Why doesn't President Barack Obama listen? Forget trying to get him to listen to Republicans, that hasn't worked since his first days in office. From the discussions on the stimulus to healthcare to the debt ceiling, President Obama has continued to blame the Republicans in Congress for not being cooperative while giving them the silent treatment when actual bipartisanship was possible.
Now, it has gotten to a point where he isn't listening to his fellow Democrats, including the ones appointed by him.
There are very audible rumblings among Democrats that Barack Obama's circle has become confined to First Lady Michelle Obama, Valerie Jarrett, David Plouffe, and David Axelrod. The West Wing staff, cabinet, and even the myriad of czars anointed by the president are being left out in the cold. The much ballyhooed czars now seem to have less influence then their namesakes in current day Russia.
There is one notable thing missing from Obama's circle of trust—experience in governing. This president is staring into the political abyss—also referred to as "being Jimmy Carter." Political history dictates that in order to step away from that ledge, the president should turn to those who have been successful at turning a presidency around before. However, those on the left with precisely such experience—former President Bill Clinton and his team—are either criticizing the president (James Carville) or defending his opponent Mitt Romney (Bill Clinton). It is Obama's continued lack of attention to the views, both strategic and political, of such Democrat elders that has alienated them from team Obama.
The larger takeaway for American voters is that this president's judgment has been wrong not just on policy—the woeful economic numbers attest to that—but on politics as well.
The latter realization of political failure is a shock considering the wave of support and adoration President Obama rode to the White House in 2008. However, this is the first time in his political career that the president has had to defend the job he has done rather than seek the next job up the totem pole. Obama spent his time in the Illinois State Senate strategizing his move to the U.S. Senate and once there he planned his march toward the presidency.
The problem is, once elected president, there is no higher office to reach for. Unlike campaigning, leading and governing have proven to be a challenge for which President Obama is not well suited.
Such shortcomings could be overcome by him surrounding himself with institutional knowledge, wherewithal, and experience.
Instead President Obama continues to tune out Democrats, Republicans, and the American electorate alike and sitting on a small boat with his group of friends sailing toward Jimmy Carter land.
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