the achievement is sullied and diminished to a noticeable degree in the eyes of the public.

One pundit opined that the administration was “so excited that they were in a big hurry to get information out to the public,” which doesn’t really help the situation much. We don’t really expect the highest leaders in this land to be “getting so excited” that they cannot control themselves. This is not the high school sophomore class they are running.

First we had the Bush Administration so terrified that they were almost literally soiling their pants, and now we have an administration too thrilled by a win to control their own imaginations. Obama frequently talks about the need to “be the adult in the conversation,” but this is hardly setting that kind of example.

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