The Performance President vs. The Press Conference President
If an alien landed in Washington today and asked me to describe our leader, all I would have to do is show him video footage of two events just days apart.
First would be video of our leader performing at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner (WHCD) on Saturday evening. There, the alien would watch as President Obama delivered a series of hilarious jokes with masterful timing.
The alien would notice that our leader is a showman who loves crowds that love him back and certainly the audience at the WHCD fell into that category. I would then tell the alien that our leader is at his best when the occasion calls for him to be cool, hip, and self-effacing — but Obama also performed his comedic routine with a less-than-humble attitude that drove the crowd wild.
After seeing our leader’s performance even the alien would have been smitten.
But then came Tuesday’s press conference marking the President’s first 100 days of his second term.
There the alien would see video of a totally dysfunctional leader with a performance reminiscent of his sleepy first debate against Mitt Romney.
From the press conference it became obvious that the President has upped his blame game to new levels. However, he seems oblivious to the fact that he was reelected to actually lead our nation through turbulent times – not just react to events of the time.
You know it’s a bad performance when one of Obama’s head cheerleaders by the name of Dana Milbank from the Washington Post writes:
Obama is correct about the dysfunction, (in Congress) and the difficulty of passing even uncontroversial bills. But his stance was frustratingly passive, as if what happens in Congress is out of his hands. It’s the president’s job to lead, and to bang heads if necessary, regardless of any “permission structure.” Obama seemed oddly like a spectator, as if he had resigned himself to a reactive presidency.
You can watch it all here and judge for yourself.
So after watching these two very different performances, I suspect that the alien would be confused and ask what happened to our leader between Saturday and Tuesday.
I would explain that Saturday was just an entertainment performance whereas on Tuesday he was performing his real job.
Naturally the alien (like anyone) would suggest that our leader make what he did on Saturday his real job since he was so much better at it.
My reply would be that our leader already tries that as much as possible and it’s called campaigning. But at some point campaigning must end because there is his all important legacy at stake that can not be uploaded onto a teleprompter and performed in front of a crowd.
President Obama must learn that leadership is a non-comedic performance from which he currently garners little applause.
Ultimately it is leadership, not blame, that will determine his legacy and that legacy is not looking too good right now.