President Obama has been really great at winning his own election. We have to give credit where it is due. He has beaten our side twice. But it really is rather spectacular just how bad he is at so much of the rest of the game of politics.
And, on this point, I think it should be said that it is not really him, so much of the cult of personality around him. I am not sure if we should blame Valerie Jarrett, the White House Chief of Staff, or someone else. But someone is so invested in being a "yes" man the President clearly does not have anybody sweating the small stuff and the no's.
For example, when Maj. Gen. Harold Greene died, the Secretary of Defense did attend the funeral. Gen. Greene was the first General killed in combat since Vietnam. The SecDef needed to be there. But the President probably didn't need to be fist bumping on the golf course while this was going on.
Given the situation in Ferguson, MO, it made sense for the President to have someone at Michael Brown's funeral service. But it also made sense to have someone at James Foley's memorial service. After all, the President had just had a terrible couple of days in the news for looking angrily into a camera to denounce Mr. Foley's decapitation, then rushing to a golf course.
Was there no one at the White House to think about these things? And that, frankly is the issue. I do not expect the President of the United States to make all these decisions himself. I expect there to be a Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff, or some other advisor to the President to say, "Gee guys, maybe we need someone to James Foley's funeral" or "Hey, maybe we should tell POTUS to wait twenty more minutes before his golf time."
I am not yet forty and I have already learned in my career that I need to surround myself with good friends wiling to tell me I'm a dumbass when I deserve it. It appears President Obama has never learned that lesson. So Mr. President, as someone who takes pride in his country and wants his President to be the Leader of the Free World whether I agree with your politics or not, Mr. President, stop being a dumbass (And my profound and forthright apologies to my readers offended by my use of the word, but I believe in the use of words when warranted).
Know when to not play golf and hire someone to sweat the small stuff. Sending someone to the funeral of an American citizen whose murder required you to address the nation from vacation should be a no brainer in a well run administration. That the President of the United States and his core team are six years into this and still do stuff like this gives me ample hope the GOP will do quite well this November.
It's always the sustained drip of small stuff that sabotages a relationship.