June 8, 2012: “The private sector is doing fine.”
July 13, 2012: “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.”
and on July 23, 2012: “we tried our [economic] plan and it worked.”
What has happened to the vaunted rhetorical excellence of Barack Obama? No political speech writer or political strategist worth his salt would have uttered those lines or included them in a speech for President Obama, given the present economic realities.
No, the private sector is not doing fine. Yes, entrepreneurs *did* build that. No, it didn’t work:
So what happened? Why this rash of obtuse, but revealing, statements from such a purportedly great speaker and politician?
I have a theory: he doesn’t like his position in the polls, blames the people around him rather than his own dismal performance as president, and has started to ignore the big political guns who got him elected in the first place.
Back in April this gem was found in Jodi Kantor’s book The Obamas:
Obama had always had a high estimation of his ability to cast and run his operation. When David Plouffe, his campaign manager, first interviewed for a job with him in 2006, the senator gave him a warning: “I think I could probably do every job on the campaign better than the people I’ll hire to do it,” he said. “It’s hard to give up control when that’s all I’ve known.” Obama said nearly the same thing to Patrick Gaspard, whom he hired to be the campaign’s political director. “I think I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters,” Obama told him. “I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.”
(This report is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Obama’s high opinion of himself.)
If he really does see himself as a better x, y, or z than the people he hired to be x, y, or z, and if he does not see the results he expects to see while following their advice, why *wouldn’t* he just start ignoring them? And when a political novice with an ego the size of Vizzini’s and fundamentally un-American notions on economics starts to go off the script (Tele-prompter in this case) hilarity shall likely ensue.
Mind you: I’m not complaining or suggesting he should go back to listening to the guys who got him there in the first place—that might help him win. I just wonder how many bottles of Pepto David Axelrod goes through on a given day.