Commentary Magazine


He’s Just Not that into Governing

Mickey Kaus asks:

So it was Begala and Carville’s idea for the White House to go after Rush Limbaugh? Hmm. No one can read Bob Woodward’s The Agenda and go away impressed with Begala’s judgment. He’s overcombative and underadaptive. And weren’t he and Carville Hillary people? So why is Obama letting these underemployed publicity-craving operatives mess around with his administration?

Well, it’s becoming obvious he’s not really much of a manager, decider, legislation-craftsman, or supervisor. His vetting process is in shambles and key Treasury slots are still vacant. His Treasury Secretary is a classic under-performer and Obama encourages that tendency by talking about everything other than our immediate recovery needs. He lets Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid do the legislating — and they’ve come up with an embarrassing stimulus and an omnibus spending-bill even Democrats aren’t swallowing.

What does he like to do? Summits. These are in essence campaign events — faux town-halls where nary a discouraging word is heard and no real work is done. And he loves those campaign rallies around the country.

So if the report is accurate that others are crafting his political strategy (just like the Pelosi-Reid machine is drafting his legislation), it should should come as no surprise. George W. Bush was lambasted for poor management skills and excessive delegation. But that was nothing — Obama has delegated the entire task of governing. He will keep the campaigning for himself.