Can you believe the nonsense coming out of the Obama campaign after he got his clock cleaned by John McCain in a joint "town hall" appearance Saturday?
Both were invited to participate in a forum sponsored by the Rev. Rick Warren's Saddleback ministry, whereby they would both answer the same questions, posed by Warren. There was one caveat - that they would be isolated from each other, interviewed separately, and not hear the other's answers.
By every account under the sun McCain was quick, clear, experienced and better in every definition of the word.
Conversely, Obama was himself, as defined in myriad appearances where he does not have a script and a teleprompter in front of him, nor plenty of time to practice the delivery of a speech written for him, down to each gesture and nuance. In short, he was dismal, halting, confusing, confused, and ineffective.
So, supposedly being a stand-up guy with a lot of street experience under his belt, does Obama say, "Hey, I had a bad night, I'll have to work on my communications skills?"
Not a chance. He acts like a born loser, and uses the loser's time-tested methodology for dealing with a humiliating, embarrassing performance in which sheepishly uncertain was the best description for his actions.
He blames the other guy, makes up a cheating scandal, finds excuses under every rug, and has his "people" running amok the next day explaining why he can't think on his feet or communicate in any forum unless someone else scripts his every statement.
Obama is just getting worse and worse the more we see of him. He is so much like so many other people who didn't do what they should have done when they should have done it, but can never own up to their own shortcomings.
People like Obama, through repeated incidents of inaction when decisive action was required, doom themselves to a lifetime of blaming someone else for their failures. Talk to them for 10 minutes and you will hear that they actually did much better than presumed, but their deeds weren't properly reported, or their nuances weren't understood by the uneducated masses.
I have seen this many times, and always have felt a sense of bemusement mixed with pity. Why can't such people simply be honest about themselves?
They didn't do what they should have done to achieve a level of greatness simply because they lack the capacity for greatness. They can spend the rest of their lives trying to explain away their inaction at times when action was not just needed, but often required.
Yet, all the talk in the universe doesn't erase the simple and most basic of truths, that they are not on the same level as those who do act when action is required. This lack of character leads to habitually complaining of being ignored, overlooked, not understood, not appreciated, or victimized.
Often forgotten is that those who do act when action is required often suffer the consequences as much as reaping the rewards. Doing nothing is safe, but you don't get any medals, and no one sings your praises afterward.
Obama simply doesn't have the capacity for greatness. It has nothing to do with his race, his political party, his philosophy or his intellect. It has everything to do with his relying on his handlers to tell him what to do, when and how to do it.
He did not prepare for this race as he should have, by taking the time to fully develop as a person, a politician and a leader.
Obama allowed his Democratic handlers to convince him that he needed only to show up, read some well-prepared speeches with some well-developed flair and the American voters would swoon over him and vote him in by a landslide. He counts on the media to create a non-existent power base, and to fool the voting public into believing he is the acclaimed and anointed selection of his party.
Nonetheless, every time Obama makes an unscripted appearance his handlers spend the next several days attempting to convince the voters of what he really meant, versus what he actually said. Failing that, they invent a story.
This time they are claiming against all common sense that McCain was given advance knowledge of the questions he would be asked. McCain actually was sequestered, with no ability to hear the questions that were asked to Obama first, unless you believe in a form of conspiracy theory that has black helicopters hovering overhead, relaying the advance information to a tiny headset implanted just behind McCain's ear.
Think about that a while, and I'll ponder the fact that no matter what McCain knew or didn't know, it didn't change the fact that Obama showed he is notoriously unable to think on his feet or rely on non-existent world and life experiences to answer unscripted questions. He only comes across well when someone gives him a script and the forum to deliver it without surprises.
The obvious problem here is that you can't script world or domestic emergencies and the President of the United States must have a basis from which to make emergency decisions without making matters worse.
What really happened this past weekend is that Obama showed he lacks the capacity for true leadership, the ability to think on his feet in an unscripted moment. In the terminology of the Marine Corps world I once inhabited, his performance was, and is, "unsatisfactory."
That rating doesn't qualify anyone to be President of the United States.
Monday, August 18, 2008