One by one, the media memes concocted on President Barack Obama’s behalf have fallen away.
Post partisan? Simply tally up the times he blames his predecessor for his current woes—caution: you might need an abacas.
Post-racial? Well, if the so-called Beer Summit didn’t smash that image, then the President’s inability to restrain members of his own party from calling critics “racist” sure did.
The great communicator redux? Chris Matthews’ leg hasn’t tingled in ages, and Obama often looks bored discussing job creation, empowering small businesses or the virtues of his country.
That leaves only one media meme, the granddaddy of them all. Obama is simply the smartest man we could select as our commander in chief.
It was the biggest talking point the left and its media enablers had in the run-up to the 2008 presidential elections, and it‘s one that won‘t go away without a fight.
Numerous outlets even compared Obama to Mr. Spock, the uber-brainy Vulcan from “Star Trek.” The description helped distract voters from his negligible track record in office. It also contrasted him with the deeply unpopular President George W. Bush, a man whose oft-mangled speeches left him susceptible to intellectual taunts.
Yet a quick glance at Obama decisions—and statements—over the first 19-plus months of his presidency makes it hard for anyone but a Kool-Aid stained DNC drone to describe him in such lofty terms.
On the campaign trail Obama proved just as vulnerable to gaffes as his predecessors, if one recalls his “57 states” line or declaring “Austrian” is a language.
It’s not fair to pick on him for such slips given the rigors of the campaign. They simply hinted at the fact that Obama’s intellect might not be as super-charged as advertised. But the smart meme endured all the same.
The President’s recent blunders have hit us at breakneck speed. He waded into the New York City mosque debate with his standard combination of arrogance, misinformation and straw men.
When his comments blew up in his—and his party’s—face he backtracked one day later. Did someone directly ask for Obama’s opinion on the controversy? Or did the sharpest knife in the drawer think it wise to stick his chin out?
Earlier this month, First Lady Michelle Obama drew withering fire from the pundit class for stepping out to Spain at a significant cost to taxpayers. Now, Michelle Obama deserves the blame here, but there’s no way the First Couple didn’t discuss the trip before the particulars were nailed down.
Call it arrogance, call it short sighted—just don’t call it bright on any level.
The President’s handling of the Gulf oil spill couldn’t have been much worse. He looked aloof when he should have seemed caring, chased away help from other nations when he could have welcomed their aid in line with his international bent.
And would a wise man respond to a catastrophe by saying he was looking for an ass to kick? That’s what a third grader says after getting verbally teased, not something the smartest man in any room declares.
Even Obama’s speeches have taken on the simple-minded clichés that Presidents often need years to develop. Obama’s insistence on stale phrases like “let me be clear” and “make no mistake” hardly speak to a communicator for the ages. And what follows the former catch phrase is often as clear as mud.
Obama’s foreign policy positions hardly seem the work of an intellectually serious man. Was he shocked, shocked when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad swatted away his calls for rancor-free dialogue and simply went ahead with his country’s nuclear program?
Mainstream press outlets still won’t let the smart meme go no matter how much evidence buildsup to the contrary.
Politico’s Roger Simon filed a scathing column this week with the headline, “Obama, the one-term President.” Yet even Simon, before listing the President’s gaffe-a-thon term in office, uncorked this stunner:
“I am not saying Obama is not smart; he is as smart as a whip,” Simon wrote. “I am just saying he does not understand what savvy first-term Presidents understand.”
Does that mean a lowly columnist understands what it takes to be President more than the Brain in Chief?
The whole “smarts” question could be partially answered had Obama let us see his academic records in toto. But since he still finds the need to hide them, we have to look at his days in the Oval Office for evidence of a superior intellect.
So far, the evidence points to a C student with a sonorous voice his peers probably confused for wisdom.
American voters know the feeling.
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