May 1, 2013 2 Comments
Did you catch Obama’s press conference yesterday? It’s been a long time since we’ve been subjected to such a boring, seemingly pointless press conference from a President. Some have suggested Obama is channeling Clinton’s worst day in office back in 1995. Clinton declared in 1995 that the President is still relevant and Obama yesterday threatened to take his marbles and go home before declaring that his demise has been exaggerated. For Clinton his second term never really got any better. In looking at Obama’s potential during the next three and a half years, it just doesn’t look very good. His press conference yesterday didn’t help him one bit.
What was the point of yesterday’s surprise press conference? It didn’t seem to have a theme or purpose. Obama gave boilerplate answers to every question, focused on the same issues he’s been yapping about for months if not years. The most interesting point he made is that he admitted Obamacare was having trouble being implemented. Sure, he blames those rogue states (seven of which have Democrat Governors, including Illinois) which haven’t joined the exchanges. This is the first time that Obama has admitted problems with his signature legislation in such a big event. Surely that wasn’t the point of the press conference. No President is going to hold a presser to tell them his big claim to fame is failing.
So what was the point of yesterday’s press conference? It’s just not clear. Chalk it up as a big mistake from the gaudy magnificos running the PR end of the Obama administration. Those guys usually don’t make mistakes. Through four plus years and two campaigns Obama’s PR team has done an excellent job of thinking out events and having a purpose to everything Obama does. That Obama screws stuff up and shifts focus away from where the PR team would like to go doesn’t take away from his team’s stellar PR record. Yesterday was a big mistake for them. They sent a disinterested President out before the press with no real purpose in mind.
Obama is facing the cold reality that he is losing power by the day. This happens to every President who wins a second term. They come into the second term on a high from an electoral victory only to discover that their own party is trying to distance themselves and prepare for the next Presidential election. The papers are already full of speculation on who will run in the Democrat Primary, which begins in earnest in two years or less. The public becomes weary and tired of second term President’s, they’re not able to whip up public support like they used to. Especially when they harp on the same old subjects over and over again. The disengaged public wonders why after all these years the President didn’t fix the problems he’s complaining about. The details of why he didn’t don’t matter to the disengaged.
With the public tuning out the President and the President inspiring nothing at all, it should come as no surprise when Congress ignores the President. Not just Congressional Republicans, who have long bucked Obama. It’s the Democrats who will cause Obama the most problems. Red state Democrats are already distancing themselves, fearful of another 2010 style landslide next year. Obama has pinned all his hopes on winning back the House next year, which at this point is highly unlikely. What does he expect to do even if he did win? He’ll have a Democrat Congress but the party will be focused on picking his successor to the Dem nomination. In other words, a Democrat Congress will take its cues not from Obama but from the new nominee. Before the nominee is picked, you’re looking at a divided party that is unlikely to pay much attention to Obama. April 30th 2013 could be the high point of a second term downward cycle for Obama.