Fox News
August 20, 2012

President 'Leading from Behind?'

Guests: Richard Miniter, author

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," August 20, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST OF "HANNITY": His new book is making waves in Washington and all around the country. It's a book called "Leading From Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him," which debuts tomorrow.

Author Richard Miniter exposes what the president and about the president's unwillingness to lead by looking at the real force behind Obama's accomplishments and his failures. Now the book asks a very fundamental question, is our commander in chief actually leading it at all?

Joining us now the author, is he leading?

RICHARD MINITER, AUTHOR "LEADING FROM BEHIND": Well, certainly not on the big things he talks about. I mean, look, if you look this campaign, one of the things that they said repeatedly is that the demonstration of the ability to lead is things like the Bin Laden raid.

When I dug into the details, I looked back further than anyone has. People looked to the day before, the day before. Look at the beginning when the president is first sworn in January, and the first briefings on Bin Laden's location occurred in the spring of 2009.

Leon Panetta then CIA director begins pushing to go after Bin Laden. What does the president do? In two years leading up to the killing of Bin Laden, he only meets with the CIA director nine times.

At the same time he meets with the head J Street of this anti-Israel group 35 times, and meets with Valerie Jarrett two to three times a day. This is according to White House visitor logs.

HANNITY: So basically three separate times in 2011, he passes?

MINITER: That's right. The planning for the mission, the Bin Laden raid, is canceled three times in 2011 alone. They stop the planning. They're not sure if they want to go forward. This is supposed be an example of Obama's decisive leadership. These are based on accounts from people who are in the room, career people and political people who are intimately involved in the planning of this mission.

HANNITY: So what about Valerie Jarrett?

MINITER: Well, Valerie Jarrett is an unusual figure in American history. Since 1991, she has been the adviser, the mentor of both the president and the first lady. She has shaped their careers and guided them.

Never in American history, has someone simultaneously mentored the first lady and the president of the United States. The president has said he never makes a decision without consulting her. And members of Obama's staff refer to her as the other half of Barack's brain. And she panicked. She did not want the Bin Laden raid to go forward.

HANNITY: What about the fact that he sort of handed off health care, handed off a lot of these big decisions, like healthcare, we'll let Congress deal with it.

MINITER: That's part of it. I mean one of the great surprises in investigating this book. I talked to more than 100 members of the administration, past and previous, or people who worked with the president in Congress, or other ways, one of the things that surprised me, ObamaCare really doesn't deserve the name.

It should be called 'PelosiCare,' because at the beginning president Obama was not on board. Rahm Emanuel was opposed for months and months early on. It was Nancy Pelosi, with every moment of indecision, which every moment Obama wanted to back away, she forced the ball forward. She was leading and he was letting her carry the ball.

HANNITY: What did you learn about him, because I've always said he's a rigid, radical ideologue? What else did you learn about him and his personality because he doesn't lead from behind?

MINITER: One of the great surprises is that how much he defers to strong minded ideological women. Women some people say like his mother, but if you look at Nancy Pelosi. You look at Hillary Clinton who was able to build an incredible relationship with Obama. These people were enemies. They were rivals.

HANNITY: I say the Clintons still hate him.

MINITER: Well, maybe Bill does, but Hillary Clinton has forged a tremendous relationship. She's the only cabinet member to have a weekly standing meeting with the president of the United States.

And she's used that and a lot of hard work to built a solid rapport, very unlikely allies and some of the biggest accomplishments, including the Bin Laden raid itself, is thanks to Hillary Clinton, not Barack Hussein Obama.

HANNITY: Pretty amazing. "Leading From Behind, The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide For Him." Well, he's let people make bad decisions then for him. Richard, good to see you. Thanks for being with us.

MINITER: Good to be with you.

Content and Programming Copyright 2012 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2012 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.

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