Monday, 17 October 2011 17:56

Influential Democrats Like Zuckerman Questions Obama’s Leadership

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US EconomyPresident Obama is in political trouble as his political base abandons him. Those who strongly support him have declined to 21% while those who strongly oppose him have increased to 43%.  That makes for a -22% differential.  Independent voters have deserted him in droves and now even some of his strongest financial Democratic backers are disillusioned and defecting. 


Successful Presidents do not campaign.  Their record speaks for itself.  The greatest “bully pulpit” is the Oval Office.   That likely explains by Obama has taken to his luxury tour bus.   He has nothing to show for 3 ½ years in office.  So he makes provocative speeches and tries to become a part of the anti-government protest movement that protests his failures as leader of the government he now denounces!?!?!?  Alice in Wonderland!  This only contributes to the implosion of his popularity. 

Obama considers himself with the “99%”; however the President reported over $5.5 million in income in 2008 and $1.5 million in 2009 and paid 25% taxes after deductions.  He took advantage of the Bush tax cuts!  That should place him on the opposite side of the Occupy Wall Street crowd… not trying to lead it! (The same for Michael Moore who made over $20 million on Fahrenheit 9/11 and is suing for an additional $2.2 million.) 

In a recent column, Mortimer Zuckerman owner of the New York Daily News, CEO of Boston Properties, a billionaire, and strong long-time financial backer of the Democratic Party and Obama has become disillusioned.  In fact, he states that many Democratic donors have some “…astonishing things to say about this President.” 

Mr. Zuckerman is a self-made man and a strong Democrat. He did not earn his money on Wall Street manipulating stocks or bonds.  Very early in life he got involved in real-estate and through hard work and some frightening experiences was able to acquire a sizable fortune.  He is not embarrassed about his accomplishments because he worked hard to attain his wealth.  He resents the class warfare Obama is unleashing. 

As for Obama, he has some strong words.  “It’s as if he doesn’t like people, Obama doesn’t seem to care for individuals, though he enjoys addressing millions on television”   This is the pattern set by ancient Greek demagogues.  

He further criticizes the President for making “…no attempt to build relationships on Capital Hill or negotiate bi-partisan economic plans.”  This longtime Democratic Party backer places the blame squarely where it belongs!  Leaders lead…they don’t play politics.  He unfavorably compares Obama to President Reagan who he found surprisingly willing to work with his strongest adversary, Tip O’Neil, to achieve successes. 

Zuckerman goes on to state that today people are looking at government, and the public “…is pleading for some adult supervision”.  The underlying theme of an editorial he composed concerns this lack of leadership.   He goes on to say that there is “…an enormously widespread anxiety over the political leadership of this country” among his Democratic friends and onetime Obama supporters. 

He sympathizes with the non-violent elements of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement. He can relate to the crisis that so infects their lives: no jobs and no opportunities.  Zuckerman considers the 9.1% unemployment rate as an illusion because that only counts those who have looked for a job within the past four weeks.  He focuses on the Labor Department’s own U-6 figures and states that number is 16.5 %.   (U-6 = Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force)[1]  He further argues that some indices measuring total labor force participation calculate the unemployment rate closer to 20%. 

In addition, Zuckerman stated that Republican opposition to the stimulus package likely stemmed from the fact that over 50% of the money went to municipalities and to municipal unions, read SEIU, which is the Democratic base.  In other words, it was not about stimulating the economy as much as it was about spending public money to reward political party stalwarts. 

Mr. Zuckerman cannot be accused of having “Tea Party” or Republican leanings.  He is Democrat to the core.  He is also honest about this President and the problems America faces.  He stated his position clearly: “Democracy does not work without leadership and you can’t play politics.” 

In other words, Presidents have to behave Presidential.  They represent all of the people, not just one party.  Presidents have to be unifiers.  Failure to act accordingly serves only to divide the nation and make it incapable of meeting the challenges it must face.  From the perspective of this influential, long-time Democrat, Obama has failed to lead.

by Ron Chapman 



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[1] Labor Department, Table a-15 Alternative Measures of Labor Underutilization

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