Obama should own up to his mistakes

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Obama got into office “because Bush was terrible.” Obama is now losing popularity “because Bush was terrible.” Clue to Obama: Blaming your predecessor for everything is not a good governing strategy.

In an interview with George Stephanopoulos, President Obama said, “Here’s my assessment of not just the vote in Massachusetts but the mood around the country: The same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office … People are angry and they are frustrated. Not just because of what’s happened in the last year or two years but what’s happened over the last eight years.”

Uhm…really? I’m sorry. Did you miss the Virginia governor’s election and the New Jersey election? And then just dismiss the fact that the election in Massachusetts should have been a complete slam-dunk considering the “people’s seat” formerly held by Ted Kennedy was held by an extremely liberal Democrat for years? And that, until January 18, Massachusetts’s entire congressional delegation was Democratic?

 If this really had been a referendum on Bush’s governance, as Obama claims, the election probably would have fallen into the hands of the Democrats. Unless, of course, he is accusing Martha Coakley, a candidate that he endorsed, of being too similar to Bush, which I find unlikely.

Obama’s arrogance is only exceeded by his complete ignorance. He also said in the interview that he thought that he could focus on policy and policymaking and that people would “get it,” but we didn’t. We just don’t understand! How silly of us.  Especially considering that his presidency has been made fun of on such shows as “Saturday Night Live” for being the “do nothing” administration. But yes, we decided that he had just been focusing too much on doing things.

Or perhaps it should have been expected that the more conservative candidate would win. After all, Massachusetts does have perfectly functioning universal healthcare of their own, so why should they pay for the rest of the nation to have something that they already have? Ted Kennedy won because he was Ted Kennedy, not because he was a proponent of healthcare.

But really, this is a reflection of Obama’s ability to react. I understand that he is a great speaker (provided he has a script), and I understand he has enough charisma to make up for the rest of the world’s amazingly dry politicians. But none of this means that he has the ability to adequately and appropriately respond to unexpected situations. He waited too long to talk about Fort Hood and did the same with the Christmas Day terror attempt. He bows to every international dignitary he sees and he still refuses to speak with Fox News because they are mean to him. He also gave the Prime Minister of England a box of DVDs that didn’t work on British DVD players, but that’s a story for another day.

Basically, Obama’s ability to respond to situations with which he is unfamiliar is astonishingly awful. When people said that he didn’t have enough experience to do this job, this is what they were talking about. He has no idea how to say, “It was my fault, I’ll do better next time,” or ask, “How should I handle this situation?” He just wings it, and it’s usually at the expense of the American people, the Democratic Party, or at least his own administration.

If President Obama is going to win again in 2012, he had better step up his game. He needs to rake in the humility and stop thinking that he is infallible, and understand that the American people, however angry they may be with the former president, will eventually stop accepting the excuse “This is all Bush’s fault.”

At some point, President Obama, things start becoming your fault. So let’s start making a habit of the “responsibility” you talked about in your campaign and start taking the blame for your own mistakes. This would certainly live up to the change that you promised.

Jessica Huseman is a sophomore journalism and political science double major. She can be reached for comment at jhuseman@smu.edu.

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