I have been able to hear or see State of Union presentations for over 75 years. On Tuesday night, President Obama came before Congress. He talked and talked as an audience sat quietly listening to words that few actually ever believed would result in action, if the word, “action” relates in any manner to new legislation. It is quite clear the Republican party has committed itself to a program of sabotage of any legislation that does not result in greater wealth and power to the wealthy. It is quite clear that Barack Obama has lost connection with members of the Democratic party and they simply do not regard him as a leader who will move the party and nation forward. So, what went wrong?
The problem began on election night of 2008. Barack Obama had a model as to how to confront a nation which had a collapsed economy and millions headed for unemployment–March, 1933 with the swearing in of Franklin D. Roosevelt as president. Instead of studying and adapting the famous 100 Days of FDR, Obama, for some strange and mysterious reason, selected Ronald Reagan as his model!! The FDR model was centered on two basic ideas: Banks, Wall Street and the wealthy were responsible for the Depression. Period. Secondly, the IMMEDIATE ISSUE WAS-PROVIDING JOBS FOR PEOPLE. Obama did NOT have his 100 days of action even though Democrats controlled both House and Senate. Instead, he ignored the job issue( Between March, 1933 and August, 1933, FDR provided work for FOUR MILLION JOBLESS PEOPLE).
FDR’s assistant was Harry Hopkins, a former social worker. As Hopkins once told an administrator who said the task could be handled next week, “people eat today, not next week.” Obama surrounded himself with Wall Street types like Geithner and Summers, there was no Hopkins to focus on needs of those without work who needed aid NOW.
Franklin Roosevelt was adored by those without work, Obama is regarded by those without work as not caring and only concerned with his relations with Wall Street. True or not, that is his image among those without work. FDR held news conferences three times a week, he got the message out about his concern, Barack Obama does not like press conferences and never has gotten the message out about his concern for those without work.
During the 100 days, there were laws to provide 1,000,000 young men work with the CCC so they could gain some money as well as pride rebuilding our forests. There were laws to provide jobs to men and women who build schools and hospitals and rebuilt ports as well as new airports. People had their faith restored in self. There was no Obama legislation to provide financial assistance to young people faced with huge student loan debts although hundreds of billions were available to save banks and General Motors.
In other words, Obama failed from day one to get across the image of a leader determined to help people NOW. Instead he pushed for health insurance, an important idea, but one that could have been initiated two years later. He failed to lead. He failed to communicate. He failed to pay attention to what mattered the most–JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!!
Now, few regard him as a leader who is concerned with the needs of those without. What is more ironic than a president who wanted to help those without now regarded as a leader who is only concerned with himself and his image??