The American Horizon: Is There a Better Road, President Obama?

Dillon Zhou

Prudent judgment was and remains the troubling part of President Obama’s candidacy for becoming the man of true change – because there have been many crucial moments when he failed to demonstrate the ability to make a good call. The events of the past two weeks are evidence that this statement bears truth. Bipartisan ethics reform within the US Federal Government has been thoroughly addressed in the mainstream media.

Dasching all the Way

A case in point in his recent choice for Health and Human Services Secretary, Tom Daschle. A scandal that ensued when it was revealed that the Democrat failed to pay the proper dues to the IRS. Early on, Mr. Daschle, President Obama, the Democrats, and the media attempted to write Mr. Daschle’s tax problem off as an “honest mistake.” But despite their best efforts to smooth things out, public sentiment didn’t ease up or bend to the suggestion.

We want true reform in our national government. Nobody is above the law, especially the top officials in the “Candidate of Change’s” administration. That’s what normal people on Main Street America said. For me, this incident on top of the Geithner incident made it abundantly clear that Mr. Obama’s judgment is poor, even for someone who’s spent a few years on Capital Hill as a Senator. During almost two years on the campaign trail, Barack Obama vowed to exorcise the demons of Washington, bar lobbyists from his administration and usher in what he would later call in his Inaugural Address a “new era of responsibility.” But what he didn’t tell the American People is that there are asterisks that go along with his promise.

It seems like he’s not above appointing questionable characters to critical offices, even when they have things in their background which could tarnish his image as the redeemer of a troubled America. Common sense dictates that if you plan on running for the highest of office in this land, you should surround yourself with the most moral and intelligent people to help you govern – especially when you lack the experience to manage affairs on the national and international level.

Mr. Obama’s promise of “change” was an uncompromising one.

Since his electoral victory in November, he’s had three months to vet candidates for the top posts in his administration. I strongly doubt that this $128,000 gap in Mr. Daschle’s disclosure report was not present or absent from the radar of Mr. Obama’s team. This fact along should have made the Senator from South Dakota ineligible for any major position in the new administration. Mr. Daschle may have filled this shortfall was filled after being exposed to strong public criticism, but he wasn’t dropped from consideration. President Obama defended him time after time, without realizing how imprudent it was to do so. A more experienced politician would have never considered this man, much less try to defend his blatant wrongdoing.

Furthermore, Mr. Obama “believes that both Secretary Geithner and Secretary-Designate Daschle are the right people for very important jobs,” said Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, “and he does not believe that that will undercut their ability to move forward on an agenda that makes sense for the American people.” This PR is nothing less than a sloppy attempt to pull a fast one on the American People. The only good thing that came out of this is the fact that Daschle did not take office as the Secretary of Health and Human Services – which would have served a devastating blow to Mr. Obama’s candidacy to become the “President of Change.”

A Response to Larry

I believe that my judgment on Mr. Obama’s performance is driven by pragmatism rather than political ideology. Corruption will always exist in the American Government, regardless of which man or woman is in charge of it. Being sharp and venomous in the matter of assessing our President’s choices is not only foolish, but also a show of ignorance by passing judgment with a shallow eye.

Closing Thoughts

I hope that Mr. Obama will not have further embarrassments like the one he’s experienced with Senator Daschle. However, I fully expect Secretary of Treasury Geithner to be in the headlines again for saying something foolish – like what he naively said about China’s “manipulation” of its currency. He clearly didn’t understand the implications of what his words stand for now – he represents the Obama administration and the American people. It would seem counterintuitive for someone like Mr. Geithner to make such a bold statement to a country that has the power to send America’s economy to the Stone Age. I hope that there won’t be any more nonsense, but I don’t expect much on this front.