The Amateur: Barrack Obama in the White House
by Edward Klein
Review by John E. Wade II
Truth-seekers of all political strips should find this book enlightening and a page-turner. This New York Times#1 bestseller is based on almost two hundred interviews with people in and out of the White House, and some back to President Obama’s earliest days in Chicago. Through these interviews “The Amateur” emerged: a person without the ability to manage government, who isn’t joyful about his position, and who repeats the same mistakes, not growing but merely surviving until the next election.
Klein’s key conclusion is that President Obama has a mindset and temperament that make him ill-suited to be chief executive and commander in chief of the United States. Obama is one who is quick to attack and blame Washington, the Republicans and the media. He also dismisses long-standing friends and supporters when they are of no further immediate use to him. But despite his lack of pleasure with his job, he clings desperately to the narcissistic life of the presidency.
This picture of Obama varies greatly from the “… centrist, post-partisan leader” that his image-makers have tried to create, to the young, articulate man who was elected, who presented himself “… as a new kind of politician, a peacemaker, a mediator, and a conciliator who promised to heal the rift between red and blue America.”
The shocking truth unfolds. One of his oldest Chicago acquaintances told the author, “Ever since I’ve known him, Obama has had delusions of grandeur and a preoccupation with his place in history…. He is afflicted with megalomania.”
This sheds light on Obama, who began his autobiography at age thirty before he had any deeds to tout, and, as a junior senator, started plotting a route to the hardest job in the world.
The person quoted above also said, “You can explain it with any number of words: arrogance, conceit, egotism, vanity, hubris…. But whatever word you choose, it spells the same thing—disaster for the country he leads.”
Note the largest part of the disaster. Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (the top military figure) under President Obama, on June 24, 2010, said “Our national debt is our biggest security threat.”
Klein explains that Obama is actually in revolt against the values of the country he was elected to lead. He rejects that America has a special place in the world. That is why he has thrashed capitalism tempered by democracy, demonized the wealthy, and identified with the Occupy Wall Street protestors.
Obama is sorely lacking as a president, especially with regard to our economy. He is a political scientist by college training. He wants a second term out of ego, not out of the joy of serving and making our country strong—economically and militarily—a force for good in the world as President Reagan so ably promoted.
And, thankfully, we have a choice—Governor Romney, who reminds me of President Reagan. Romney knows why jobs are created and why they are lost. Unlike Obama, he has deep business and investment experience. He and a host of Republicans at all levels can address this Innovation Age with fruitful changes within our government.
The author interviewed David Scheiner, M.D., who was Obama’s personal physician for twenty-two years, from the time Obama was a community organizer until he became president. The doctor was a liberalwho believed in socialized medicine. The doctor said Obama made no secret with him that he was for the type of socialized medicine practiced in Canada and Western Europe.
But given this apparent agreement between the doctor and patient, Scheiner said of Obamacare, “… I can’t see how it can work…. There would be no effective cost control in his program….,” and “… it’s going to be incredibly expensive.”
Steve Jobs said, “It’s not about charisma and personality; it’s about results.” Klein heads a chapter with this quote and it is quite telling. Steve Jobs was highly successful with tremendous growth, yet Obama’s influence on our economy and elsewhere has had dismal results.
Obama taught at Chicago Law School, and was a charismatic figure with students. The man who hired Obama said that Obama could excite students, but it was “… quite another thing to be a leader—to hire people, motivate people and manage decision-making.” No experience in law school prepared Obama for leadership. On the other hand, Romney has eight years of business consulting, was co-founder and head of Bain Capital for fifteen years; saved the 2002 Olympics from scandal and money problems, and as governor of Massachusetts turned a $650 million currentdeficit and projected $2-$3 billion deficit in a $23 billion annualbudget into a $100 million surplus.
Romney is all about results. Obama is all about Obama.
After his presidential election Obama dropped a number of friends and supporters. One quote was, “Barrack is not necessarily known for his loyalty.” Another quote is even more telling: “What you have with Barrack Obama is a lack of character.”
Perhaps the one figure who can explain Obama’s leftist mindset is the person who was so dangerous to his election that he had to be hidden in 2008, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Wright had more than a twenty-year relationship with Obama, serving as a father figure, a political motivator, but also an adamant proponent of black liberation theology. This sounds extreme—that it explicitly called for Marxism—but father/son talked about it and Wright preached about it. Klein points out how Obama espouses Wright’s Marxist ideology when he says, “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”
This is definitely contrary to capitalism tempered by democracy that has served our nation so well, so long. Romney and Republicans believe in free-market capitalism within the framework of our robust, stable democracy.
The economy, the economy and the economy are the biggest issues in this election. Yet Obama’s mindset is grounded in Marxism, a system that is foreign to America and disproved by the rot and failure of Communism.
Obama’s supreme egotism drove him to believe that he could be a transformational president in our foreign and domestic policy in spite of his lack of preparation for even lesser goals. After the election, he told his chief political strategist, David Axelrod, “I’m looking forward to it. I think it’s going to be an easier adjustment for me than the campaign. Much easier.”
On June 30, 2009, Obama revealed his plans to nine prominent, liberal historians in a private, secret dinner. He told them he intended to make permanent peace in the Middle East, talk constructively with Iran and North Korea, revolutionize our healthcare and energy policies, and regulate the American economy to create “… a more just and equitable society.” He believed he could accomplish these enormous goals, according to the book, simply by the force of his personality.
Klein wrote, “Unintentionally, Obama revealed the characteristics that made him totally unsuited for the presidency and that would doom him to failure,” citing his “…extreme haughtiness and excessive pride, his ideological bent as a far-left corporatist, and his astounding amateurism.”
Obama micro-managed foreign policy as had no president since Richard Nixon, except with far worse results because of his extreme lack of experience and unwillingness to seek advice inside or outside his administration.
Compounding his problems was the fact that his senior people proved to be just as inexperienced and inept as Obama. His inner circle knew how to campaign, but, just as Obama, were lost regarding the art of governing, and at least partially because of the lack of leadership from Obama, they kept making the same mistakes.
The secret dinner showed “… that Barrack Obama didn’t have the faintest idea
1) who he was, 2) why he had been elected president, and 3) how to be commander in chief and chief executive of the United States of America. In short, he didn’t know what he didn’t know.”
Romney is a leader, totally suited for the presidency in academic training, business experience and leadership, as well as gubernatorial success. He’s a person who is much more in touch with himself, his family, his church and most pertinently, our country
During the dinner with historians, Obama said he favored “… a corporatist political system … managed by big employers, big unions, and government officials through a formal mechanism at the national level … state capitalism.”
Chicago, which has a long history of corruption, is where Obama evolved into his political self. Both his wife, Michelle, and his senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, worked for Mayor Daley’s political machine.
Obama is a merciless attacker who can and has been effective in campaigning, but lacks the executive and managerial abilities and mindset to govern, most disastrous in handling our economy. Deficits have run $1.3 trillion, and Obama has missed opportunity after opportunity to address unsustainable spending and entitlements. And he is totally out of touch with reality regarding a tax remedy in this weak economy. Additionally, he has and will pile on more and more productivity-draining regulations.
He fumbled around with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Even though I believe in universal health care, I think his massive Obamacare spells trouble if not repealed. His way is the wrong way pushed through by Obama and a large Democratic Congress.
Obama has been touted as a great orator and even compared to the “Great Communicator,” Ronald Reagan. That’s much less so now. In his first address to Congress in 2009, 52.3 million people watched, whereas his 2012 address had only 37.8 million viewers, out of 114 million taxpayers.
Obama just doesn’t have the personality or temperament to be president. And he has some odd, mistaken opinions that don’t square with the history and values of the American people. For instance, Klein writes, “He [Obama] believes that he was chosen as president to save a wayward America from its dependency on free market capitalism.” This mindset led him to far-left, unaffordable policies such as Obamacare and Wall Street bailouts, instead of seeking Reaganite-type solutions to put people back to work.
This may sound catty, but the facts in the book supported by almost two hundred interviews reveal that not only is Obama an amateur who doesn’t learn, but he runs every decision by Valerie Jarrett. This is a person who was and is not qualified to be such an advisor (according to the interviews), but is also one who shields the thin-skinned Obama from anyone who might criticize him. Also, “Only the people she feels she can control can get in.”
So, you have a president who is an amateur who is so egotistical that he doesn’t seek advice, and he has a gate-keeper who also keeps him from growing in the job that he doesn’t enjoy.
Now I don’t like to criticize the First Lady, but the book reveals that she has been behind some of his most dramatic actions, such as Obamacare. Michelle’s attitude of pushing for “fairness” stems from her father’s necessity to soil his hands in Mayor Daley’s machine to maintain his modest job.
Now there’s nothing wrong with fairness or modest means, but this previously-unseen influence has been forceful. The author said that, “Everyone in Michelle’s family is afraid of her.” One of the sources said, “Barrack has always listened to what she had to say.”
Surprisingly, Obama has no close relationships in Congress, even among Democrats.
The book goes into some detail of how Obama and his gatekeeper abandoned two of his most important supporters in the 2008 election: Oprah Winfrey who called Obama “The One,” and Caroline Kennedy, who “… can’t stand to hear his voice anymore.”
In 2008, seventy-eight percent of the Jewish electorate voted for Obama. According to a poll quoted in the book, American Jews’ approval of Obama has fallen to fifty-four percent. Why? Partly because of his adversarial attitude toward business persons and Wall Street. But the major travesty from the Jewish point of view has been Obama’s rough treatment of Israel. Some suspect that Obama took to heart his minister’s (Reverend Wright) anti-Semitic frequent rantings from the pulpit.
Obama’s first foreign trip as president was to three Muslim countries: Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. “Nowhere in his Cairo speech did Obama mention the fact that Jews had a three-thousand-year history in the Promised Land.”
One journalist, Richard Chesnuff, said, “In my opinion, Obama’s problem in dealing with the Arab-Israeli conundrum doesn’t come from the advice he’s gotten from his advisors, but rather from his one-man style and his inflated view of his own leadership talents.”
Obama has been over his head in the Middle East as elsewhere. A fundamental fact that has eluded him was expressed by Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel who said, “… Jerusalem is above politics” and wrote, “It is mentioned more than six hundred times in Scripture—and not a single time in the Koran. Its presence in Jewish history is overwhelming.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (1996-1999 and 2009-present) had taken undeserved abuse from Obama and his administration until July, 2010 when, “As the TV cameras recorded the scene, Netanyahu wiggled his finger under Obama’s nose and lectured the president on the Middle East. Obama sat there, saying nothing and looking like a weak, immature schoolboy.” Despite Obama’s foreign policy emphasis and extreme personal attention, Arabs still don’t agree that Israel has a right to exist, sixty-two years after the nation was formed.
Another group that has been disappointed with Obama is black Americans, especially small businessmen and the unemployed. Harry C. Alford, the president and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce said, “… here we were with the first black president who deliberately discriminates against small business, women, and minorities. How ironic!”
Obama has strayed from a foreign policy that has been in effect for decades among Democrats and Republicans that “American power is generally a force for good in the world.”
Obama’s on-again, off-again response to the Arabs Spring displayed his amateur status and contributed to the perception that he lacked courage, convictions and dependable leadership.
Some presidents are simply suited for that office: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan. In my opinion, Obama was not suited for the presidency in 2008 or now and he has repeatedly proved that over his whole term.
The liberal media should be ashamed of themselves, for the book says Romney “… will not only have to run against Barrack Obama in 2012, he will also have to run against the full force and power of the liberal mainstream media and cultural establishment.”
Obama has been the most left-leaning president in our history, and everything from our economy to foreign relations has suffered direly from his egotistical, amateurish presidency.
His worst performance was in surrounding himself with neo-Keynesian economists who spent enormous sums on ill-advised and ineffective stimuli, not to mention the other government waste, about $1.3 trillion a year as Obama spent, spent, spent.
Democrats no longer have their dominant political affiliation in eighteen states since 2008 when Republicans increased their advantage by six states. Key factors in the 2012 election are that Obama:
- has a much less favorable environment than he did in 2008 when Republicans were unpopular
- unemployment is about eight percent, with the economy growing an anemic two to three percent
- a national debt of around $16 trillion, increasing about $5 trillion under Obama
- Obamacare includes more than a trillion dollars in new healthcare costs and imposes a 4.5 percent tax increase
- his stance on illegal immigration, which has varied widely between quick deportations—4 00,000 illegal foreigners per year the last three years—to essentially an amnesty policy.
Edward Klein built a solid case, exposing the incompetence of Obama, his closest advisors and his administration in general. He has exposed “The Amateur,” answering the questions of many who have been wondering what went wrong to this person who ran such a masterful campaign in 2008.
Thank God we have Mitt Romney and a host of Republicans at all levels as we exercise our right to vote on November 6.
We are in the Innovation Age, so let’s innovate in our government.