Obama Knows Right Road but Not how To Drive It!

Barak Obama knows what needs to be done to prop up our economy; he just has not been able to pass the drivers test. He has not learned that leading is harder than campaigning, if you want to get things done. He is like so many intellectuals; he cannot understand why people, voters, question what he wants to do.

After his party is pulverized on November 2nd, Obama must commit to communicating to the voters. It is one thing to give a good speech at a pep rally. It is a whole different ballgame to lead by convincing the decision makers, the voters, that his ideas have merit and should be implemented.

Here is a review of the major decisions he made and what he did wrong.

  • Health Care reform: He played politics and he lost. He delayed getting personally engaged and as a result he lost control of the issue. More importantly he lost the confidence of the voter. He thought there was no need to communicate to his emplorer; the citizen. He also lost site of one of the key objectives of health care reform; to lower cost. The industry is controlled by one or two insurance companies in many states. The industry is an oligopoly and Obama chose not to take on this issue. Obama also lost credibility when he allowed one or two states to get special handling in order to garner the votes of their senators. This smelled from coast-to coast. 
  • TARP Money: Both President Bush and President Obama did the right thing to "bail out" the banks and AIG. If this did not happen the economy would be in much worse shape than it is now. We currently would be in the midst of a depression. What he failed to do is once again communicate to the citizenry. The president is use to getting his way because of his intelligence. He believes that it is not necessary for him to put forth the effort of making sure the country knows why he did what he did. He was too smug in his intellectual world to feel it was necessary to explain what he was doing. 
  • Financial Reform: The bailout of the financial services industry was necessary, however the reforms to the financial services industry was lacking and disturbing. Part of the reform should have been to break up the oligopoly in the industry. (I read the other day that two banks in the Minneapolis/St. Paul market control 80% of the savings deposits in the market.) There is no willingness to take on businesses that are destroying our free markets. The freedom to choose is a fundamental right given to us in the constitution and it is being destroyed 
  • Economic Stimulus: The President did the right thing to stimulate the economy. However, he did not do enough and he did not do it in the right manner. The President needs to have a discussion, not a speech, with the American people that includes how he plans to get our growing federal budget under control over the next four or five years and why an immediate stimulus plan is needed to overcome our immediate problem of creating jobs and avoiding deflation. 
He needs to aggressively sell this plan by communicating to the U.S. citizen. This does not mean one speech in front of a prompter. It means he turns his election campaign team lose on convincing the voters that what he is proposing makes sense. It means that he needs to implement "fireside chat" type discussions with the people on a bi-weekly, or at least monthly, basis. This means that he needs to solicit experts like Paul Krugman to explain what is needed and why. It also means that they need a strategy to counteract the conservative talk show hosts, who are accountable to no one and on the air for over 60-hours per week.

The President is a spoiled intellectual that needs to get off his pedestal and begin having conversations with the people. If he does not; the country will drift for anther two years and he will go down in the history books competing with George Bush for being the worst president ever.


  1. He doesn't call them "fireside chats", but President Obama has weekly video "chats" about one specific topic. All weekly addresses since January 2009 are available on-line:


    I like your idea that he include an expert in his weekly topic-specific "chats".

    I also agree that President Obama has failed miserably to communicate simply, i.e. on the level of an 8th grader. For example, look at Rep John Boehner's simple-minded presentation of "Pledge To America". All B.S., but the simple-minded can understand it, so they'll go for it.

    Obama needs to take Goolsbee's lead and produce more presentations like this: http://tinyurl.com/24r4q4e

    Lastly, in my opinion, Obama isn't "smug", and he really has produced a lot of publicly available information at http://www.whitehouse.gov The problems that I believe must be addressed are:
    1) everything is a "pull", i.e. people need to know where the info is and get in the habit of reviewing it. Good example, many people have asked for "fireside chat" type addresses--he's done that from day one, but how many know about it or where to find it? We need ways to provide this information to people more on a "push" basis... maybe send out monthly emails to everybody in the nation? And invite them to get a white house newsletter?

    2) He needs to simplify what he says--not everyone is as brilliant as Obama and educated at Harvard. Get it simplified so someone with an an 8th grade education/vocabulary can understand it--that way, he'll be able to communicate with almost the entire range of American levels of education.



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