Day: July 17, 2010

The Hypocritical Controversy Over Obama’s Vacation Time! :(

The Republican propaganda machine is stirring up controversy over Barack Obama taking a long weekend and going to Maine with his wife and two daughters!

The idea that the President takes any time away from the White House is criticized as showing that he is not concerned about the Gulf Oil Spill, or the economic mess that this country is in, thanks primarily to the Republicans who ran the government totally for six years, and created most of the trouble that led to this Great Recession! 🙁

You would think that Republicans in Congress don’t take time off for vacation! Should not they be required to stay until those who are unemployed and running out of payments receive the extension that the Democrats have been trying to enact? Should John Boehner be playing golf when times are bad? 🙁

Why is it that all of these Republicans and other critics are entitled to time to cool down, refresh their heads, and take it easy to recharge their batteries, but the leader of the free world is not so entitled? 🙁

It is not as if the President is kept out of the loop, is not kept well informed constantly through communications and staff if any issue arises!

Why is that when George W. Bush spent nearly two and a half years of his eight in office away from the White House, that was perfectly alright? 🙁

How about all the time Richard Nixon was at San Clemente or Key Biscayne; or Dwight D. Eisenhower was golfing; or Ronald Reagan was at his ranch in California; or George H. W. Bush was at Kennebunkport, Maine? And how about all the time that John F. Kennedy was at Hyannisport, Massachusetts or Palm Beach, Florida; or Jimmy Carter was in Plains, Georgia; or Bill Clinton was at Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts?

The whole point is NO ONE should make an issue of how much time the President of the United States is away from the White House, as long as he is doing his job!

No one can say that Barack Obama has been lazy or escaping the responsibilities of his job, the greatest burden since Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression and World War II!

So how about stopping the petty criticism, and instead show willingness to HELP the President through tough times? Fat chance, of course! 🙁

Presidential Campaigning: Being A Former Officeholder The Best Strategy

Campaigning for the Presidency is a full time and stressful job! Being an officeholder when running for President, therefore, complicates one’s candidacy, as it leads to accusations that the candidate is not paying attention to his job! Also, if any controversial bills or problems arise, that candidate’s reaction to the situation can complicate or destroy any advantage he or she has gained!

So more than ever, most presidential candidates will be FORMER officeholders! This trend became evident when Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan all ran for and won the Presidency!

If one looks at the field of potential GOP candidates for President in 2012, note the following are all FORMER officeholders:

Mitt Romney of Massachusetts (Governor)
Newt Gingrich of Georgia (Congressman)
Sarah Palin of Alaska (Governor)
Mike Huckabee of Arkansas (Governor)
Jeb Bush of Florida (Governor)
Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania (Senator)

Others that are rumored to be planning to run include officeholders who will not be running for reelection, either by choice or state law:

Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota (Governor)
Haley Barbour of Mississippi (Governor)

A few others considering or rumored to be running while staying in office include:

Bobby Jindal of Louisiana (Governor)
Mike Pence of Indiana (Congressman)
Mitch Daniels of Indiana (Governor)
Scott Brown of Massachusetts (Senator)
John Thune of South Dakota (Senator)
Ron Paul of Texas (Congressman)
Chris Christie of New Jersey (Governor)

So it is almost a certainty that the Republican nominee for President will be a former officeholder, with the time and the freedom to run a campaign without any work barriers on his or her part!

The Growing Impact Of Barack Obama’s Cabinet Members!

Every President has a full contingent of cabinet members, but rarely do many of them have a major impact historically. Most come and go and are forgotten, except for a few, who scholars study to analyze their influence on the Presidency!

A few Presidents, however, have a large number of cabinet members who are memorable! This would include Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy!

It could be possible, however, that Barack Obama may be presiding over an historic cabinet, and some of the people have become more influential and significant than one might have thought even six months or a year ago!

Among these are the following:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton–who has become much more significant than many would have thought possible! She is very close to her former rival, and travels all over the world as an extremely active diplomat!

Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner–long under attack, but surviving and consolidating his influence in regards to the Financial Reform legislation and the Economic Stimulus legislation!

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates–a carryover from George W. Bush, but a major figure in every sense, very loyal, and also reforming the department, cutting costs on weapons systems seen as unnecessary, and also leading the charge on ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the military services!

Attorney General Eric Holder–under constant attack on many fronts including how to handle terrorist trials, but strong and assertive, and playing a major role in reforming the role of the Justice Department on many legal issues!

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan–a major player in reforming education, promoting teacher accountability, and not well liked by the teachers unions, but more in the forefront than most people who have held his position!

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood–the other Republican in the cabinet in addition to Robert Gates, he has been a real activist in promoting his department’s influence, more than most who have held this office in the past!

Four other cabinet members, faced with great challenges, have had a rough media image due to the controversies over health care and the BP oil spill crisis, but have also been intimately involved in administration policy making: Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

What is certainly apparent is that Barack Obama made a conscious decision that his cabinet members were going to be major players in policy making! His cabinet choices overall have had an impact that will be seen as making this group one of the more historic and influential such combinations of public servants in American history!