What’s the old saying is a man is judged by the company he keeps? Here is yet another striking similarity between Obama and Carter. As Edward Klein points out in his latest book The Amateur – Barack Obama in the White House Obama, much like Carter came to Washington with almost no leadership experience and surrounded by an equally neophyte group of advisors.
Carter surrounded himself with likes of rookie political strategist Hamilton Jordan, corrupt businessman Bert Lance, former community organizer Andrew Young and liberal academic Zbigniew Brzezinski. Obama has repeated that mistake selecting a cadre of the ill-equipped, inexperienced and downright clueless senior staffers. Washington, DC and the White House is no place for a huge learning curve.
Klein runs down an almost frightening resume of ineptitude on the part of Obama’s primary advisor Valerie Jarrett; who’s only apparent claim to fame is her ability to “fail upward.” She started her political career as the “public black face” of Chicago Mayor Richard Daily. Despite screwing up as a “city planner” and costing Chicago millions in funding, she managed to land on her feet taking on the role of executive director of a public housing project, with a salary and deferred compensation in excess of three quarters of a million dollars.
The role of these senior advisors is to guide any President around the pitfalls that confront them on a daily basis. Klein outlines Jarrett’s seemingly self-centered focus; more concerned with conserving and protecting her power rather than aiding Obama. Either blinded by loyalty or cowed by his own stupidity, Obama has been able to grasp the shortfall in his own team.
While his status as a card-carrying amateur is certainly glaring when it comes to dealing with the mounting economic issues facing the country, Klein points out that Obama’s ineptitude is never more dangerous than in the national security front. Clearly Obama lack of real world experience and his allegiance to an almost childlike world view fostered by liberal academics has led to him on a global, apology tour of the Middle East, Asia and Europe.
This lead from behind approach has led to the glaring mishandling of hot spots like; Egypt, Libiya, Yemen, and Syria, among others. He continues to send muddled, incoherent messages on what role he believes the United States should play in world affairs.
It is Obama’s reliance on an organizational chart, top-heavy with un-vetted czars and his apparent boxing out of advice from those members of his Senate confirmed, Cabinet members that is striking.
The best example of his apparent tone-deafness is illustrated by his endless rounds of golf, to date over 100 rounds, and he and First Lady Michelle Obama’s high-priced taste when it comes to world travel and high end vacation spots. At a time when the much of the country is hurting and nearly half of U. S. households are cueing up for food stamps, the Obama’s jet set lifestyle isn’t sitting well with the average taxpayer. The defense coming from amateur advisors that “the President deserves a vacation” rings very hollow. No one would begrudge the President a break, but over 100 rounds of golf?
The Amateur – Barack Obama in the White House is a scathing indictment and a solid case for sending this collection of rank amateurs packing back to Chicago.