There you go again. – Ronald Reagan
Coming off his ninth vacation since the 2009 inauguration, Barack Obama headed straight to New Orleans on Sunday and immediately showed Americans why volunteers serving in the United States military have little or no respect for him.1
“In June,” Obama said, after talking about himself and taking most of the credit for work done by former General Eric Shinseki, “Veterans Secretary Ric Shinseki came to New Orleans for the groundbreaking of that new VA hospital.” Having served in the 3rd Infantry Division with Secretary Shinseki when he was still a colonel in the U.S. Army, one can say with confidence that a person with the high standards exemplified by the current Secretary of Veterans Affairs deserves better than Obama using an intimate nickname during what is supposed to be a professional occasion.2
“Obama clearly didn’t know anything about him,” Rolling Stone magazine recently quoted an aide to former General Stanley McChrystal as saying about the first private meeting between Obama and the commander appointed to lead the war in Afghanistan, before Obama essentially forced General McChrystal into retirement due to the general’s candor in the interview published at a later date. “It was a 10-minute photo op,” added the aide about the meeting. 3
“It’s not just to get photo ops,” Obama said on Sunday, denying that his focus on New Orleans’s past, using phrases like “a shameful breakdown in government” is anything but purely political.4
But the reality is that Obama is still tired after yet another vacation, not only more interested in partisan politics than solving problems for Americans, of whom an overwhelmingly majority believe that that the country is heading down the wrong direction, but also unrepresentative of the people who work for him, elected him, or both – such as “Stan” McChrystal before Obama forced him into unemployment.5
1. Laura Meckler, “In New Orleans, Obama Vows to Aid Recovery,” The Wall Street Journal, August 29, 2010, U.S. News. Michael Hastings, “The Runaway General,” Rolling Stone, June 22, 2010.
2. Barack Obama, “Remarks by the President on the Fifth Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana,” The White House, http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/08/29/remarks-president-fifth-anniversary-hurricane-katrina-new-orleans-louisi.
3. Hastings, “The Runaway General.”
4. Obama, “Remarks by the President on the Fifth Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana.”
5. Right Direction or Wrong Track, “29% Say U.S. Heading in Right Direction,” Rasmussen Reports, http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/right_direction_or_wrong_track. Hastings, “The Runaway General.”