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Friday, September 21, 2012

Univision Hits Obama Hard On Failures: Why Did Obama Do So Bad?

By Susan Duclos

It wasn't Letterman, nor "Pimp with the Limp" with softball questions and his direct lies going unchallenged, and from the dodging answers on the lack of security in Libya when the U.S. Ambassador and three others died, the hard hitting questions on Fast and Furious and why Holder wasn't being held accountable, and the surprising admittance from Obama that his biggest lesson learned is that Washington cannot be changed from the inside, being told straight up that he made promises but didn't keep them, this is the hardest hitting interview to date for Obama and it came from Univision.

His dodge came when he was asked why the U.S. was not better prepared, security wise, at it's embassies on the anniversary of 9/11, Obama went off on a tangent of not tolerating violence, blaming the Mohammed movie trailer, spoke about upping security after the death of Ambassador Stevens and three others in Libya, but he never once addressed the question that was asked.... When he could not excuse the inexcusable, he deflected.

Then another uncomfortable moment, describe by Politico:

However, much of the time in front of the Spanish-language audience here was spent on Obama’s failure to get comprehensive immigration reform — something that Obama attributed to focusing instead on the economy and blaming Republicans in Congress.

But to host Jorge Ramos, that answer was not good enough.

“You promised that, and a promise is a promise,” Ramos told Obama. “And with all due respect, you didn’t keep that promise.”
Then came the hard hitting questions about Fast and Furious, why Obama is not releasing the information the House Oversight Committee has requested, even issued a subpoena for if he has nothing to hide,  as well as question why Obama hasn't fired Eric Holder. Obama spun his talking points, but the two interviewers Maria Elena Salinas and Jorge Ramos, continued and asked what conservatives have been asking since the beginning "Let’s have an independent investigation, because at the end of the day, this is the Justice Department investigating its boss and is saying they say is not at fault? Why don’t we have, very briefly, an independent investigation that is not done by the Justice Department?"

More on that portion of the interview can be found at The Daily Caller, along with the video of that segment. Reason's Hit and Run also has a piece up about that portion of the interview.

The answer that provided the most fodder for conservatives was his biggest lesson learned. In 2008, Obama's whole campaign theme was based on "hope and change", where he swore if he was elected as president he would change Washington and now he claims Washington cannot be changed from the inside.


“I think that I’ve learned some lessons over the last four years and the most important lesson I’ve learned is that you can’t change Washington from the inside. You can only change it from the outside."--- Barack Obama 2012, Univision Forum

Bill Clinton brought change to Washington from the inside. When after both the Senate and House became controlled by Republicans in 1994, he triangulated, moved to the center, was heavily criticized for it be members of his own Democratic party, but managed to accomplish quite a bit working in a bipartisan manner.

The difference between Clinton and Obama has never been more stark. Clinton listened and learned when the midterms put Republicans in control of the House and the Senate, he understood that for anything to happen, he would have to move toward the middle and compromise, because the public had spoken with their votes.

In the 2010 midterms, Republicans took control of the House, with the largest turnover of seats from one party to another in over 70 years. The people spoke. Obama did not listen nor learn, he didn't move toward the middle, he moved farther to the left and guaranteed that the partisan divisions would bring gridlock to Washington.

So it was no surprise that Mitt Romney immediately hit Obama on his failure of his promise to "change" Washington and his admitting that he could not do it.


"The president today threw in the white flag of surrender again. He said he can't change Washington from the inside, he could only change it from outside. Well we're going to give him that chance in November. He's going outside!"-- Mitt Romney

This brings up the title question many conservatives have been asking and very likely what some centrist Democrats have been asking among each other. Other Democrats, the far left liberals, applaud his surrender of trying to change, would rather see the gridlock than to use Clinton's success and a guide to succeed with a two party controlled Congress and White House.

Which brings us to the headlined question.

Why did Obama do so badly in the Univision interview? (Please, no teleprompter jokes)

Bryan Preston over at PJ Tatler has a hunch and makes quite a bit of sense in his analysis to that question:

President Obama leads strongly among Latino voters. Based on how reporters in the English-speaking media treat issues like Fast and Furious, he probably expected an easy ride through the Univision appearance. He probably expected to play a game of softball, as he had with People en Espanol on Friday at the height of the unrest in the Middle East. That magazine apparently let Obama bat around until his arms got tired, then tweeted their joy at being privileged to bask in his presence.

So he goes into Univision thinking “This is gonna be another easy day of hitting for the fences.” Like he handled his Presidential Daily Briefings, he didn’t do his homework. He didn’t realize that Univision strives to be more than an entertainment hub, it strives to be a serious news network. Univision goes out of its way to hire bilingual hard news reporters so it can piggy back with other local news stations and generate news content in English and Spanish (Telemundo does this too). He didn’t factor in the possibility that Univision wanted to do more than just give him straight pitches down the middle, they wanted to use the opportunity of a rare extended interview with him to get answers, and make some headlines of their own. He didn’t anticipate the threat of tough questions from real and inquisitive journalists, just as his administration didn’t anticipate the threat of terrorists using the 9-11 anniversary to give America a black eye.

What I’m saying is, Barack Obama lumped Univision in with the unserious media he tends to do — Letterman, People en Espanol, and so forth. The media his campaign gives his time to tend to slow jam the news and tell him how fabulous he is. Switching metaphors, his handlers keep the training wheels on, with the bolts welded to the frame. Univision ripped those training wheels off, sending little Barry crashing in ditch. He ended up saying he can’t change Washington, and his biggest failure has been to pander sufficiently on immigration reform when we have 23 million Americans who want work but can’t find it thanks to him and his policies. He had no answer why the consulate in Benghazi wasn’t secured or why Eric Holder has gotten away with a policy that has left hundreds of Mexican citizens and two American agents dead. He saw none of these questions coming.

Whether Obama stereotyped Univision because most media tend to make life easier for him, or he disrespected the Spanish-speaking network and its audience as such, I’ll leave for others to ponder. They’re not mutually exclusive.

Obama did miscalculate. He went in understanding Hispanics by and large are a Democratic demographic and he assumed that as such, he could give them face time, smile pretty, and take their vote for granted, simply because of the D as his party affiliation.

In December 2009, Obama received a 73 percent favorable rating from Hispanics, but that dropped to 52 percent at the end of June 2012.

What he didn't count on is that many Hispanics, while agreeing with the Democratic party on many social issues, cannot be taken for granted by Obama and Democrats and perhaps that is another big lesson that Obama will learn in 2012.

Kudos to Univision for making this interview hard hitting and not backing down in calling Obama out for his failures.