The 2014 Mid-Term Elections

“Only children make lousy team players and politics, particularly at the presidential level, is all about team play.”

That’s what a close friend of mine, a long-time Democratic strategist and consultant said to me late Tuesday night after the Republican sweep of the House and Senate. He went on to say that while he is a great campaigner and orator, President Obama, who has a half-sister but for the most part was raised as an only child by his grandparents, simply isn’t suited for the give and take of governing from the Oval Office. “He’s a loner by nature, comfortable only with a small group of people, mainly his ‘Chicago Crew’, and doesn’t like the ceremonial and ass-kissing parts of the job. But here’s the thing: the ceremonies and ass-kissing are a big part of being the President. You’ve got to have good personal relationships with the leaders of your party in both chambers of Congress. And, you just can’t not talk to the Speaker of the House because you don’t like him and vice versa.”

After a few more minutes of listening (mostly) to him rant and rave, we ended the call and I sat down on the couch to watch the Lakers lose again. But what my friend said is what I’ve been hearing and reading about President Obama for a while now: he’s aloof and bad at the “little things” of being president and that results in big problems. You just can’t go out and play golf on your vacation after holding a press conference about the beheading of an American citizen by Muslim extremists. No, there’s nothing he could do about it after the fact, but it just looks bad and callous.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think a large part of the virulent opposition to President Obama is race-based. But, if one is honest and objective, part of it, particularly in Congress, is ideology and policy based. And, despite the country being on much better footing today than it was when he was sworn in on January 20, 2009, for some reason, except for his re-election two years ago, President Obama has not been able to translate his electoral success into similar success for the Democratic Party. And looking ahead to 2016 and what most people believe will be another run by Hillary Clinton, that’s the biggest problem facing the party: how to take what Barack Obama did in ’08 and ’12 and replicate it.

We get what we pay (vote) for. I just hope and pray that reality and sanity comes over the Congress and White House and instead for continuing the scorched earth approach of the last 5 plus years, the people America elected to represent them decide to act like rational, reasonable people and work TOGETHER on behalf of all of us.


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