Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mort Zuckerman one year later: Obama has done everything wrong

Mort Zuckerman, head of US News and World Report and the New York Daily News, endorsed, supported, and voted for President Obama.

That was then. This is now.

I’ve read a number of pieces by former Obama supporters, but I’ve never read one that shows such a complete disillusionment with the man. Zuckerman doesn’t understand why Obama has acted this way (in this he’s hardly alone). He sees Obama’s failures as incompetence; he doesn’t get that he was a con artist, lying about his ideological agenda as well as his ethics. But Zuckerman certainly comprehends that an Obama failure has occurred, and that it’s not limited to just a few issues.

What’s more, Zuckerman does not mince words. His essay is very simply and bluntly—even awkwardly—written. It’s as though he’s talking to friends in private. His bewilderment and mounting anguish and anger are almost palpable:

In the campaign, [Obama] said he would change politics as usual. He did change them. It’s now worse than it was. I’ve now seen the kind of buying off of politicians that I’ve never seen before. It’s politically corrupt and it’s starting at the top. It’s revolting…

He has plunged in the polls more than any other political figure since we’ve been using polls. He’s done everything wrong. Well, not everything, but the major things.

I don’t consider it a triumph. I consider it a disaster…I’m very disappointed. We endorsed him. I voted for him. I supported him publicly and privately.

I hope there are changes. I think he’s already laid in huge problems for the country. The fiscal program was a disaster. You have to get the money as quickly as possible into the economy. They didn’t do that. By end of the first year, only one-third of the money was spent. Why is that?

He should have jammed a stimulus plan into Congress and said, “This is it. No changes. Don’t give me that bullshit. We have a national emergency.” Instead they turned it over to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi…It’s very sad. It’s really sad.

He’s improved America’s image in the world. He absolutely did. But you have to translate that into something. Let me tell you what a major leader said to me recently. “We are convinced,” he said, “that he is not strong enough to confront his enemy. We are concerned,” he said “that he is not strong to support his friends.”

The political leadership of the world is very, very dismayed. He better turn it around. The Democrats are going to get killed in this election. Jesus, looks what’s happening in Massachusetts.

Zuckerman is looking at what happened in Massachusetts, and as a Democrat he gets the message. Is the President looking and listening? And when he looks and listens, what does he see and hear? Have the voters—and someone like Mort Zuckerman—become mere obstacles to him now, something to get around rather than to serve?

And was it always that way?
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