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Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

As I began to write this post – I found myself writing an open letter to the President – here’s what I’d say:

Mr. President, your campaign is over.  You ran a well run campaign, demonized a good man, fired up your supporters, and won an election some might say was against the odds, given your record.  Some might even say your supporters went a bit overboard (as in the Hamilton County, Ohio voter who was proud to get to vote for you multiple times).  You received significantly more votes than did Mitt Romney, but it was not a landslide (you really only received about 29% of the vote based on the total eligible voters – not just those who came out to cast a ballot).   But you did win, and you now are the people’s President – including mine.  As an American, I appreciate the differences in this vast land that builds our character – who we are.  There are many views that mix all together and make this country great.  But I have a problem Mr. President – I’m concerned that there is much hard work to do to help make this country remain the exceptional nation it has always been – and yet you choose to continue campaigning, rather than lead.

Remember Mr. President – you were elected as the President of the United States, serving the people of these United States – NOT, as it seems of recent, just those who voted for you (remember, only 29% of the country).  While I’m perfectly fine with your need to rile up support from your party in an attempt to win an election, now that you have won, it is time to serve ALL the people.  Of course this is not an easy thing to do – you must listen to others views, thoughtfully consider these, and weave them into how you lead the nation.  It means rolling up your sleeves, facilitating rigorous discussion, and compromising on your views, considering your ideas might not be the best approach.  Leading this nation based on fear and one-sided thinking is hurting our country – one we both love and care for.  Always placing blame on others is not leadership – it is “victimship”.

The Sequestration was an idea you pushed for – thinking these indiscriminate cuts would drive both parties to work hard to avoid them – Congress bought into the idea – sure it was the “easy” thing to do – pass a bill saying if we can’t figure this out over the next 12 or so months, these nasty tax hikes and cuts will automatically go into effect – kind of like MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction).  But what did YOU do to help drive a solution that would solve this problem – well, OK  you were busy getting reelected.  When it was time for America to go over the “fiscal  cliff”, everyone kicked the can down the road a few more months.  You already won the election, so it was your time to lead the country – to take republican and democratic leaders and bring them together (why not a great week at Camp David).  Facilitate a discussion to identify common ground, compromise on certain principles, and develop a solution that addresses ALL American views.  Do this hard work to reform tax code, reform entitlements, find ways to make the government operate more efficiently – do even more with less (it can be done).

As my President, that is what I expect you to do.  Under NO circumstances do I want you to take a partisan approach to solving our nations problems, and then spend my money to run around in perpetual campaign mode, trying to convince those you’ve pushed away that it’s your way, or the world collapses.  If you want the government to take a bigger role then its supposed to do – then find ways to do it that will reduce our spending.  As my President, I expect you to bring this country together to solve our problems, to protect our interests, and to be a good steward of OUR money.

Mr. President, I’m disappointed in your leadership skills, your ability to understand our economy, your lack of business skills, your lack of concern about the views of a significant portion of this country that you should be listening to, and your inability to bring congress together to solve the challenges we face.  In the remaining years of your last term, I pray you find the wisdom to correct your shortcomings and the strength to face the tough challenges head on.  Creating and environment of fear, and then blaming someone else for this fear is simply immoral.

Best regards,

A Concerned American

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So this is what we get – this is what America chose – What were we thinking?  The election is over and the business of running the country is at hand.  However, the consequence of choosing a professional campaigner is now leading us to the edge of the “fiscal cliff”.  The problem is simple, the decisions that need to be made are difficult, and it takes a real leader to be able to pull this together in a way that will bring us back from the brink.  Negotiating by being completely intransient is, well, just obtuse.  So Obama sends his lap dog Geithner into negotiate with Boehner and delivers a proposal which in essence is dead on arrival, a plan similar to what not a single democrat in the House or Senate would approve – but OK – a starting point.  Boehner then submits a counter offer, which is a more reasonable offer with some compromises on the revenue side – but the President quickly rejects and stands pat on the position of increasing tax rates on the wealthy.  Not that anyone expected Obama to accept with open arms. So what does Obama do – CAMPAIGN (see previous post – President or Perpetual Campaigner).  First a photo-op with Mitt (see I’m reaching out), then a Twitter feed (tell us how a $2000 tax increase will hurt your family), then a campaign stop at a toy factory (wait – I thought the campaign was over) – Are ads next?  That is NOT leadership.  This country is not in very good fiscal shape and we needed a leader who would use his skills and talent to bring both democrat and republican to the table – to hash out ideas, figure out a solution both sides could work with.  Make the hard decisions to accept compromise, even on fundamental campaign promises.

So here are a few suggestions Mr. President.  First – bring together key leadership from the House and Senate, from both parties.  Go to Camp David, or other suitable quiet location, with zero press corps, take away cell phones, and limit contact to the outside world (meaning  lobbyists).  Second – spend the first two days developing a clear problem statement (no discussion of solutions).  It might go something like this – Government is spending too much money, government has efficiency issues, the government has specific obligations it must uphold…something along those lines.  Third – invite  several successful businessmen or women (try to keep a good mix of political affiliations) to the party to participate in identifying some clear goals.  Keep them high level – like… need to generate x billion in revenue, reduce spending by y billion – put time limits on it.  NOW, brainstorm on ideas – again, reject nothing – spend a day on this – keep the ideas in categories – revenue ideas, spending reduction ideas.  Assign values to the ideas.  Use the business folks to run some sanity checks on the ideas and the values assigned.

OK – we are about 4 days into this process.  Next comes the fun part – separate into mixed teams of 6 or 7 (democrats, republicans, businessmen on each team)  Give them 24 hours to take all of the ideas presented, with the values agreed and develop a proposal they will have to defend as a team.  Pick enough from the revenue column, and spending savings column to equal the agreed goal numbers.  I’m assuming you might have three or four teams.  At the end of the 24 hour period, they come back together and present the solution to the entire group.  Then everyone gets to, by secret ballot,  force rank these solutions – then choose the highest ranked solution.  Bring this back to the full House and Senate and hash out details, put into lawyer speak – crisis averted.

What is that – one week?  Please tell me WHY that approach wouldn’t work?  Think about it…

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Well, it’s over – the incessant negative ads, the robo-calls, the debates and all of the spin.  All said and done, Barack Obama pulled off a win by playing a politically savvy ground game.  I’m disappointed  to say the least, as I really believe our country just got it wrong.  It seems as though the country was just to lazy to make the tough choice and move in a direction where hard decisions and hard work would bring back America’s greatness.  In essence, the country was left in a condition on November 7th it was in on November 5th.  A divided congress and a community organizer in control.  I guess that was just the easy choice?  Barack took the job of Commander-in-Chief four years ago with little to no experience in business, foreign policy, or leadership.  Four years later, well, you can see what lack of experience gives you as the days and weeks after the election bear the fruit of our choice.  The hidden scandals, the Benghazi story of the week, the mess in Egypt and the Middle East, and it goes on and on…

Do I sound bitter?  Maybe, but my biggest disappointment of all is the missed opportunity America had within its grasp to have a genuine leader in the White House.  Was Mitt the most slick politician? The most skillful debater? Was he the one with the all the best solutions?  I think we could agree the answers to those questions are probably a no.  The thing is, Mitt has been successful as a businessman, a governor, a leader, and a great man.  He’s quietly helped many people in his life, through his time and talents, and yes, his success as a businessman.  America lost a shot at having someone with an exemplary character actual lead this nation to become something it hasn’t been for a while.  Our experiment with socialism has pushed us closer to a country of entitlements, high taxes, and a business suffocating government bent on redistributing wealth at the expense of our country’s greatness.

What would have been so bad if we had tried, even just for four years, to have a true leader help drive us back towards greatness?  America lost on November 6th.  Mitt is truly a great father, husband, and leader who cared passionately for this country – who wanted a shot at helping America turn around – and who would have worked hard to make it happen.  America lost.

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The third presidential debate is now history.  I have to admit the three presidential debates were actually decent debates – a bit more energetic, a chance for some good back and forth discussions, and finally a chance for Mitt Romney to illustrate the differences between him and Obama.  The third debate was focused on foreign policy, and you would expect the President to have the upper hand here.  First of all, he has 4 more years of on the job experience dealing with world issues, as well as privileged information from many security briefings.  Out of all three debates, I saw this one as the most favorable for an Obama win.  Obama improved from debate one to debate two (which was something he could have done by just waking up), and he did seem more energetic in the third. But – he still did not deliver anything close to a knock out – nor did he win.

It appeared in this final debate, up 2 to 0, Romney decided to be a bit calmer, play prevent defense and protect the lead.  He pushed back on a few issues, but for the most part wasn’t as aggressive as in the first two.  He also came across more presidential – which in turn made Obama seem more like the challenger.  Obama again kept trying to explain what Romney’s positions are by misrepresenting specifics.  I found this quite annoying as he would spend more time on that then explaining his own policy?  I must say, that overall, Obama did hold his own in this debate, but I still would give the win to Romney – a close call, but a win none the less.

The spin rooms and fact checkers lit up cyberspace with tons of information – and this was something I found to be the most intriguing about the debates.  Go back to Round 2 – right after the comment around “act of terror” the day after Benghazi in the Rose Garden speech – I’d say it wasn’t more than 45 secs or so after that comment a tweet hit the airwaves linking the full transcript – Romney was correct.  Similarly in round three – Romney did indicate he supported government guarantees on loans for GM as they emerged from bankruptcy (had Obama not bailed them out), Obama vehemently denied that Romney would support this.  The op-ed piece was pushed to the airwaves in minutes – Romney correct again.  Obama’s “facts” were full of holes.  I don’t understand why a good portion of Americans do not take a moment to look through the lies, the misinformation that is being thrown about by the Democratic party machine that is desperate to stay in power.  Misinforming the country about Mitt’s position is disdainful, but look at the pattern within this administration – misinformation on Benghazi is reprehensible.  Based on everything I’ve read, it seems to be very clear the attack in Benghazi was pre-planned and carried out by skillful militia with knowledge in setting mortar trajectories.  This attack was certainly not spontaneous, not a riot due to a YouTube video (that had been posted 6 months prior).  It wasn’t a carry over from the Cairo protests – which also weren’t about the film but about releasing prisoners.  The truths are being redirected by this Administration in an attempt to spin the events into a new story line most favorable to Obama.  It’s time to STOP this madness.

I’m hoping change will come on Nov 6 which will bring back truth and integrity to the American people – and to the world.

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What an event!  Anticipation had been building for weeks – the first of a three game series.  There had been lots of trash talk going on for the month leading into the event – name calling, accusations, misrepresentations.  One team was seen as having an edge, favored to win – even though the past month had been kind of tough.  The other team, looking at reality, determined to minimize damages and lower expectations, took up the role as underdog.  The night arrived and both teams prepped, scrimmages against surrogates, and practiced their one liners.  Obama won the coin toss and chose to take the first question – and it went down hill from there.

The debate actually was one of the better ones in recent years.  While Jim Lehrer had difficulties keeping the two warriors on track, the exchange of wit and wisdom was exciting.  Romney took the ball and went on the offensive – he explained his position clearly, and the scene morphed into that of a teacher lecturing his student.  Throughout the duration of the debate, Romney remained energetic and on the offensive.  Obama struggled less the teleprompter, and repeating his 30 sec commercial sound bites became monotonous.  Rhetoric vs sensible explanations wins every time.  When the dust settled, and the last word spoken, it was a very clear win for the challenger – delivering at a level beyond expectations.  Time of possession favored the incumbent (42 min, 40 sec), versus the 38 min, 14 sec for Romney.  Romney did have more words though…

For those on the fence, this must have been able to push them over to the Romney camp – if they listened and watched carefully.  Even the liberal media conceded the win to Mitt – and immediately looked for who or what to blame on his poor performance.  Al Gore contributed his poor performance to the Denver thin air (interesting as it appeared Romney was breathing the same thin air).  Others wondered if he was distracted by something – his anniversary, pressing Presidential duties (next visit to The View), something had him off his game.  I’m waiting for this to be George’s fault!

The key plays of the night:

When Mitt asked Obama why he spent his first two years shoving Obamacare legislation down the throats of congress instead of focusing on jobs – given the President “inherited” such a messed up economy.

When Mitt explained how he worked across the aisle in Massachusetts where he faced an 87% democratic majority.

When Mitt asked why Obama did nothing with the Simpson-Boles legislation when it was presented – why did he not lead and bring the parties together to work out the differences.

When Obama reached out to Jim to move on to the next topic when he had no answers to Mitt’s questions – when he really couldn’t defend his rhetoric.

The choice was never made clearer in this first debate – Mitt Romney wants to help this country get back on track, and he has the experience and drive to make it happen.  One down, two more to go (plus the VP debate – which also is going to be quite entertaining!).  I’m looking forward to the next game – Obama has a lot of work to do if he thinks he can even this series up.

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