Hubris and humiliation
Even the New York Times
didn’t attempt to conceal the god-king’s and his advisors’ huge embarrassment over the Danish adventure. Here are excerpts from its story
, “For Obama, an Unsuccessful Campaign,” by Peter Baker and Jeff Zeleny, with my bracketed comments:
Mr. Obama’s decision to become the first American president to lobby the Olympic committee in person, just two weeks after saying he was too busy with health care legislation, was a gamble from the start. It was predicated on the theory that Mr. Obama’s star power overseas—“the best brand in the world,” as his advisers have put it—was luminescent enough to make the difference…. [LA replies: interesting to know that his advisors actually think of him in those terms.]
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Mr. Obama was in Copenhagen for just five hours and did not stay for the vote. He learned Chicago lost in the first round while watching a CNN transmission whose signal cut in and out as Air Force One passed over Cabot Strait between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.
A sense of stunned bewilderment suffused Air Force One and the White House. Only after the defeat did many advisers ask questions about the byzantine politics of the Olympic committee. Valerie Jarrett, the president’s senior adviser and a Chicago booster who persuaded him to make the trip while at the United Nations last week, had repeatedly compared the contest to the Iowa caucuses. [That’s a true sign of a team that has lost its way (and only eight months into their term), when, like a group of veteran generals, they look at a new battle through the filter of a past victory that has nothing in common with current circumstances. Toynbee called this behavior “resting on one’s oars.”]
But officials said the administration did not independently verify Chicago’s chances, relying instead on the Chicago 2016 committee assertions that the city had enough support to finish in the top two. [So, not only were they comforting themselves with dreams of past glory, they didn’t even bother get their own intelligence about the present!] Mr. Obama, Michelle Obama, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Ms. Jarrett worked the phones in recent weeks without coming away with a sense of how behind Chicago really was. [What the Times is really saying: Obama and his people are living in a bubble and are blinded by arrogance, not just on the big issues like healthcare and defense, but even on something as trivial as what city the Olympics will be in.]
“Most of our information came from the committee and the Chicago folks,” said David Axelrod, a senior adviser to the president. “But I don’t want to leave the impression that somehow we went on the basis of faulty information. We went because it was the right thing to do.” [Axelrod’s second sentence is completely contradicted by the first Obviously, if they had had correct information regarding how far behind Chicago was, they would not have gone.]
When Chicago was eliminated in the first round after receiving only 18 of 94 votes, senior Democrats began debating whether it had been wise for the president to become so invested in the bid. But with Mr. Obama flying back to Washington and out of pocket for hours, Mr. Axelrod rushed onto television to defend the effort.
“I don’t view this as a repudiation of the president and the first lady,” he said. “He would do it again if he had the opportunity.” [Yes, just as Napoleon would have fought again at Waterloo, using the same tactics and same disposition of his forces, if he had the opportunity.]
Still, several friends and aides to Mr. Obama said Friday’s outcome had a similar feeling to the campaign’s loss in the New Hampshire primary.
But unlike the presidential race, the quest to host the Olympic Games had no more contests to go. [The shiv sinks in. Et tu, Times?]
Re this sentence from the Times article:
“Mr. Obama, Michelle Obama, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Ms. Jarrett worked the phones in recent weeks without coming away with a sense of how behind Chicago really was. [What the Times is really saying: Obama and his people are living in a bubble and are blinded by arrogance, not just on the big issues like healthcare and defense, but even on something as trivial as what city the Olympics will be in.]”
If the facts are as stated, that this group of people “worked the phones in recent weeks” and still did not understand that Chicago’s chances of winning were near zero, then it demonstrates either (1) the total lack of listening capability in the group that was “working the phones,” or (2) the unwillingness of the committee members to speak the truth to the President of the U.S. Is this a reflection of how well the President interacts with his staff members, and maybe his military brass?
What the story is showing is that the president’s team has the same blindness as the president. Obama believes that his own wonderfulness is all that really matters, that his supposed charm, his ability to talk, assures his success, so that he doesn’t actually have to grapple with reality or try to understand the real world. And now we see that Obama’s advisors are as deluded as he is. This is a very good sign for America, as far as the Obamites’ ability to pass their program is concerned. However, it is still early in this presidency, and they have plenty of time to learn from their mistakes.
The blogger OneSTDV (here is his blog
“However, it is still early in this presidency, and they have plenty of time to learn from their mistakes.”
But why would they learn from their “mistakes”? Instead, they can blame any failing on racism.
True. We don’t know what is going to happen. They may remain inside their bubble, or they may learn lessons and change.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 05, 2009 09:36 AM | Send