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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Who Is Ultimately Responsible? Obama or His 'Team'?

Camille Paglia over at Salon has a piece out ripping into the Obama administration and their handling of just about everything, but Paglia seems to think the blame for everything rests on Obama's team and not the President himself as leader of said team.

Yes, free the president from his flacks, fixers and goons -- his posse of smirky smart alecks and provincial rubes, who were shrewd enough to beat the slow, pompous Clintons in the mano-a-mano primaries but who seem like dazed lost lambs in the brave new world of federal legislation and global statesmanship.

Heads should be rolling at the White House for the embarrassing series of flubs that have overshadowed President Obama's first seven weeks in office and given the scattered, demoralized Republicans a huge boost toward regrouping and resurrection. (Michelle, please use those fabulous toned arms to butt some heads!)

First it was that chaotic pig rut of a stimulus package, which let House Democrats throw a thousand crazy kitchen sinks into what should have been a focused blueprint for economic recovery. Then it was the stunt of unnerving Wall Street by sending out a shrill duo of slick geeks (Timothy Geithner and Peter Orszag) as the administration's weirdly adolescent spokesmen on economics. Who could ever have confidence in that sorry pair?

And then there was the fiasco of the ham-handed White House reception for British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, which was evidently lacking the most basic elements of ceremony and protocol. Don't they read the "Iliad" anymore in the Ivy League? Check that out for the all-important ritual of gift giving, which has cemented alliances around the world for 5,000 years.

President Obama -- in whom I still have great hope and confidence -- has been ill-served by his advisors and staff. Yes, they have all been blindsided and overwhelmed by the crushing demands of the presidency. But I continue to believe in citizen presidents, who must learn by doing, even in a perilous age of terrorism. Though every novice administration makes blunders and bloopers, its modus operandi should not be a conspiratorial reflex cynicism.

You can read the rest here, but the point that Paglia seems to be missing is Obama heads that so-called "team", he placed them into the positions they have and their job is to proceed with "his" agenda.

Ultimate responsibility always lies with the person at the top, not those doing their bidding.

Paglia might not understand but it seems Americans are starting to get the point, as evidence by a poll set up over at MSNBC. As of right now, the results are as shown below.

If you were grading Barack Obama on his performance as president, what would he get? * 108449 responses

Those numbers will change as more people vote, but for now, 60 percent are grading Obama with an "F" on his performance as president. These aren't focus groups, or names on a polling organizations list, these are people that voted online.