Yesterday, after a hectic weekend with family and friends, I, a blogger without a paid staff (indeed without any staff) put forward a proposal to address Standard and Poor’s downgrade of the federal government’s financial condition. Within several hours, our readers had offered their own suggestions and critiques of some items on my lost. Now, Jennifer Rubin is also soliciting views from her readers.
A few hours before I offered my proposal, President Obama addressed the downgrade, roughly 50 minutes after he was slated to speech on the crisis. Instead of putting forward a plan or even an outline of a plan, he announced that he intended to present his “own recommendations over the coming weeks on how we should proceed.”
Over the coming weeks? A number of savvy pundits and financial analysts had been predicting the downgrade for weeks. Shouldn’t the President of the United States have been prepared for this?
He had a whole weekend and a stable full of advisors. Couldn’t he have come up with an outline on his own and farmed it out to them, had them refine a few of his points, discuss the political and policy pitfalls of each before drafting his statement?
As Bryan Preston put it, in response to the downgrade, he showed “even less ability to lead” than he had during the debt debate. He made “no substantive moves at all to calm the markets. He was silent for days while his political team engaged in one of the most obviously dishonest responses in living memory, and then he was late to his own speech today.” (Via Jim Geragthy’s Morning Jolt, available by subscription.)
Glenn Reynolds has a nice roundup of pundits offering views similar to those Preston put forward.
Now, if a blogger who follows politics can come up with a plan to address the downgrade, why can’t the President of the United States, with a whole staff paid to help him lead the nation, do the same?