Since Steven Hayward is now blogging at Power Line, it's necessary for us to occasionally bring him back to NLT:
So let's see where we stand this week: the stock market tanked another 419 points today, the housing market continues to slide, the European banks are on the brink, and Obama decides to . . . take a bus tour. Followed by vacation in Martha's Vineyard. And announce that he'll have a plan next month. Perhaps a new federal Department of Jobs. Yeah, that's the ticket; that'll surely work just as well as Jimmy Carter's remedy for the energy problems of the late 1970s--the Department of Energy. (Just how many BTUs of energy does DoE produce? [Crickets laughing.]) Why not just skip the nonsense and just go straight to a Ministry of Silly Walks?
Either Obama's handlers are negligently failing him, or his vanity is persuading him that he needn't heed their advice. Try to imagine the media frenzy if Bush had taken a luxury golfing vacation in the months following 9-11 (promising to get back to us with an Iraq plan in a month or so) and the slight criticism now befalling Obama should seem blessedly mild. The mind boggles attempting to decipher the strategy behind blatantly campaigning and vacationing during unmitigated national suffering. The only message seems to be one of disconnect, callousness and frivolity.
My purpose is not to simply denigrate Obama for his poor leadership and perception decisions, but rather to note that these political missteps are being made by a politician lauded for his political savvy. During the 2008 campaign, it was easy for conservatives to find fault in Obama's tune, but he routinely managed to hit the notes on key. One wonders if two-and-a-half years in office have corrupted his instincts and robbed him of his all-important cadence. It will be interesting to see if Obama can replicate the prowess of his former campaign. I think, despite the greatest efforts of the media to the contrary, Obama will prove unequal to his former glory - and nothing rewards so unkindly in politics as disappointed expectations.