Wanted: Leaders – Experience Required

By: Eddie Clements

It’s worse than we first thought. President-Elect Obama is stocking the cabinet and staff with former Clintonistas, maybe the Grande Damme herself. What would posses the newly elected Obama to reject his own choices for staff and cabinet, who must certainly be different than former Clinton loyalists and would present fewer potential problems?

Answer: Obama doesn’t know any with the experience and gravitas to move into the good offices of the President of the United States.

Bill Clinton was the first Democrat President since Jimmy Carter left office in 1980, now twenty-eight years ago. During the campaign, Obama had the luxury of being able to solicit any advisors, measure their responses, and weigh them against other sources of knowledge and advice. Most of these were academics, theorists, and campaign-type operatives; book-writers and staffers. Probably the only businessman Obama knew with real-world executive experience was Tony Rezko, and he…well, you know.

Now picking Joe Biden for Vice-President makes perfect sense. His gratitude for this and not having an original thought in his head makes him an unquestioning loyalist. In addition, Biden has met many people during his experience in Washington. Obama likely met few other advisors with any direct experience willing to serve an inexperienced politician like Obama. Especially so if their previous loyalties were to the Clintons, Bill and she of the defeated inevitable candidacy.

Smart Democrats must know Obama is likely to crash and burn without plenty of support, especially now given the circumstances under which he takes office. They were willing to help elect the guy, despite his ethereal resume, probably thinking they would be sure he had help and would worry about the serious stuff as it came. Being black helps immensely, since it makes Obama unassailable without being charged with bigotry, a tactic used early and often during the campaign. If you got no real answer, just cry “racist” to make the meanies back off. Media dupes are willing accomplices in this strategy, and any other way they can think of to support their chosen candidate.

Now the circumstances are more serious than anyone could have foreseen. In addition to Iraq, a place we can’t stay in forever, and terrorism ready to strike from a number of other quarters, there is saber-rattling in Moscow and a world-class economic problem.

The economic crisis is more than just credit. Our own economy is lashed to the mast with regulation, heavy consumer debt on credit cards, and union contracts, to name a few. The price of oil threatened to keel-haul business and consumers. We will all be lucky just to ride out this economic storm with our teeth intact. The old saying is true as ever that when the United States sneezes, the world catches cold. Since U.S. Treasury bonds, notes, and bills are the world’s most attractive safe investments, problems here ripple the world over. Note the rapid drop in oil prices when we got into a serious short-term credit situation.

The benefit of the economic crisis has been to short-circuit the planned seizure of assets and huge increase in taxes. Don’t give me with the three-percent-increase jazz from expiration of the Bush tax cuts. Much more than that was in store; there is no more reason to believe Obama now than there was during the campaign. There is no reason to doubt that inheritance taxes were also scheduled to rise precipitously to redistribute wealth. Obama said he thought we should “spread the wealth around”, remember?
The crisis at hand explains why we saw pictures of Obama surrounded by geriatric economic advisors. Inexperienced as he is, he knew the people he had been talking to could not begin to deal with this stuff. Paul Volcker made a special trip back from the dead to be there. This is beyond anything envisioned by the Democrat power brokers. Mishandling it could spell their doom, which may explain why they closed ranks to ensure a consistent network of lies were in place to avoid responsibility for causing it.
The Republicans’ silence about placing fault on the Democrats must be explained by …. what? Militant timidity? Republicans protested being blamed for the mortgage crisis with the ferocity of a day-old kitten. They must have been bad scared. Which means the crisis was much worse than reports have let on.

It’s one thing to test theories about income redistribution, another to be faced with a major constituency, unions, looking to the President-Elect for a return on their voting investment. If it was just a couple of billion on real loan, that would be one thing. But $25 billion? This will mostly be transferred to unions for pension deals. If automakers can’t make their contractual payments, union members don’t get their sweet deals.

If they filed for bankruptcy, the automakers could be re-organized, new labor contracts negotiated, and costs subsequently lowered, but that strategy is dead on arrival. Obama also has to bail out Jennifer Grenholm, the possibly criminally incompetent governor of Michigan who blew that state’s economy up. If she looks bad, taxation-rich liberalism looks bad; it’s important to make liberalism look like salvation. Working out a deal to get automakers back on the hook while continuing entitlements requires some fancy government bookkeeping. Exit the theorists, enter the practitioners. What they are probably actually talking about is how to put lipstick on the pig so taxpayers can remain cheerfully supportive and not figure out how ignorant 52% of the public was to vote for an avowed socialist.

No less an Obama supporter than Mark Cuban has now noticed he has no entrepreneurs in that circle of advisors. Cuban actually thinks Obama thinks business is important. Experienced the current crop of advisors is, but only in D.C., not the real world. They can’t conceive of plans to actually grow the economy because they have never done it. Washington is a fantasy world where you print money as needed and make law to take money from people who earn it to back up the print run of dollar bills. No one Obama has around him has actually ever been accountable beyond their own miserable skins. Now the professional political mouthpieces have to come up with something, and it will be Obama’s program: take everything you can from taxpayers.

Do it quickly, while they’re still swooning.

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