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November 11, 2008

Ambiguous Is His Middle Name and It's Amateur Hour at the Office of the President-elect

The "President-elect of the United States" has been giving mixed signals. He talked a lot of game, but it turns out he doesn't actually stand for much of anything.


From the Indispensable Slublog.

First, he was for involuntary servitude for college students, then he decided that it should be voluntary and pay $40 per hour! Then he deleted his website and we have no idea what he wants.

Then, he was for the Polish missile-shield when he was talking to Poland's president, but backtracked when he was talking to the U.S. press. (Now, Poland is kowtowing to Obama, saying it was all a misunderstanding.) This is an echo of Obama's NAFTA gaffe with Canada, which was also blamed on a misunderstanding with one of Obama's advisers.

This morning he was for closing Guantanamo Bay, and having the detainees face criminal charges in U.S. criminal courts, courts using the Uniform Code of Military Justice, or new, specially created national security courts. This evening, he has backtracked yet again.

"There is absolutely no truth to reports that a decision has been made about how and where to try the detainees, and there is no process in place to make that decision until his national security and legal teams are assembled," said Denis McDonough, a senior foreign policy adviser for the transition team, in a statement.

So where did those original reports come from? According to the AP, Obama's legal advisers.

One hand doesn't know what the other is doing so we end up with many conflicting statements. Mr. President-elect has to keep "clarifying" the positions his subordinates keep releasing on his behalf. It's almost like he has no leadership experience whatsoever.

Ah Ha!

I knew I'd written something just like this before; it sounded so familiar. Here's what I said July 1st when Mr. President-elect started flip-flopping after he finished off Clinton.

We generally expect that statements issued in a candidate's name come from the candidate, and whether they do or not, we impute the substance of the statement to the candidate. In Obama's case we've seen a pattern of conflicting statements in his name. I suspect that happens when different parts of his staff want different things. The left hand doesn't know what the far left hand is doing and Obama is too green to exercise meaningful control over his own office. The result is all these "distracting" and "inartful" statements.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 12:22 AM

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