January 15, 2010

The Stress of O -or- "Ward, I'm worred about the Beaver"

Famous for saying "I hope he fails," Rush Limbaugh has never quite gotten around to what happens "If he fails" while in office. In this I'd like a little guidance. In fact, I think it would behoove all of us to consider this for a moment.

Check out this video from a couple of days ago, but ignore the content. Check it out with the sound off. Take a close look at his expression and affect.

"I need you to put on your walking shoes again.... Call, email, text and tweet."

Keep in mind that this is the best that he looks right now. He's got professional stylists and professional camera make-up, and professional lighting.

Does this man look relaxed and sure of himself? Does this man inspire confidence and exude leadership? Does this man seem to be having a good time?

Or is this man giving off that subtle vibe of a manic-depressive in a depressive phase as the job gets harder, the failures accumulate, the mistakes of tone and policy loom?

We know that he'd rather golf or campaign than actually "go to the job." We know that he's got high hopes for an ideological agenda that was put in place while sitting on the lap of a perverted communist in Hawaii or during freshman bull sessions in college. We know those hopes as expressed in policy are not going down well with the country he is supposed to "protect and defend."

We know he is getting, only one year in, tired. We know he's fallen and he can't get up.

Now that might seem to be a good thing for a host of reasons, but at the same time he's got to go through with the job for another three years. He's not looking like he can go that distance.

And if he can't and if he fails while in office, but continues to hold the office, what then?

Woodrow Wilson suffered a stroke while in office and the disability was hidden: "His second wife, Edith, served as his steward, selecting issues for his attention and delegating other issues to his cabinet heads."

But if nothing that serious happens -- other than a president frustrated with a failed hallucination and tired of the slings and arrows of fortune -- what would we be left with for "leadership?"

I'd really like some guidance on this.


Bueller, Bueller?


Posted by Vanderleun at January 15, 2010 7:33 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Turned the sound off as suggested, obviously just one teleprompter in use for this speech. He seems robotic, uninvolved, uninterested, what I think shrinks call "lack of affect". Every detail was perfect, no extra blinking, or hand movements, or lip chewing (a Clinton favorite). Only once do his eyebrows move!

This performance would fit right into the Hall of Presidents, there's zero humanity in it.

Posted by: Boots at January 15, 2010 10:12 AM

He didn't do so badly as that, and I can't stand the man. I suspect what we see is that he has been given the same information Democrat operatives have agreed upon, which is that she is getting her ass kicked, and Obama hates anyone who makes him look bad. He is being torn between trying to push her over the hump (the stakes are enormous) and trashing her--as the White House did with the losers in the last special elections. He really, really, wants to trash the bitch.

Posted by: james wilson at January 15, 2010 10:37 AM

I don't think he turns on unless there's an adoring crowd present.

Posted by: Cris at January 15, 2010 10:41 AM

What's notable is that he ends every phrase with his head down and to his right. I assume he feels that this indicates sincerity, gravitas or authority.

And of course he doesn't turn on unless there's an adoring crowd present. I think what we're watching is his sincere befuddlement at anything less than "Oh, what a brilliant baby! He didn't fill his diaper!"

Poor (or non-existent) toilet training -he stuck in his thumb, and it wasn't a plum.

Posted by: Rob De Witt at January 15, 2010 11:16 AM

...and come to think of it, that may the change he's been waiting for.

Posted by: Rob De Witt at January 15, 2010 11:42 AM

Actually, Rush did talk about this some today. He explained that when he says he wants Obama to fail, he means that if Obama succeeds, the country fails. He said that the Cook Report tomorrow will chastise Obama and Dems in Congress for working more on health care reform than the economy and that the Dems will now turn their attention to the economy.

Rush insists, though, that this was deliberate by the Dems, including Obama, because wrecking the economy is literally part of the democrat agenda. He says that the Dems know that HCR and Cap & Trade will permanently decline the American economy and that "changing their attention" from HCR to the economy is a non sequitur for Cook or others to use. HCR is not about health care, it is about decrementing, controlling and literally reducing the American economy while concretizing government's control thereof.

The left wing of the Dems (but I repeat myself) actually wants the economy to go down and stay there because Americans are too rich and too powerful abroad because of the economy as it has been. Hence, there is no economic program as such, just other programs that are intentionally designed to wreck it while smokescreening that they are about other things.

That was Rush's take. As for your question about who leads America if Obama fails, Rush did not address that.

Posted by: Donald Sensing at January 15, 2010 12:08 PM

As to your question, Gerard, what happens when the president takes an extended leave of "I don't wanna do it anymore?" Simple - the advisers step in. They'll prop him up when necessary, hand him the forms, tell him where to sign, and if they have some ideas of their own about how things ought to be, they'll make sure he doesn't bother reading anything first. He probably won't care, anyway. It will be as it was in days of old, when as it sometimes happened a young child became ruler of a kingdom or empire. Someone would step in. Usually, someone with an agenda, and little to no accountability to anyone.

Posted by: Julie at January 15, 2010 12:12 PM

I'm not worried. This is clearly CGI. (Look at the digital gray texture "added" to the hair.)

Besides, he's too big to fail.

Posted by: Ricky Raccoon at January 15, 2010 12:13 PM

You know who Obama reminds me of? In the terrific HBO series "Band of Brothers" there is a private named Blithe, who suffers hysterical blindness after D-Day and struggles to find his courage. Eventually, Blithe is helped by his fellow soldiers and officers and he grows out of his cowardice, inspired by the courage he sees around him.

Whether Obama has the support for such a transformation is unlikely.

Posted by: Director at January 15, 2010 12:21 PM

I've noticed the lack of affect in Obama on a couple of other videos recently. It's not new.

I think that the crotchbomber incident was a turning point for Obama--he realized for the first time that bad things can happen that are out of his control. And that even though such things are out of his control, people will rightly and inevitably blame him for these bad things. He had not considered this aspect of his job before and doesn't know how to deal with it.

Also, Obama never really had a normal job before where he had to go to work every day and actually accomplish something. Talking to a bunch of law students in a class or talking to a group of people as a community organizer is just that--talking. There were no measurements of whether or not his performance led to a successful outcome. Now people are measuring his performance, and he is not accustomed to that. Moreover, his performance has been deemed to be unsuccessful.

In sum, he sees now that he can't do the job and is frightened.

I've read about this inability of a leader to do a job. In Woodrow Wilson's case, his aides and his wife hid Wilson's illness and gave instructions to others to continue to carry on as usual. In the case of Josef Stalin, his aides covered up his two-week long complete breakdown (during WWII) and people in the government just tried to continue as usual.

When Obama breaks down, we'll be told he has some sort of infectious ailment, has to stay in bed and be kept away from others, and his aides will run the government as best they can for him.

Posted by: Gloria at January 15, 2010 12:23 PM

Who would take over and lead? Does it matter? I don't think we have much in the way of a leader right now anyway. So why are we worried about it? I'm not sure that Biden could do any more of a number on this country as obimbo has, and I suspect that even Biden has more concern for the welfare of this country than the current dimwit in office.

Posted by: Former Lurker at January 15, 2010 12:45 PM

'...[W]hat would we be left with for "leadership?"'

Wait a minute, you are implying that the current crop of power drunk Democrat monkeys and staggering stupid Republicans constitute some sort of leadership right now.

The only thing they seem to lead is into socialism and an increasingly more powerful State.

If that is 'leadership', I'll opt for none, thankyouverymuch.

Posted by: Russell at January 15, 2010 12:47 PM

As to the question of who would lead the US if Obama continues in office but cannot lead, well, who really thinks Obama has been leading us up until now?

Imho, he has always wanted to be THE PRESIDENT for the power and trappings of the office, not because he actually wants to roll up his sleeves and get his hands dirty. President is a role to play, one that comes with all sorts of bonuses. It's like making Sean Penn president, just comb the hair the right way, wear the right suit, put the flag pin back on (and then sneak the Mao ornaments onto the Christmas tree when nobody's looking).

The people making the decisions right now will continue to make the decisions and Obama will continue to be their spokesperson. I felt when Obama made that first speech about the pantybomber that he was petulant about being forced to do so, and that's why he dressed down for the occasion (no tie, scowling the whole time).

Why do you think there are so many czars in the White House, do you really think Putin has that many people helping him to make decisions?? Putin has a very clear idea of how to lead, and he doesn't need any czars getting in his way.

Posted by: Boots at January 15, 2010 1:08 PM

Forty-four men have taken the oath of office of President in Obama's universe; in mine, only forty-three, which is almost as many.

Of those, it is fair to say at least two-thirds were placeholders. Say what you want for-or-against Reagan, Clinton and GWB, but all three of them distinguished themselves in office. They were definers. ("Bush Pere" I would categorize as falling somewhere on the wall that separates the two halves I'm talking about.)

We have been incredibly fortunate these last thirty years to see what real Presidents do. It's just time for a milquetoast, in fact we're overdue. Law of averages. We'll survive it.

By the way, I know you're just asking a sincere question and trying to get a decent answer. But you've inadvertently supplied a perfect definition for the word "Obama" in the generations ahead of us. Somewhat synonymous with "seagull manager." All hat no cattle. Post turtle. An ultimately unfortunate soul who talks a good game, fulfills the writ of the Peter Principle in grand style, and ends up with vastly more power and authority than he was ever intended to have. If I may be allowed to inject just one more hackneyed metaphor -- the dog that finally caught the car.

People who wanted the job, and once they got it just ended up in the way, well be told to "Quit Obama-ing!"

Posted by: Morgan K Freeberg at January 15, 2010 1:20 PM

Gerard I think BHO and his administration have effectively answered this question already. We'd be left with 'leadership' that's no different from present. BHO is - and has always been - not much more than a populist figurehead, with lots and lots of commissars and various useful idiots pushing and pulling the levers. In the end he will be the President who was just standing there mouthing the words while the Pelosi-Reid Congress frantically pushed the Republic to the left just as far as possible. America survived FDR. It'll survive this tool as well.

Posted by: goy at January 15, 2010 1:47 PM

Glad to read the optimism for U.S. survival among the comments. And I agree generally with the sentiment that Obama has yet to lead the country in any noticeable way. He's like the poor schmuck who won the lottery - loving all the perks of being rich and influential, but having no clue how to wield his power with grace, class or competence.

The hubby thinks he won't run for re-election. I think that requires a self-awareness (of his tactless classless incompetence) unobtainable to this man. But, with the possibility of a Republican winning in MA - I guess ANYTHING can happen. At this point, I wouldn't bet the farm against hubby's prediction.

Posted by: Western Chauvinist at January 15, 2010 2:08 PM

We're Americans; we have no leader other than ourselves. We killed the King's men long ago.

Yeah, we elect a servant to "head up" our bloated and risible executive branch every few years and, yeah, occasionally pick a rucking fetard (as now), but ultimately ... no worries.

It will get bad and then it will get better. Or it will get really, really bad and a bunch of "would be" tyrants will get croaked ... and then it'll get better.

Small people everywhere need an alpha dog. But in America, something there is that doesn't love a king.

Posted by: Matt Burchett at January 15, 2010 3:40 PM

"The Constitution provides for every accidental contingency in the Executive - except a vacancy in the mind of the President."

Senator John Sherman

Posted by: Rich Fader at January 15, 2010 4:37 PM

Yeah, O certainly looks like he's operating beyond his pay grade. Under normal circumstances I'd feel sorry for him--but no. He's a ruthless and arrogant marxist who's fucked up the future of all our children, so fuck him.

Posted by: 1 at January 15, 2010 4:45 PM

What a wonderful sheaf of responses.

I was, of course, really amazed when -- just a few minutes after posting this "question" -- I got in the car and turned on the radio to find Limbaugh trying to answer this very question. A strange bit of synchronicity to say the least.

Posted by: vanderleun at January 15, 2010 4:47 PM

Did you ever catch this from "Renegade"?

"A razor-sharp mind in a shambling body, Axelrod was the dominant Democratic operative in Chicago, the man who had helped pluck Obama out of obscurity and thrust him into the national spotlight and ultimately the United States Senate. To Axelrod, Obama was far more than just his highest-profile client; he was his friend. He was convinced that Obama had a shot at winning, but had plenty of doubts about Obama’s desire to suffer the freak show of presidential politics. Axelrod was conflicted by the prospect, sensing Obama’s potential but wanting to test his desire for the job.

"'Anybody who has been through presidential politics doesn’t lightly recommend it to a friend,’" he told me. "'Because it’s a ghoulish, nasty gauntlet and you commit yourself to this terribly difficult process. And if you win, then you have the honour of the most difficult job on the planet.’" Other politicians seemed to be yearning to fill a hole, to fulfil their lives with a presidential campaign. Not Obama. "'I just didn’t see that in him,’" he said.

"'I mean, I knew he had ambition. But you’ve got to wake up every morning and have this burning desire to be president of the United States in order to put yourself through the inhuman pace and pressures that it entails.’"

"Axelrod was pretty certain Obama wasn’t going to run, and his certainty came from a simple observation: Barack liked his own life. After several years of turmoil, the Obama family felt rooted and stable. Barack was still splitting his time between politics and Chicago, just as he did while serving in the state senate in Springfield.

"But the children were older, and his marriage to Michelle was much stronger. His books were selling exceptionally well and the family finances were comfortable for the first time; they had even moved into a large home, their first after several years of living in condos. To unwind, he loved time with his children or flopping on the couch to watch ESPN with friends. "'I don’t really need to do this,’" he told Axelrod at the time, ***'because being Barack Obama turns out is a pretty good gig.’**** But being Barack Obama was not enough. Even as he savoured his family life, ***he was deeply restless.***

"But it was Michelle who had to agree to a presidential campaign before he could, and the early meetings were aimed, in large part, at answering her questions. More than agree to a campaign, she needed to want to take part. She hated the failed race for Congress in 2000, and their marriage was strained by the time their younger daughter, Sasha, was born a year later. There was little conversation and even less romance. She was angry at his selfishness and careerism; he thought she was cold and ungrateful."


Obama has really not known failure. Until now. My guess is he'll stay on and muddle through. And the divorce we expected in the Clinton years will occur in the Obama years. Thank you Ted Kennedy.

Posted by: Mrs. Peperium at January 15, 2010 6:36 PM

I was having a very similar conversation with my wife at dinner this evening when suddenly a thought struck me.

A thought which, quite frankly, startled and saddened me.

I looked over at my wife and I said to her "Do you ever get the feeling that Obama will be the first President in US history to flee the country and seek exile overseas?"

He seems to love this country so much less than the others. He seems, at times, so "not American." I don't mean that in terms of where he was born etc etc. It just seems that he is totally detached and disinterested in all of the amazing, wonderful things that this country has always been immersed in.

I cannot seem to shake the deeply disturbing feeling that we are headed for some truly rocky times in this country...perhaps even as early as this year.

I really do wonder if Obama will be able to survive what Obama has wrought upon himself and this land.

Posted by: AubreyD at January 15, 2010 8:07 PM

Every night, when I say my prayers, I always remember to ask God for Mr. Obama to fail. Not just fail, but FAIL -- fallen in the gutter, lying in his own vomit, broke his hip and can't get back up failed. (Not just for the good of the country, but to build some character in the man. See? I have concern for him too.)

I am seeing more hopeful signs every day that God does answer prayer.

Posted by: Mikey at January 15, 2010 8:22 PM

Biden would buy everybody beer and strippers.
Honestly though, if Balack freaked out and went Ben Stiller channeling Yakov Smirnoff, we'd get exactly what we have now, as an earlier comment stated. Hippie kooks would continue to run the country into the ditch on the other side of the road. Hopefully o'care fails and we can all get new jobs and go on with our lives. I'd like to wake up and read about space exploration and tourism again, rather than this asshole.

Posted by: Ashen at January 15, 2010 10:32 PM

Got here through New Paltz.

I agree with you. Three years of lame duck for a first term president is pretty rare, innit?

And who will be their Presidential Lautenberg?

Posted by: OregonGuy at January 15, 2010 10:51 PM

A very dear Canadian friend of mine said the other day that "Bush was more kind-hearted than Obama." This from someone who thought Bush was obeying the directives of cigar-chomping oil barons when "he" got us into Iraq. I took this as a signal that Obama's affect is showing. I strongly suspect many around the world are seeing him for the chump he is.

Posted by: Irish Cicero at January 15, 2010 11:28 PM

I think we should let the poor bastard finish his waffle.

(too sick with bronchitis to warm up the old snark-o-matic 9000)

Posted by: Mumblix Grumph at January 16, 2010 1:47 AM

I do not believe Obama ever wanted to be President, instead he wanted to be seen as President. He wanted the Waygu beef and the limos. He wanted the bog jet and the helo coming down on the lawn.
He did not want the daily grind of long days and decisions that he, and only he, would be held accountable.

Posted by: Peter at January 16, 2010 3:20 AM

Regarding somebody else running on the democrat ticket for president in 2012, back in 1980 Ted Kennedy challenged Carter for the nomination. Even got some endorsements (Mayor Byrne of Chicago endorsed him, and Ted marched in the St. Pat's Day parade that year, a big deal locally). Then in an interview Ted was asked why he was running for president, and he couldn't come up with an answer. End of run.

This time around anyone challenging The Won will have to contend with the Chicago mob's disapproval. Should be interesting.........

Posted by: Boots at January 16, 2010 8:36 AM

I, too watched it with the sound off. scary. He looks like a rookie high school teacher called on the carpet in front of a tough principal. Leadership? Not from this noodlespine wannabe. He is way out of his league, and God help us all. The office will break him; the czars will make the decisions, and the Zero will teleprompt his way through the mandatory spechifying until he can get out. He can then do the job for which he is best suited: talking head, Carteresque scold, maybe Secretary General of the UN.


Posted by: jwm at January 16, 2010 9:43 AM

Regardless of outcome, Obama will never feel the sting of defeat. He may brace and boil against criticism, but it will never undo his marvelous view of himself. A true narcissist never suffers defeat, but delegates it away. Why else so many czars and staffers and not one single person who can handle a crisis on our own back porch?

He'll call up Bush and Clinton to do the dirty work so he can get back to golf and parties and vacay. If he's stressing, it's from the one thing he can't control: never being alone, never being unwatched. His narcissism is so singular that it only needs others for the occasional reaffirmation, but he doesn't crave the constant companionship of his handlers, he resents it openly.

He'll survive well enough to rack up the biggest expense account ever incurred by a President and he will abscond with all the "spoils of the unrighteous" laid up for the *ahem* elect. And you'd better believe that Jeremiah Wright's church is all about that sort of mindset.


Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at January 16, 2010 2:48 PM

What $750 Million dollars will get you. Elected. Now what?

This guy is like any entertainer. Only happy on the stage with the sound of applause ringing in their ears.

Off stage, they despise the very people they need to make them feel like they are a somebody. Why? Because they know they take a crap like everyone else, they know they are not special in any way. Nobel Peace Prize? Ha, I despise you all for that.

I will never forget the time pre-election when he came onstage after his wife introduced him. All glum and down.. He took one look at her and she said something and BING.. Mr. Happy!! I'll tell you who will run the country when he can't even lift up a golf club, the same one who is now, his wife. Watch as she comes out of her imposed cocoon.

I just fear the day the cheers stop. When the rules of "You can't fool everyone all the time" comes to pass. That will be a day we will not forget.

Many I read are prepping for 2012. Not sure what to think about that. But.. There is a major undercurrent out there. Heads up!

Posted by: DanO at January 16, 2010 4:37 PM

Has any post ever been expunged for stupidity?

Posted by: Charles Croninger at January 16, 2010 8:25 PM

Many, but I kill them quietly in the backroom after a kitten sacrifice.

Posted by: vanderleun at January 16, 2010 8:40 PM

Personally, I'm prepping for tomorrow. I have no idea what that will bring.

Posted by: rickl at January 16, 2010 9:07 PM

What happens after? What happens after??

Joe Biden happens after. Do you want THAT on your conscience?

Followed by Pelosi! Holy Rice-A-Roni, Batman!

Posted by: Sam Wah at January 16, 2010 9:30 PM

"You know who Obama reminds me of? In the terrific HBO series "Band of Brothers" there is a private named Blithe, who suffers hysterical blindness after D-Day and struggles to find his courage."

On the contrary, Obama reminds more of "Lt. Norman Dike"--the hapless officer who looks good and sounds good, but who simply can't be bothered with running Easy Company on a daily basis. The end results are predictably horrific as you can see in this clip:


Just tell me this doesn't remind you of Obama. In reality, after Dike was relieved from comand he was simply kicked upstairs--probably due to Dike's social and political connections--and he ended up on Maxwell Taylor's (101st ABN) staff:


That's what I think will happen to Obama: after four years, the American people will simply kick Mr. Light Worker upstairs to the post of, say, UN General Secretary where he can look good, make lots of speeches, cut ribbons at UN project openings, and do no further damage.

"It wasn't a question of Dike making good or bad decisions. It's that he didn't make any decisions at all."

Posted by: MarkJ at January 17, 2010 7:32 AM

Well, rest easy guys and gals as other posters have no doubt reminded us, Joe Biden is waiting in the wings.

Posted by: f1guyus at January 17, 2010 11:42 AM

For the record, I don't think the problem is that Obama doesn't make decisions, but rather that his choices are invariably bad for the country.

Interestingly, these same decisions are often good for Democrats, czars, totalitarian regimes and politically-connected (the "new PC") banking firms like GS.

Posted by: sf at April 25, 2010 7:08 AM