Yesterday on CBS’s 60 Minutes, Steve Kroft elicted the most insightful comments from President Obama that we’ve seen to date on the financial crisis he doesn’t want to waste.
Obama:I just want to say the only thing less popular than putting money in the banks [begins to smile] is putting…ha ha ha… money in the [continues to chortle and doesn’t finish the answer].
Kroft. Eighteen percent are in favor of it.
Kroft. Seventy-six percent against.
Obama. It’s not a high number.
Kroft. You’re sitting here. And you’re laughing. You are laughing about some of these problems. Are people going to look at this and say, ‘I mean, he’s sitting there just making jokes about money?’ How do you deal with — I mean: explain … Are you punch-drunk?”
Not punch drunk. Stupid.
According to Howie Kurtz, the Obama Administration wanted this interview on 60 Minutes because they felt they were having trouble getting their message out. The fact that CBS has been a Democrat lapdog since the Nixon Administration and the demographics for 60 Minutes skews heavily to older viewers, precisely that demographic which is benefiting most from having Obama and Geithner preserving the investments they are depending on to live undoubtedly figured in the calculus somewhere. (As an aside, I think we need to stop using “calculus” when referring to any decision made by the Obama Administration as what we’ve seen so far much more resembles them pulling off their shoes and socks to deal with really big numbers.)
Kroft, who spent 90 minutes with Obama, says the president was “very, very relaxed” and seems comfortable with him after several previous interviews. “He did not seem at all concerned about what the press has been playing up as his worst week,” says Kroft, who was editing the story until 3:30 a.m. Sunday. “My own personal feeling is they sense they’re having trouble getting their message out in Washington and wanted a discussion at a more leisurely pace that went beyond a sound bite. . . . The challenge was to try to break through and get him to talk about things he hadn’t been talking about.”
To the extent they were able to get beyond the sound bites, I think we can all unite in agreeing that this was a barn burner of a success. And Kroft clearly succeeded in making Obama “very, very relaxed.”
But at a time when the world financial markets are reading utterances by the President and Secretary of the Treasury Geithner the way a fortune teller would read the entrails of a goat, Obama seems to think it is pretty funny that he has a job and a lot of people have lost theirs and that our financial system could be turned into a steaming heap of ordure by any unwise action.
Incredible. At least Nero had musical ability.
As Jeff Emanuel noted last evening:
Here’s a question: what the heck happened to the “Hope and Change” this man was supposed to bring to America with his accession to the White House? I suppose having a hearty chuckle on national television at those Americans who have lost their jobs, their incomes, and their savings in the last several months (with the bulk of the latter coming since the president’s swearing in a scant two months ago) is, in fact, a “change” from what every previous executive has done; however, something tells me rubbing America’s collective face in the current crisis isn’t exactly the brand of “change” that 53% who supported Obama voted for.
This guy has been given the benefit of the doubt by the press to an unbelievable extent. At some point the media has to begin acknowledging that Obama is way out of his depth as is his Administration. As is the case with so many mediocre intellects, they have to surround themselves with inferior mediocrities as a salve to their ego. Obama seems to have done this in a superlative fashion. Were this a one of a kind occurrence we could write it off as such but, sadly, this lack of sensitivity – or just plain common sense – is becoming the hallmark of any action by the administration.