Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Associated Press Article About Obama Presidency

 AP: Mounting Controversies Are All About Trust  

by Liz Sidotti, Associated Press   

"As a candidate, Barack Obama vowed to bring a different, better kind of leadership to the dysfunctional capital.

He'd make government more efficient, accountable and transparent.

He'd rise above the "small-ball" nature of doing business. And he'd work with Republicans to break Washington paralysis.

You can trust me, Obama said back in 2008.

And - for a while, at least - a good piece of the country did.

But with big promises often come big failures - and the potential for big hits to the one thing that can make or break a presidency: credibility.

A series of mounting controversies is exposing both the risks of political promise-making and the limits of national-level governing while undercutting the core assurance Obama made from the outset: that he and his administration would behave differently.

The latest: the government's acknowledgement that, in a holdover from the Bush administration and with a bipartisan Congress' approval and a secret court's authorization, it [the Obama administration] was siphoning the phone records of millions of American citizens in a massive data-collection effort officials say was meant to protect the nation from terrorism.

This came after the disclosure that the government was snooping on journalists.

Also, the IRS' improper targeting of conservative groups for extra scrutiny as they sought tax-exempt status has spiraled into a wholesale examination of the agency, including the finding that it spent $49 million in taxpayer money on 225 employee conferences over the past three years.

At the same time, Obama's immigration reform agenda is hardly a sure thing on Capitol Hill, and debate starting this week on the Senate floor is certain to show deep divisions over it.

Gun control legislation is all but dead. And he's barely speaking to Republicans who control the House, much less working with them on a top priority: tax reform.

Even Democrats are warning that more angst may be ahead as the government steps up its efforts to implement Obama's extraordinarily expensive, deeply unpopular health care law.

Collectively, the issues call into question not only whether the nation's government can be trusted but also whether the leadership itself can.

All of this has Obama on the verge of losing the already waning faith of the American people.

And without their confidence, it's really difficult for presidents to get anything done - particularly those in the second term of a presidency and inching toward lame-duck status.

The ramifications stretch beyond the White House.

If enough Americans lose faith in Obama, he will lack strong coattails come next fall's congressional elections.

Big losses in those races will make it harder for the Democratic presidential nominee in 2016, especially if it's Hillary Rodham Clinton, to run as an extension of Obama's presidency and convince the American public to give Democrats another four years.

Obama seemed to recognize this last week.

He emphasized to anxious Americans that the other two branches of government were as responsible as the White House for signing off on the vast data-gathering program.

"We've got congressional oversight and judicial oversight," Obama said. "And if people can't trust not only the executive branch but also don't trust Congress and don't trust federal judges to make sure that we're abiding by the Constitution, due process and rule of law, then we're going to have some problems here."

The government is an enormous operation, and it's unrealistic to think it will operate smoothly all of the time.

But, as the head of it, Obama faces the reality of all of his successors: The buck stops with him.

If the controversies drag on, morale across America could end up taking a huge hit, just when the mood seems to be improving along with an economic uptick.

Or, Americans could end up buying Obama's arguments that safety sometimes trumps privacy, that his administration is taking action on the IRS, and that he's doing the best he can to forge bipartisan compromise when Republicans are obstructing progress.

Every president faces the predicament of overpromising. Often the gap can be chalked up to the difference between campaigning and governing, between rhetoric and reality.

As with past presidents, people desperate to turn the page on the previous administration voted for the Obama they wanted and now are grappling with the Obama they got.

From the start of his career, Obama tried to sculpt an almost nonpartisan persona as he spoke of bridging divides and rejecting politics as usual.

He attracted scores of supporters from across the ideological spectrum with his promises to behave differently.

And they largely believed what he said.

Back then, he held an advantage as one of the most trusted figures in American politics.

In January 2008, Obama had an 8-point edge over Clinton as the more honest and trustworthy candidate in the Democratic primary.

That grew to a 23-point advantage by April of that year, according to Washington Post-ABC News polls.

Later that year, the Post-ABC poll showed Obama up 8 points on Republican nominee John McCain as the more honest candidate.

Obama held such strong marks during his first term, with the public giving the new president the benefit of the doubt.

Up for re-election, he went into the 2012 campaign home stretch topping Mitt Romney by 9 points on honesty in a mid-October ABC/Post poll.

But now, that carefully honed image of trustworthiness may be changing in Americans' eyes.

A Quinnipiac University poll conducted late last month found 49 percent of people consider Obama honest and trustworthy, a dip from the organization's last read on the matter in September 2011 when 58 percent said the same.

He also has taken a hit among independents, which used to be a source of strength for him, since his second-term controversies have emerged.

Now just 40 percent say he is honest and trustworthy, down from 58 percent in September 2011.

Obama has waning opportunities to turn it around.

He's halfway through his fifth year, and with midterm elections next fall, there's no time to waste.

If he can't convince the American people that they can trust him, he could end up damaging the legacy he has worked so hard to control and shape - and be remembered, even by those who once supported him, as the very opposite of the different type of leader he promised to be."

--end of article.

I received this article with a note that said, "See, even a liberal journalist with the AP is onto Obama!"

Liz Sidoti is the national politics editor for The Associated Press, and after reading her article, I don't see that she is onto Obama in any way, shape, or form.

I see this as an "Obama Supporter" putting out an her explanation as to how its everyone else's fault that these things are taking place and not Obama's fault at all.

She is very worried about the President's legacy.  

She comes off as an ardent supporter just trying to tell President Obama that he needs to get it together - and that his time is running out before the 2014 election when the Democrats want to take back the House.   

In her article, she's spreading the blame for things all around, listing Congress and the courts, while purposely ignoring that this is solely an Obama administration problem.

Why is this solely an Obama administration problem? Because it is solely their doing!

The Republicans in control of Congress did not authorize the investigating and political attacks on Tea Party organizations and other Conservative groups and individuals, it was Democrats in positions of power that did these things.

Either it came from the White House, or from Democrats in high positions, but they were the ones who have over-stepped their authority and broken the law. They are at fault here no matter how hard a political supporter like Liz Sidotti wants to whitewash it, or spin it, or get you to think.

Facts are facts, Democrats ordered these things to take place, and articles like this which try to deflect the attention away from the Obama administration and place it on others does nothing but try to deceive the American people.

Liz Sidotti says "the IRS' improper targeting of conservative groups for extra scrutiny as they sought tax-exempt status has spiraled into a wholesale examination of the agency," as if that were a bad thing! 

The IRS should be investigated from top down to make sure that no White House can ever use any agency of the government against the American people.

That huge fact seems to be lost on Ms Sodotti. She's more worried about the Obama legacy.

Why is it so important to her that she get a message to the President to turn things around?

It's because she is worried about 2014 and subsequently 2016 elections, which she believes is an "extension of Obama's presidency."  

Why is she worried about the President turning this all around as soon as possible?

She said Obama needs to "convince the American public to give Democrats another four years."
She knows that Obama and the Democrats need to take Congress, the House of Representatives, back in 2014 so that they can put an end to all of these Congressional investigations, she's saying Obama doesn't have much time to turn things around.  

And yes, that's exactly what Democrats are hoping for. Victory in 2014 means an end to the investigations into their wrong doings.  

A win during next year's mid-term election for the Democrats means they can do whatever they want and no one will be in any position to investigate anything they're doing!  

Abuse of power? They'll be able to say, so what!  

Intrusive government? They'll say, big deal!  

Government over-stepping its authority? They'll know no one's there to stop them! No one!  

As for AP writer Liz Sidotti?   

Remember that she is not a conservative by any means - and is in fact a Liberal Obama supporter.

Does this mean that the Associated Press is no longer in the pocket of the Obama administration? No. Not by any means.

It just means that this one AP writer, Liz Sidotti, wrote a slightly-negative piece about the President's troubles. That's all! 

Out of this, she may be invited to the White House to meet with the President and be reassured that they will win back the whole Congress next year.

The administration will probably reassure her that that is the reason this administration has been working so hard to stifle the Tea Party and other conservative organizations from educating Americans on the issues.

And yes, as an Obama supporter, Liz Sidotti may be soothed by their strategy.

She'll try to explain to the administration that was just trying to give them advice in her article. She may even take an oath of allegiance to Obama while she's at the White House.

What she doesn't realize is that the Obama administration does not trust anyone, even someone who may claim to be a loyal supporter.

The Obama administration will probably have her credentials looked at; there may even be pressure put on the AP to fire her if she acts up again.

It's almost certain that her phone records and e-mail may be seized and searched; that her finances will most likely be looked at; that she will most likely be investigated and audited by the IRS; that the FBI will probably red-flag her "file."

The FBI or Homeland Security may want to search her home, and will most likely want to know who she associates with.

And yes, if she does not cooperate with the Obama people and show them that she is still a team player and loyal supporter, she will most likely be put on Obama's Enemies List.

This article may ruin her career; this may stop her from covering important stories or gaining access to information that she previously could have had.

Her family's safety and security may be at risk over this. And yes, she may feel all sort of other forms of reprisals from the Obama administration.

Don't think so?

Wake up! That's what the Obama administration does.


Story by Tom Correa

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