Today, of course, is President Obama’s 50th birthday.
There is an interesting photographic essay on Yahoo about how Obama’s hair has become noticeably grayer since election night nearly three years ago. One of the captions quotes former White House Senior Advisor David Axelrod who commented on Obama’s graying temples back in March 2009 scarcely two months on the job. Axelrod said, “If there’s any consolation for Mr. Obama, it’s that gray equals gravitas, and a president can never have too much of that.”
From where I sit, President Obama might be older but he sure isn’t wiser. Nor has he demonstrated the maturity and temperament required for the job he now holds. Last year I wrote about Obama’s petulance while last month I observed his prickly disposition. Since my more recent piece, Obama put both qualities to use when it came to the debt ceiling negotiations. He walked out of debt ceiling negotiations telling House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, “Eric, don’t call my bluff.” During a disastrous press conference, Obama told the nation to “eat our peas” not to mention his nationwide address which Texas Governor (and possible GOP presidential candidate) Rick Perry described as “condescending.” Let’s be honest. Even if you dislike the deal, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell and even Harry Reid did most of the heavy lifting to make sure we didn’t default on our obligations. At worst, President Obama was an obstacle to an agreement and at best he was merely present.
Not only has President Obama alienated conservatives with his class warfare rhetoric but he also managed to alienate his own base for not living up to their lofty expectations. Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, who heartily endorsed Obama in 2008, said the President “went wobbly in the knees.” (H/T to Michael Warren at The Weekly Standard.) If Obama loses both conservatives and liberals his future birthday celebrations might not be so ostentatious.
And with that, I would like to wish President Obama a happy birthday.
UPDATE: The Hill is reporting that the foursome of John Boehner, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi asked President Obama and his aides to leave the room while they were at the White House so they could work a debt ceiling deal. (H/T Mark Hemingway of The Weekly Standard.) This means they worked out an agreement in spite of President Obama. Well, perhaps its lucky for Obama that he didn’t conduct negotiations at the White House during his birthday.