"If you train up a child in the way that they should go, when he is old, he will not depart from it." ~ From an excerpt of Michael D. Jones' 'Learn From Obama' [For years, I have urged young litigators to employ the full power of language and to study great oratory. Now I would urge them to study Obama’s speeches...]
One of Bob Oster's CEO friends wrote this. Bob respects him highly. (For those on this list who don't know Bob: he was CFO of Oracle when it went public, also CFO of Syntex, and holds a Ph.D. in economics from Berkeley. Since 1987, he has been an angel investor and private VC. He is on the Board of Overseers at the Hoover Institution.)
A 6 Month Evaluation of the Obama Presidency
In November 2008 I wrote out my evaluation of the Obama candidacy and what it might mean to America. I filed this away, but sent it to family members and a few close friends and associates just so I’d be accountable for my real time observations. It’s now been 6 months since Obama’s inauguration. (In the business world, this is typically when a first job review would occur; so, I made a note to myself to revisit his performance on the 6-month anniversary.) Thus, I now commit to filing my mid-year evaluation of our new President. As well, I’ve put in the file (but not forwarded to anyone) a separate “background check” — the one the press should’ve done on the Obama candidacy prior to presenting him to the American public — in case this is ever of relevance as things unfold.
As concerned as I was by Obama’s candidacy when I wrote out my November pre-election reservations, truth be known, I didn’t much like McCain either. At the time, I still had hopes that Obama might “govern from the center.” Six months into it, however, I can say that he’s been considerably worse than my worst fears. Thus, I’m updating my evaluation — this time with the fervent hope that by the year-end I can be genuinely more optimistic.
I’ve concluded that not only was Barack Obama too inexperienced to be President, but he also appears to be incompetent as an executive, more-than-just-politician-level-dishonest and a bit of a narcissist (if not a fascist). He seems to have little understanding of American history, her dreams, or her tremendous potential for risk-taking, self-correction and innovation. He and Michelle have turned out to be quintessential Ivy League “Oppression Studies majors” with (carefully concealed) “attitudes.” Obama seems, above all, to be a Community Organizer with shakedown credentials and extraordinary speaking ability.
All of this should have been clear -- had we simply done serious background checks. (The following 4 items, at least, should have been clear to voters:
1. His surrogate father figure was Frank Marshall Davis, an avowed Communist.
2. Barack served as a committed trainer for Community Activist and Marxist Saul Alinsky.
3. He sat for nearly 2 decades at the feet of Jeremiah Wright, an angry, anti-American “Black Liberation Theologist”.
4. His first autobiography, Dreams from My Father, was almost certainly ghost-written by William Ayers, a Vietnam-era domestic terrorist. [This last assertion has now been supported by careful analysis of syntax, spelling and common errors].) If these unusual threads (standing alone) are discounted to the point of not being disqualifiers, those evaluating Barack Obama might have considered that he’d never
i) held a job in the private sector,
ii) managed a payroll,
iii) led a turnaround or
iv) held any sort of executive position.
But, none of this mattered in the fall of 2008. After 6 months, I’m left wondering if power brokers on the Far Left of American politics aren’t pinching themselves at their success in creating a fictitious character the press ushered to market in a Bush-weary and "politically correct" America.
In his second (!) autobiography, The Audacity of Hope, Obama recognizes the advantage of his tabula rasa “creation” when he writes, “I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.”
And, project we did! Thus, the former Barry Soetoro of Honolulu, Jakarta, Mombasa, Occidental, Columbia, Harvard and the mean streets of Chicago moved at light speed from being the first-term senator nobody had ever heard of to President of the United States. In the process, despite numerous efforts, no one has yet seen his birth certificate, his college transcripts, his application to Occidental (likely as a “foreign student”?), or the passport he used to travel in 1981 to Pakistan with buddy Wahid Hamid (likely an Indonesian one?).
For some reason, the Obama campaign has, so far, spent $750,000.00 keeping these records out of public view. So, it’s easy to wonder -- if they supported Obama’s putative CV(resume) -- why not make them available and put to rest all suspicions about provenance, training and politics?
My growing hunch is that there’s virtually no paper trail because the Obama biography has been largely a fabrication. There -- I’ve said what increasing numbers of people must be thinking, but are afraid to voice. But, whether or not Obama is more than a cleverly-marketed fiction, and whatever one thinks of his history, one thing is clear. He finally does have a record to evaluate. And, it’s not a confidence-inspiring one from my standpoint.
At best, Obama is an attractive symbol for America and a compelling communicator; but he’s
1.. Not an executive. He’s shown an utter inability to focus, to set priorities and to consider 2nd and 3rd order or long-term consequences to his actions. Lack of focus on priorities is fatal as a CEO; (but, maybe less so for a political leader?)
2.. Not a steward or fiduciary for America. Obama clearly does not see his primary job as one of overseeing the security and well-being of America during his tenure as its Chief Executive. He’s not only unwilling to stand up for America, but he also regularly seems to go out of his way to apologize for her history. This makes it apparent that he believes his most important job is to change America into what he and Michelle think it shouldhave been had we not suffered the Founders’ flawed vision.
At worst, Obama’s aims seem truly radical (if stealth); his methods pure Alinsky; and his success derivative of obfuscating the truth, creating crises, and rushing changes into law that no one can possibly absorb under artificial deadlines — all aimed at limiting private property rights, changing the Constitution and forever altering our free market system.
For those who consider Obama’s training and background irrelevant, they can now evaluate him as a Commander-in-Chief and CEO from what he’s done over his first 6 months.
Among many other things, these evidences have come in the form of:
1.. A $787B “stimulus” package (sold as preventing a “crisis from becoming catastrophe”)
2.. The failure to focus on addressing the banking crisis as “Job One”
3.. The migration of TARP funds to non-banking concerns, viz., auto industry
4.. Announcing tax increases in the middle of a recession
5.. Failure to identify projects to fund job creation (Thus, <10%>