In a recent editorial published by CNN, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich took on Barack Obama’s disingenuousness and self-centeredness in the straightforward tone for which he is known. He began by lambasting White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest’s claim that Obama has greatly contributed to global tranquility.
Gingrich offered several examples of Obama acting more like a campaigner than a leader.
When the President refused to go to the U.S.-Mexico border last week to see the crisis of young people flooding into the United States because “he’s not interested in photo ops,” lesser mortals noted he had played pool with Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper,dropped by a brewery to have a beer and shook hands with a man wearing a horse-head mask.
His lackluster response to global crises, Gingrich maintained, leaves much to be desired.
When he went to Delaware on Thursday and opened with a few sentences about the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner in Ukraine before joking about Joe Biden and going back to his prepared text on infrastructure, many thought he had failed to take seriously an international disaster. They were even less impressed when he had lunch at the Charcoal Pit and ordered burgers and fries (not a photo op, of course). It was not until 24 hours later that he took to the podium to promise an aggressive investigation.
The continuing threat of radical Islamic terrorism offers an even starker illustration of this point, he writes.
With the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria causing the collapse of Iraq and continued violence in Syria, the Syrian dictatorship consolidating its power, the Iranians failing to take steps to end their nuclear weapons program and Hamas firing more than 1,000 rockets at Israel, the President and his team have moved decisively to brief The New York Times on his passion for late-night intellectual dinners exploring physics, architecture and questions far more profound than the fate of the Middle East.
Instead of worrying about international events and issues affecting all Americans, he noted that Obama is generally more concerned with himself.
The President refers to himself when he asserts “the Bear is loose.” Of course with a President who last week used“I”, “my” or “mine” 207 times in one speech, the concept is beyond bizarre. The White House staff, thinking somehow that this was clever, promptly turned the phrase into a Twitter hashtag, #TheBearIsLoose.
Gingrich went on to note the distinct differences in leadership between Obama and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.
Obama’s idea of a loose bear is an unplanned walk to a Starbucks near the White House. Putin’s idea of a loose bear is stealing Crimea. Obama’s idea of risk-taking is shooting pool with a Democratic governor. Putin’s idea of risk-taking is handing out anti-aircraft missiles to rebels in Ukraine. Putin’s actions remind us of a time when America was threatened by a real metaphorical bear, as a 1984 Reagan campaign ad referred to the Soviet Union.
His willful ignorance, Gingrich suggested, has prompted the rest of the Democrat Party to operate in a similar cocoon.
If you can reduce your presidency to a Starbucks visit, a man with a horse-head mask, shooting pool and visiting Joe Biden’s burger joint for lunch, you can have a successful presidency as you have defined it, even if the world is disintegrating.
The President’s detachment from reality is fast infecting the rest of his party. How else can we explain fellow Democrat and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stating this week that “the border is secure”?
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons)
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