Time for a Staff Shakeup, Mr. President
Something tells me that with the many missteps and policy setbacks plaguing this White House lately, it's time for a “change.”
In fact, it's time to make some staff changes, Mr. President.-- The people who got you where you are today, are not necessarily the people you need to keep you where you are today.
The president is learning the hard way that it is much easier to campaign than govern. In the campaign, he was against the surge in Iraq, as was his running mate Joe Biden. Both men were wrong. As president, he is now pursuing a strategy in Iraq very similar to that of the Bush administration.
In the campaign, he vowed to unilaterally close Guantanamo within his first year in office. Now as president he is being told that it is not possible and that he must advance a suitable alternative, before closure could be accomplished. To date, he has set forth no viable alternative.
In the campaign, Senator Obama vowed to pass immigration reform within his first year in office. Has anyone heard anything meaningful on immigration reform this year? The answer is clearly no because, instead, the entire administration has become bogged down in the manufactured “crisis” over health care.
The president and his staff believed with all their heart, that if he would just apologize to the world for perceived past transgressions, our sworn enemies and detractors would change their ways and we would all live happily ever after. Well, Iran has gotten more aggressive since Obama took office, as has North Korea. We are now receiving more security threats, more frequently, from Usama Bin Laden.
Then there is, of course, the latest humiliation, losing the 2016 Olympic Games in spite of the personal pander by the president to the IOC in Denmark.
It is obvious that the president is receiving very bad advice across the board. He is not acting presidential and is stuck in campaign mode. As a result, he is not leading or governing effectively.
As a candidate, Senator Obama had all the answers. He told us that he had well-thought-out policies to fix everything, from the economy to health care to convincing the Iranians and North Koreans to abandon their nuclear ambitions to the closing of Guantanamo.
We now know that the president has no policies, only ambitions. President Obama has ceded much of his power to the legislative branch or to czars who are not accountable to anyone but him.
He told Congress to come up with legislative solutions with bills he can sign while telling his czars to implement policy without any need for oversight or authority.
He is a “no heavy lifting” chief executive, who is letting the inmates run the asylum.
A seasoned staff of professionals would never let the president get bogged down like this. Mr. Obama is surrounded by the “C” team, and he needs to get rid of his campaign operatives and trade them in for staff that understands the powers and prestige of the presidency from a historical, political, legal and practical sense.
The president does not possess the requisite experience or judgment without the help from others competent enough to help.
It is tough for any executive to rid himself of loyal personnel. But the people Mr. Obama has around him now just can’t cut it. Unless he regroups-- and does so quickly-- he will cripple a presidency that is already living in a world of hurt.
This is the one “change” Mr. Obama could enact now that Americans could believe in.
Bradley A. Blakeman was the deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001-04.