The myth surrounding President Barack Obama is disappearing faster than Rod Blagojevich’s political career. The great reformer is caught up in mounting questions about his actions. The agent of change is turning out to be more of the same.
"I screwed up," Obama admitted Tuesday after two cabinet nominees withdrew their names from consideration after admitting they forgot a little item like paying taxes. Another tax cheat, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, remains part of the Obama administration — raising questions over whether or not the President is able to keep his promises to the American people.
While it is refreshing to see a President admit failure (something George W. Bush would never do), Obama’s contriteness comes only after he got caught in an increasing string of failures to keep his campaign promises. The man who promised a complete break with the past is making too many exceptions in his appointments. The man who promised no lobbyist would be involved in his administration is hiring lobbyists. The man who promised zero tolerance in ethics problems is looking the other way when someone he supports is ethically-challenged.
Obama knew his pick for treasury secretary had a tax problem but went ahead and selected him. He knew New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson had a reputation for playing fast and loose with the rules and the truth but nominated him for Commerce Secretary. Richardson’s withdrawal as the FBI closed in on a "pay for play" scandal is becoming the norm rather than the exception for the new, two-week old administration.
Obama is acting more like a street hustler from Chicago than a new President with a fresh, honest approach to government.
The President went into damage control mode Tuesday, going on national TV and admitting a mistake but the attempt looks more like a public relations stunt than honest contrition. I’m not sure at this point if Obama is any more honest than the liars-in-chiefs who preceded him in office over the past several decades.
Partisans, of course, will defend Obama with the usual, relative-based defense of "yes, perhaps, but Bush was worse."
Sorry. I don’t buy into that relativity crap. Here are Capitol Hill Blue, we measure everyone by the same yardstick. Bush was a miserable failure as President but that does not give Obama a free pass.
A President is either honest or he is not. He either keeps his promises or he does not. He either starts delivering on the voter hope that put him into office or he starts planning on what to do when his one term in office ends.
Obama’s term is brand new and he still has time to recover but he has to start acting like the man he claims to be. Right now, he’s coming across as just another political phony put into office by a flawed system that may have outlived its usefulness.