“A depth of cluelessness that boggles the mind.”

**Posted by Phineas

That’s the opinion of Harvey Golub, former chairman of American Express, regarding the Obama administration’s economic policies. I doubt many of us would disagree; in fact, increasing numbers of Americans greatly disapprove of Obama’s performance.

What is newsworthy, though, in Michael Goodwin’s column is the picture of a president so detached from his job that he’s stopped listening to anyone other than a couple of advisers:

The reports are not good, disturbing even. I have heard basically the same story four times in the last 10 days, and the people doing the talking are in New York and Washington and are spread across the political spectrum.

The gist is this: President Obama has become a lone wolf, a stranger to his own government. He talks mostly, and sometimes only, to friend and adviser Valerie Jarrett and to David Axelrod, his political strategist.

Everybody else, including members of his Cabinet, have little face time with him except for brief meetings that serve as photo ops. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner both have complained, according to people who have talked to them, that they are shut out of important decisions.

The president’s workdays are said to end early, often at 4 p.m. He usually has dinner in the family residence with his wife and daughters, then retreats to a private office. One person said he takes a stack of briefing books. Others aren’t sure what he does.

If the reports are accurate, and I believe they are, they paint a picture of an isolated man trapped in a collapsing presidency. While there is no indication Obama is walking the halls of the White House late at night, talking to the portraits of former presidents, as Richard Nixon did during Watergate, the reports help explain his odd public remarks.

The remarks Goodwin refers to are recent statements by Obama that Americans are “not better off” than they were four years ago (quite the opposite, in fact) and that we have gotten “soft,” both of which evoked strong memories of Jimmy Carter, the former because of Reagan’s famous question during the 1980 campaign, while the latter was reminiscent of Carter’s “malaise” speech, in which he seemed to blame the American people. Both seem like something that would be said by a man whose job depresses him and is failing to come to grips with the fact that his problems are of his own making.

Isolation is never a good thing for a leader, particularly in a powerful position such as President of the United States. If Goodwin is right, Obama has fallen back on the two people he trusts most from his happier days in Chicago (one of whom is a corrupt slumlord) and is ignoring anyone else who might tell him the unpleasant things he needs to hear; not just members of the Democratic caucus in Congress, but the very people Obama appointed to oversee the various cabinet departments that are his responsibility. That’s a recipe not just for failed policies or even a failed administration, but for disaster in a crisis, as sycophants and courtiers rarely give good advice.

Information like this –again, if true– makes it even more imperative that Obama be turfed out in 2012 and a new president put in place who actually know how to be Chief Executive.

via Hot Air

LINK: At American Thinker, James Lewis riffs off Goodwin’s article to write about Obama’s narcissism and the dangers of an isolated president.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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