Obama admits failure to bring country together

President Barack Obama says he has not succeeded in bringing the country together, acknowledging an atmosphere of divisiveness that has washed away the lofty national feeling surrounding his inauguration a year ago.

“That’s what’s been lost this year … that whole sense of changing how Washington works,” Obama said in an interview with People magazine.

The president said his second-year agenda will be refocused on uniting the country around common values, “whether we’re Democrats or Republicans.”

“We all want work that’s satisfying, pays the bills and gives children a better future and security,” Obama said in the interview, which the magazine conducted with the president and his wife, Michelle Obama, at the White House last Friday.

The president’s comments came as Republican leaders rallied against the core items of his agenda, from his economic stimulus plan to health care. The mood of the country has remained in a sustained slump, too, as double-digit unemployment followed a campaign built upon “hope” and “change.”

Obama said people have “every right to feel deflated, because the economy was far worse than any of us expected.” But he insisted that his government’s economic steps in 2009 are paying off and that people should have confidence in this new year.

On other topics:

_The president said Tiger Woods, the champion golfer who has fallen into disgrace amid reports of extramarital affairs, can be “rehabilitated,” as his interviewer put it. “Absolutely,” Obama said. “I don’t want to comment on his personal relationship with his wife and family, but I’m a strong believer that anybody can look within themselves, find their flaws and fix them.”

_The first lady said one of the most memorable moments of the year came when their daughters, Sasha and Malia, met the pope at the Vatican. “It was interesting,” she said, “the picture of the pope and Malia and Sasha standing there exchanging conversation: ‘How’s school?’ ‘It’s fine.’

_The president opted not to lower the grade he had given himself for his own performance in 2009 — a B-plus — in light of the intelligence and security failures that allowed a suspected terrorist to board a Detroit-bound plane with explosives in an effort to blow it up. “When you look at what we’ve done this year on national security, we performed at a very high level in as difficult an environment as you can imagine,” he said.

_The president said he misses daily, spontaneous interactions while living in a bubble. He said the job is lonely in another way — the gravity of sending troops off to war or responding to an attempted terrorist attack. “That side of the loneliness of the job is what I signed up for and I actually think I’m pretty good at,” he said.

The new issue of People will be on newsstands Friday.


  1. jim0001

    Jimmy Carter should really love Obama.

    Thanks to “O”,

    Carter is no longer our nations worst president!

  2. giving-up-in-nc

    The country can no longer be brought together politically.  The political parties are now more important than the common good of the country.  Winning elections is now more important than governing.  If one sides has to cause the country to crash and burn so it can win an election, then so be it.

  3. Carl Nemo

    What’s stunning about his admittance is that it means he simply doesn’t have a clue or possibly the interest as to how to control his party and lead the Congressional elephant by the trunk rather than pushing it from the rear. 

    It’s called sincere, genuine, thoughtful, honest guidance with the use of his veto pen. The good of the American people should be forefront in his mind, but it is not.  He talks the talk, but doesn’t walk the walk…!

    At this point the healthcare bill is an absolute shambles relative ot the needs of the American people, while being totally corporatist friendly.

    He and his cabal of insiders can’t be oblivious to this fact, but they keep pushing this evil, behemoth legislation through, consequences be damned. If he were an honest, citizen friendly man, he’s say at this point; enough is enough and I’m going to veto this piece of trash when it hits my desk…period! Then, informed citizens would have some respect for the man.

    We continue in Iraq and Afghanistan where our goals will never be accomplished, instead our leadership redoubles their efforts in the face of certain failure which is the definition of fanaticism.

    Between our rogue, out of control defense establishment and the Fed~Treasury axis of evil pitching billions down banking and insurance industry ratholes with zero results, excluding the pumping of stocks up for another imminent crash, you’d think our leader is “spring-loaded” in the stupid position.

    He’s evidently not the scholar they claim him to be because he’s continuing to head the USS America on to the rocks of destruction at flank speed.

    This President is more than a failure; he’s an unfolding disaster before our very eyes.  He’s also surrounded himself with failures from past administrations back to the Carter era.  It’s the same good ol’ boy network guiding our nation as if our tax debt dollars and the government printing press is their private piggy bank and counterfeiting op.  : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  4. AustinRanter

    Anybody remember the name “Jimmy Carter”? He had all of the best intentions in the world…but just couldn’t take command of his own party, much less the other.

    Thus he eventually lost the confidence of the people…and well, it was pretty much over for him.

    I bet Mr. Obama would learn a bit if he studied that period of history.


  5. twocanpete

    Yes, the health insurance mandate will surely bring the country together once all the libtards realize they’re going to jail because they can’t afford to buy health insurance.

  6. griff

    Ummm…You hired the very same people that gave us this ecoomy. If they weren’t smart enough to foresee the fruits of their labor, what the hell makes you think they can lead us out of it?

    I, for one, knew what was coming – and I’m no body.

  7. Carl Nemo

    “If they weren’t smart enough to foresee the fruits of their labor…”…extract from post

    Griff, they knew exactly what the result would be.  We’re dealing with arch banking and investment criminals here that have infested our government at the highest levels. 

    They are all part of an evil clique now seemingly a plague in high places.  Consistently they either deny their ability to have foreseen the end result of their bad decisions or as in the most recent testimony they disengenuously say they are sorry while they still plan on handing out obscene bonuses while our complicit Congressional hearings committees accept shallow apologies and allow them to ripoff the American taxpayer and skate free. 

    The good ship USS America has been commandeered by corporate pirates that make the Somali’s of similar persuasion seem like “good guys”.

    Carl Nemo **==

  8. Carl Nemo

    Yep, Americans are known for their propensity to forgive whatever the reason along with their world class nation destroying gullibility and general stupidity… / : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  9. Senegoid

    “…but I’m a strong believer that anybody can look within themselves, find their flaws and fix them.”

    Yes indeed MR PRESIDENT !!!




  10. Senegoid

    Maybe it’s time Mr President stopped playing games, with himself and his nation: 

    In another incarnation I was an albatross – this was my story: 



    “What are fears but voices airy?

    Whispering harm where harm is not.

    And deluding the unwary

    Till the fatal bolt is shot!”

    • — Wordsworth.


      Let’s play a game:

      Pop down to your nearest sports store; buy a bow and one arrow (on credit) and get back home ASAP.

      Give the bow and arrow to you partner, or friend, anyone will do and then go out into the back yard.

      Get your friend to load the arrow into the bow then draw the stringy thing back as far as possible. Then get your friend to aim the arrow directly at your beating heart. Tell your friend to let go of the stringy bit.

      Come back and tell me how you feel.

      The albatross, in human mythology, incites mental imagery of a burden hanging around one’s neck. People make jokes about us and it hurts. It’s a bum rap really and that Coleridge guy has a lot to answer for. Why not a sea gull or penguin? But an albatross it was, in fact it was me and it’s time we sorted some stuff out.

      Firstly, did you play my little game? Why not?

      At least I let you in on my game; you knew what the consequences would be. Don’t you think it’s sad that you guys didn’t give me the same courtesy? Nope you simply crucified me, and it hurt. And then you made a joke of it, and that hurt too.

      Right up to the moment of my demise I trusted you. If you remember we got off to a flying start. I was wandering around the mall just like any other blonde and happened upon your good selves sailing in your ship.

      It was all good for a while. I did tricks for you and you feed me all sorts of exotic food. It was fun. And I never missed “vespers nine” by moonlight. It was ever so romantic. Golden times they were. I truly believed our relationship was based on honesty and trust; the (necessary) seed crystal of intimacy and love. I felt secure.

      And then it all went pear shaped, you started to play a very silly and dangerous game – with yourselves. Sadly, for me, you didn’t realise you were playing the game and for no good reason you chose me as the perpetrator of your own stupidity. You allowed your fears and superstitions to justify the cold blooded murder of an innocent life – me.

      And to make things worse I have become an insidious archetype of ridicule. Is that how human beings play their game? Draw you into their confidence then take you for all you’re worth and more?

      They say life is a game and I suppose it would be hard to disagree. I suspect the challenge is being aware if one is participating in a game; and knowing the players (your competitors) and rules – for games usually have winners and losers.

      Unfortunately, those who prefer not to play games will be disappointed, for in the real world individuals are being constantly drawn into the games of others; the political game, the religious game, the games our corporations play and the games we play with each other.

      Life is a competition and sadly the rules are nebulous and favour the well informed, cunning, connected, deceitful, manipulative, and in many cases the mean and brutal. These are the types who (in general) rise to the top; these are the ones many choose to follow. Mostly they end up disappointed then have to cop it on the chin.

      The game of life is unavoidable but we can mitigate the (destructive) games we play in our personal lives – our direct relationships. We have a choice: to play or not to play. Once again one must know if one is playing a game, and if so what is motivating the game, otherwise the consequences are quite often unfortunate.

      The self personality quite often acts as a very selective filter, a personal censure, distorts stuff and creates unnecessary conflict; many of us end up playing games with ourselves and don’t even know it. We all know and understand this on an intellectual level but comprehending it from a personal psychological perspective quite often escapes us – to the detriment of our personal lives and relationships.

      We seem to find it easy to identify short comings in others without even considering we could share same. We think we know how to cure others but find no reason to look at and cure ourselves.

      The mitigation of games reduces competition and fosters co-operation. It also reduces conflict, creates stillness and most of all fosters trust. Who do you trust?

      They say competition is an excellent catalyst for progress; it would be hard to disagree for the greatest competition of all – war – has proven to be an excellent accelerator for the sophistication of the art of destruction including socially advantageous stuff as well – but at what cost?

      Some games are not worth playing.

      It would be very naïve to think we could eliminate games all together, for our leaders will never allow that, but we can choose not to play some of the unnecessary games, ones that create conflict:

      The racist game; the envy game; the get rich at all cost game; the winner take all game; the control game – you know the ones.

      They say we are all connected by six degrees, I would argue that in many ways 99% of humanity is connected by nil degrees; it’s just that we are so distracted by the game of life we simply miss the obvious.

      On that note it’s now time to withdraw from this little game and return into the ether; sometimes games just go round and round. As such I shall bid you farewell and wish you and your loved ones all the joy in all the universes.

      With infinite fondness to all the good folk of America

      Audrey Albatross.

      PS. It’s been said that science begins as philosophy and ends as art. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could turn the science of living into the art of life?

  11. Carl Nemo

    A nicely crafted piece of “thoughtsmanship” from our site friend down under…! : )

    I’m both stunned and impressed that we have someone as yourself, a site member from so far away.

    Are you a native Aussie or an expatriate American?

    This writing caused an old man’s tear to run down his cheek. : |

    Carl Nemo **==

    p.s. Your writing is possibly too complex for most folks to both understand and enjoy. Thanks just the same from me ! : )


  12. Senegoid

    Thanks Carl.

    I’m an Aussie national but have lived on four of our five continents over the past six decades. I’ve seen and experienced all sorts of stuff, especially in Africa – but that’s another story.

    I have family in Alaska and my great uncle lived in Arizona. He was an illegal immigrant; jumped ship in the early 20’s and died a muti-millionare about 25 years ago.

    My first wife was an entertainer and spent six months in Vietnam entertaining American troops where she made lots of Yanky friends.

    I’m also probably what some people call a Civil War buff and as a kid enjoyed reading about it. I loved reading the letters of Lawrence Chamberlain; a teacher or rethoric who was not only an articulate soul but a just and brave one – at least in my opinion. His courage at Little Round Top was iconic.

    On a number of occassions I lived adjacent to an American military base and got to know a lot of the grunts, some officers and a navy intelligence (sic) guy – he was a nice guy but not too bright, as we would say in Oz; probably because he spent most of his time smoking hash and snorting amphetamine sulphate (stuff that was freely available to all and sundry – cough sniff).  I remember back in 76 the lads patriotically passed around bicentenial LSD, blotting paper in the form of an American flag.

    Even as a young man it became obvious that the American military was an industry within an industry and many in the service were making money (at the taxpayers expense) in all sorts of ways. I would appear nothing has changed much in that respect – probably got worse.

    Nevertheless I got to know many young Americans and enjoyed many good times with them (and their wives) from Dallas, El Paso, Van Nuys, New York, Boston and many other places. Strangley, or not so strangley the Yank who I got on best with, and appeared the most aware of life’s realities eventually deserted his post. I ran into him in London while he was running – I hope things turned out for the best in his regard, he was a good bloke and under no illusions, so to speak.

    In short I have a genuine affection for Yanks  but not the American government (oligarchy), for reasons we both obviously share.

    I currently live in Sydney with my second wife. She is Chinese and also a member of the Aisin Gioro clan, the rulers of the Qing dynasty – the last emperor of China, Pu Yi was her second cousin. Her family story is a most interesting one, especially her Dad’s who was born a prince, with all the privileges and wealth, then betrayed his class  by supporting Mao Zedong. for the greater good, the rest of the story is not mine to tell but would make a bloody good movie or novel.

    Australia and America have much in common; both nations became wealthy by stealing the property (and resourses) of the natives (aborigines) and in the process raped, murdered and exploited them. In our case we justified our theft by declaring that Australia was Terra Nullius – land belonging to no one. And we called them uncivilized as we decapitated them, stored their heads in jars of formaldehyde and sent them  back to the fucking mother land as trophies.

    To make things worse our national day is on January 26; the day the First Fleet arrived and invaded the land of our native brothers and sisters. How insentitive or arrogant is that? We white people celebrate our theft, and black people can take it or leave it. I don’t celebrate anymore.

    Anyway Carl mate, that should give you a little insight into who you are communicating with and a little background about Oz; although I’m sure that many Yanks couldn’t even find it on the map.

    Maybe Ambrose Bierce was correct: “War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography.”

    PS. Carl, if you ever feel like visiting Oz then give us a shout – you would be a most welcome guest at my humble abode.

    With infinite fondness


  13. Carl Nemo

    Thanks Senegoid for sharing your life and background with not only myself but our fellow site members.  I have friends of mine who read CHB, but never post, compliment your writings too.  

    Also thanks for the invitation in the event I should visit Australia.  : )

    Carl Nemo **==