Last fall, I watched (helplessly, it felt, from overseas) as still-to-this-day-Senator John McCain’s campaign imploded as the economy tanked. Probably the most embarrassing thing to witness was his inexplicable attempt to suspend the race and even cancel a debate so he could dash back to Washington, DC, to vote on some bailout that today in retrospect is simply more money pissed away.
Then-Senator Obama cooled his own heels, took inventory of the situation, and although detractors attempted to paint him as indecisive and slack-jawed about the situation, was able to play it as a testament to his introspective and thoughtful style compared to McCain’s spastic and rash reaction. Whatever merits of either perspective, it was certainly the last nail on the McCain campaign coffin (which had begun to shut a couple weeks earlier with the financial meltdown itself).
While I never viewed Obama’s tendency to lack in his reaction as anything more than his opportunistically taking a comfortable place on the sidelines (witness his “Present” votes, for example), I admired at least his ability to make it seem like he was in control and smooth. Calm, cool, and collected.
There have been several incidents of late, however, that make me question (anew) his readiness for the job of chief decision-maker. He’s losing it. He’s now the one acting rash. The one lurching, the one lashing out. And we’re now seeing his lack of experience cost him and us.
Three cases in point: