Based on so many comments I’ve seen from media pundits, editorial page writers, businessmen and women and most of my friends and family, you’d think President Obama was the worst person to exist since Attila the Hun. In fact, he’s been called the worst President since Jimmy Carter. For those of you who were not born yet when Carter was President, let me say it just an awful period in American history—the Oil Embargo, The Hostage Crises, rampant inflation—you name it. We experienced crisis after crisis.
But here’s what I don’t understand. We are in a totally different place today than where we were six years ago when Obama became president. I would argue that we’re in a far better place. Let’s recognize some of the positive developments that have taken place under his presidency:
- We are now the largest producer of oil in the world. This has driven the price of oil down to levels not seen in many moons.
- The stock market reaches new highs on virtually a daily basis.
- Unemployment is down and continues to decrease monthly.
- We still live in a very dangerous world, but we don’t have soldiers in foreign countries dying by the thousands.
- Our budget deficit is shrinking.
- And we are, by far, the most innovative entrepreneurial country in the world with the possible exception of Israel.
Of course, you can’t credit Obama for all of these accomplishments. But wouldn’t you agree that he deserves some credit?
Many people are wondering why Obama has not shared in much of the good news that is happening in this country. I believe it boils down to communication, or rather, the lack of communication. Obama has gone from “The Great Communicator” to “The Worst Communicator.” He appears aloof and distant. He clearly does not like the rough and tumble world of political deal making. He projects the air of the law professor he was. His attitude after winning the first presidential election reflected a disregard for Republicans. So guess what happened? The Republicans became committed to destroying his Presidency and became the party of “No.” His attitude hasn’t improved and has been extended to many Democrats. He has lost all credibility and worse, likeability, on Capital Hill, Wall Street and Main Street.
The bipartisanship that has occurred in Washington is the worst it has ever been and Obama, correctly, gets much of the blame. People are understandably fed up. “He’s the president,” people say, “and he can’t lead us anywhere.”
Don’t get me wrong, I am politically agnostic. I dislike all politicians, including Obama, who has turned out to be a great disappointment to me personally. However, so much Obama bashing doesn’t seem fair. Yes, he’s weak on foreign policy and slow to take decisive action. His failure to act on the “line in the sand” he gave Syria is unforgivable. He also believes too strongly in the power of government to effectively run things.
In my business, perception is reality. And the voters’ perception of Obama’s performance does not, in my opinion, correctly match his actual performance. That is why he became a pariah to many Democratic candidates and that is why his party lost the mid-term elections so badly. It’s a shame, but much of his current difficulties are of his own making.