In two interviews in recent days, the President has passed up opportunities to show that he is truly a humble man and that new kind of politicians he once promised to be. When Oprah “Winfrey asked what grade he would give himself,” he replied, “A good solid B plus”. A savvier politician would have said something like, “Well, I’d like to think I’m doing a good job, but believe it’s for American people to grade me,” perhaps adding with a smile, “How do you think I’m doing?” It’s a question he should have punted. And he would have looked good for the punt.
By a similar token, he should have toned down his rhetoric in an interview with Steve Kroft for 60 Minutes. It’s just not presidential to call your own constituents “fat cat bankers“. Seems he still styles himself a left-wing activist throwing stones at the establishment. Isn’t such stone throwing part of that pattern in Washington that a certain ostensibly idealistic politician was once trying to break, you know, that pattern “where everybody is always looking for somebody else to blame.”
After stating that the financial crisis was “caused in part by completely irresponsible actions on Wall Street,” Mr. Obama suggested that some banks paid TARP bailout money back to the government specifically to free themselves from government-mandated constraints on executive compensation.
“I think in some cases that was a motivation,” said Mr. Obama. “Which I think tells me that the people on Wall Street still don’t get it. They don’t get it. They’re still puzzled, why is it that people are mad at the banks?”
So, according to Mr. Obama, it’s a problem when Wall Street firms put their fiscal house in order to can repay the federal government? Doesn’t he realize their repayment helps bring down the deficit, something about which I thought he was so concerned?
But because of Mr. Obama keeps it up with his free-spending ways, people aren’t just mad at the banks, they’re also mad at the federal government.
The president could defuse a lot of that anger if he shwed a little humility and stopped slamming Wall Street execs who are trying to go it alone without federal bailout money.