I did not watch President Obama’s latest interview with 60 Minutes. However, I did read the transcript this morning and would like to make the following four observations:
1. When I Walked Into Office We Were in Two Wars. Well, Guess What!
Although Barack Obama has been President for nearly six years, he acts like he took office six months ago. When Steve Kroft asked if Iraq, Syria, Ukraine and Ebola were the most significant challenges of his presidency, Obama replied, “But if you think about what I walked into when I came into office, we had not only two wars still active….
Let’s stop right there.
Obama can insist that Iraq and Syria are counterterrorism operations and that our presence is not one of an occupying army as he did with Kroft a few moments later. But as Obama likes to say make no mistake. Well, make no mistake this country is at war and it is only a matter of time before ground troops are deployed. That decision might be made by Obama or his successor. In which case his successor could accurately state, “When I walked into office, we had not only two wars still active…”
2. So When Exactly Did the Moderate Syrian Opposition Come Into Being?
Consider this exchange between Kroft and Obama on Syria:
Kroft: Is there a moderate Syrian opposition?
Obama: There is. But right now, it doesn’t control much territory. It has been squeezed between ISIL on the one hand and the Assad regime on the other.
Kroft: These are the people that you said, the farmers, the doctors, the pharmacists, who stood no chance of overthrowing’ the government.
Obama: Well keep in mind two years ago, that was absolutely true.
Two years ago? Obama told Thomas Friedman of The New York Times that arming an opposition of farmers, doctors and pharmacists “was never in the cards” last month.
So never mind two years ago. Try less than two months ago.
3. Steve Kroft, White House Press Secretary
In their discussion concerning Russia and Ukraine, Kroft made the following statement:
And you know, the good news is, because of American leadership, we have been able to impose a cost on Mr. Putin. We’ve put together sanctions that have hurt their economy, that have given them cause. We now are in a situation in which a ceasefire has been brokered. It is still tentative between the Ukrainian separatists, Russia and Ukraine.
So where’s the question. Kroft might as well have told Obama “under your glorious leadership we have been able to impose a cost on Mr. Putin.” What cost? Yes, sanctions are hurting the Russian economy, but this isn’t costing Putin anything. He currently has an approval rating of 84%. As of this writing, Obama’s approval rating is 46%. You know you’re in trouble if SNL starts doing skits about your low approval rating. The ceasefire of which he speaks is on the verge of collapse. And then there’s the small matter of the Russian occupation of Crimea.
But the way Kroft boasts about Obama’s leadership, maybe he should get a job in the White House.
4. Obama Omits Obamacare From His List of Accomplishments
Here is Obama’s response to Kroft’s question on the mid-term elections:
Here’s what I’m going to tell the American people. When I came into office, our economy was in crisis. We had unemployment up at 10 percent. It’s now down to 6.1. We’ve had the longest run of uninterrupted private sector job growth in our history. We have seen deficits cut by more than half. Corporate balance sheets are probably the best they’ve been in the last several decades. We are producing more energy than we had before. We are producing more clean energy than we ever had before.
Isn’t it interesting that Obama doesn’t see fit to boast, “We have brought health care to all Americans”? With Obamacare’s anniversary coming in less than 48 hours there is good reason Obama does not want to talk about his “signature achievement”.