Monday 30 September 2013

Obama is not very popular

US is today preparing for Government shutdown. It is an interesting concept when the lawmakers will not vote to keep paying the staff. I cannot imagine in the UK for a minute how it would even be possible for the Government to stop paying the staff in the NHS, there would be a march on Parliament to burn the place down again.

America though, is a foreign land, and there the needs of party political point scoring rise even to the level of not paying peoples' wages. It is very peculiar and breaks the first and most important rule of business too, always pay the staff. So why he shutdown, well it comes down to Obama being a lame duck President without control over congress and so their being able to stop his key initiatives, such as Medical Insurance reform - Obamacare.

He is in the position of leading a minority Government in UK terms. All this will have the side effect of crashing the markets this week, how far I am not sure, but enough as the toppy markets are always looking in September and October for reasons for a nice old correction, prior to accelerating into the year end.

It is also interesting to see just how far Obama's star has fallen, the man is a fantastic orator but a poor decision maker and in many ways not even a very good politician. Ed Milliband should take note of Obama and also President Hollande in France; indeed I think he has already. He can see that making wild populist anti-capitalist statements can get you elected. I wonder though how he plans to change the end of the story, where the wild ideas prove impossible to implement and instead the populism dies?


Scan said...

"...the man is a fantastic orator..."

The man is not a fantastic orator. I wish this myth would go away. The man is one of the most vacuous, inane, staccato orators I've ever had the misfortune of listening to.

Bill Quango MP said...

I disagree Scan. I think he is good. Not for a UK audience perhaps. But good for Ameicans.he does inspire his core and the waverers to vote for him. It's his opponents who loathe him..much like Thatcher used to be.

Unusually in the UK of the 5 parties (excluding Irish/scots/welsh nationalist parties) Cameron, Clegg Miliband and even Farage are good to very good at public speaking. All can deliver a strong speech or a downbeat serious one very well.

Normally one of the opposition is hopeless at making speeches.

Natalie Bennett is the exception. Very very boring.

Elby the Beserk said...


Without autocue he's hopeless.


or search in YouTube

obama without teleprompter

He's lost. The man is a cypher.

Odin's Raven said...

A future of wealth and privilege in the style of Bush or Blair is, they hope, assured for all these politicians. Their speeches are just 'gesture politics' to cozen the multitudes. They are just passing through political office on their way to the promised land and any 'evil that lives after them' concerns them not a whit. Democracy is just the public relations of Kleptocracy and its most adept practitioners expect to be rewarded by their masters after leaving office. Like other con-men they scorn their victims.

Scan said...

BQ I agree that he might inspire his supporters, but rather than his oratory capabilities I think the public persona created for him - the one where he's supposed to be the second coming - goes before him, and his supporters hear what they think he's saying rather than what he is actually saying.

Anonymous said...

I seem to remember a press conference in London with Brown and Obama and even Brown seemed more capable than him.

I think it's more an American thing than an Obama thing. Their idea of a debate is a moderated back and forth of prepared mini speeches, and they teach kids to orate like this from high school.

I wouldn't expect Obama to survive a PMQs any better than Bush, though Clinton and Reagan might have done well.

Timbo614 said...

Obama even fluffed his inauguration oath if I remember correctly!

As with most politicians he is "Free beer tomorrow" but as we know tomorrow never comes.

As for not paying the staff, once again there will be a carefully crafted compromise at 23:59 where all parties claim victory. It's like watching re-runs of 24.

dearieme said...

"Free beer tomorrow": wot, no pickled onions?

"fantastic orator": a child might think so.

CityUnslicker said...

I liek Obama's speeches, he does them well. the content is useless, i think that can be hard to disassociate from the way they come across. Obama is like Blair, who was the same. Eveyone hates Blair now and says he was a lying conman, but a 1/3 of the public who bother to vote, voted for him even in 2005.

My main point was more that fine words are one thing, but actions speak louder. the curent generation of leftist politicans are strong on populism and nowhere on deliverability. I find it interesting that this a pan-Western phenomonen these days.

andrew said...


The trouble is that (my version) of conservatism is one that does not seek to do more or solve problems - just to provide an efficient and reasonable framework that allows a solution to be found.

Even the current yellow/blue shower (Porphyria!) sort of admit that there are limits to what can and should be done by the state.

The problem with the left is that their key 'diferentiator' is that they do not admit that there are limits to what a govt can do.

In a highly developed society (the west / usa and increasingly bits of asia) all the cheap and easy things govts can 'do' have been 'done'.

More state intervention
(a) costs a lot more for the perceived return
(b) is more prone to failure

... so it is not too surprising that we have a raft of populist politicians who do not deliver.

The best we can hope is that they don't make things too much worse (things are bad enough already).

Blue Eyes said...

Interesting that all the comments are on the point which I was going to pick up. Big O was on telly on the news/Newsnight sitting in his presidential chair making platitudes about how a shutdown would affect the world 'conomy because the US is the foundation of the world 'conomy because the US Dollar is the reserve currency because ...

... well I am not sure sure what the link is. The US Dollar is not the reserve currency because the Grand Canyon is a state-run national park that will close down or because of whatever else the US government does day-to-day. He just either doesn't understand the basics or has stopped caring.

He is not a good public speaker at all. He is great at set pieces and was great several years at saying what people wanted to hear which was that the USA was GREAT.

I have read several articles saying that this fight was for Obama to lose. Looks like he may have done just that.

Meanwhile the dollar is still the dollar and maybe shutting down the printing presses might actually make it feel more valuable and reservey?

Electro-Kevin said...

I can't help but feel that Mr Obama was meant to be only an acting President.

By that I mean an actor playing a president - that Hollywood had paved the way for him with decades of blockbuster films in which the US President was always acted by a black man - Morgan Freeman and such like.

The substance didn't so matter as much as the look and the sound. He looks and sounds the part, is personable and one so wants him to get things right to redress some very real iniquities.

CityUnslicker said...

we must though remember that Bush was also a terrible President and although Romney was better Obama was going to get a free pass -much like Blair in 2001, the republicans had really blotted the copy book.

I agree with all the comments BE, EK, Obama sounds great but his policies are useless. Much liek our Red Ed, although he hasd further to go to orate like Obama.

Ryan said...

I think you might be missing the point about Obama, due to a lack of information about what has been happening behind the scenes in the US.

As you say, he doesn't control congress. That means anything he wants to get into law has to go through the Republicans. This happens because the American public don't actually trust the president and determine to curb the president's powers deliberately by voting in a congress opposing his views.

Now normally a president that doesn't have control of congress will be forced to tone down his policies in order to get some agreement with Republicans on key issues so at least these key issues can get sorted. Not Obama. He went to congress with a radical left-wing agenda and the Republicans said right from the start they wouldn't vote in favour of any of it. Consequently congresss and the president are in all out war.

I'm not quite sure what Obama hopes to achieve from this. He has failed in pretty much all his objectives because of the reality that the American public didn't want him to have the power to achieve those objectives. He seems unwilling to submit to this and get at least something done. As a result he's ended up looking about as lame a president as you can possibly imagine.

The only executive power Obama retains without reference to congress is the power to start wars. He tried to start a war in Syria but astonishingly the Russians easily pulled the rug out from under his feet. Syria? Yeah, you remember Syria - how quickly the news agenda moves on.

Elby the Beserk said...


My first impression of Obama was - they've got their Blair. My second was - the USA has got its first European style Leftie in charge (and nothing that has happened since dissuades me of that perception, especially the chaos he has wrought).

Anyway, here's the Abominable Obamanoid in 2006, decrying the level of American debt.

"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. ...Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that 'the buck stops here'. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and Grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."


Elby the Beserk said...

Mr. Quango.

Correct on Ms. Bennett. The first time I heard here, the day after she became leader of the Greenshirts, she stated that the green economy was now 11% of GDP.

Intrigued by this, I emailed the Green Party to ask for some references and citations for this statement.

I'm still awaiting a reply.

Bill Quango MP said...

You'll be waiting a long time Elby...Meanwhile, America is closed.{well..the garden area is closed.}

Quite amazing really. I suppose both sides thought that this time the other guy would blink first instead of both agreeing to blink at the same time, at the last second, like usual.

I had hoped for a lot more from Obama. Thought he might be able to do the consensus stuff he preached..Blair did.

Over here many, many commentators, including many on this blog, gave him the heir-to-Blair hashtag.
Which he deserves.

Step 1. Spray money at a problem until the problem goes away
Step 2. if step 1 fails wait until a bigger problem come along
Step 3. Repeat step 1.

Graeme said...

I think people get confused by the USA into thinking of it as one country. A Federal shutdown afffects federal activities such as Homeland Security, the FBI, the military. Most things are done at state or county level - hence the shutdown does not impact on most people. However, it is a high risk strategy for the Republicans to piss off the military and their families - given the numbers of people involved in the US military and the sentimental value there. And also to annoy all the thousands of people who fly from state to state in the US every day and have to go through Homeland Security checks. Did Gingrich ever recover from standing up to Clinton?