Is Barack Obama a failure?

by Jim Longworth

Here’s what Stephen Hess of the Brookings Institute said of the president: “He is a process president who places greater emphasis on methods, procedures, and instruments for making policy, than on the content of policy itself. His passion in government is for HOW things are done, rather than WHAT should be done.”

The kicker is that Hess’s analysis was written in 1978 about President Jimmy Carter, but it could just as well apply to our current occupant of the White House.

Carter let American hostages languish in Iranian captivity for 444 days and left their extraction to his successor. And, Carter blamed the American people for 22 percent interest rates and long lines at the gas pumps, saying we were in a “malaise.”

Today, Barack Obama has us languishing in two wars and involved in several other uprisings, while the majority of Americans want our troops home. He says our economy is in a recovery which has merely hit a “bump in the road,” yet 82 percent of Americans say we are still in a recession. Obama fumbled a chance at real healthcare reform while his party had control of Congress, and now healthcare insurance premiums, hospital costs and drug company profits are higher than ever before. And last Friday, the President hit into a double play that could finish him off with his core supporters. In one fateful day, he halted EPA regulations on smog standards, and announced that no jobs had been created in the month of August.

Republicans had a field day with the president’s shortcomings.

Representative Joe Walsh called Obama’s jobs plan “idiotic,” and Mitt Romney proclaimed, “The American people have zero faith in Barack Obama because he created zero jobs last month.”

Obama just can’t seem to get out of his own way. For example, had he brought the troops home from Iraq after taking office, our national debt would be lower, and he could have allocated a portion of the defense budget to create public-sector jobs across the nation. According to the National Priorities Project, Guilford County’s share of the Iraq war funds expended in 2010 alone could have added nearly 4,000 jobs to our local economy. And in Forsyth, that number is over 3,000. That’s 7,000 teachers, policemen, and fire fighters who could have been employed in just two local counties. Instead, America celebrated Labor Day with 15 million people unemployed, and another 8 million underemployed.

Democrats say that Obama inherited Iraq and a bad economy from George Bush, but so far, instead of extracting us from the former and improving the latter, he has expanded our foreign entanglements and made the economy even worse.

Back in July of 2010, Sienna College released a survey of 238 Presidential scholars who ranked Obama No. 15 among our nation’s 44 Commanders in Chief. But those are the same scholars who probably thought it was okay to award a Nobel Peace Prize to a man who had failed to bring peace anywhere.

Yes, Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama have a lot in common. Both are among our most intelligent presidents. Both are insightful. Both are skilled diplomats, and both are sympathetic to the human condition. But unless Obama can turn the economy around in the next twelve months, he and Mr. Carter will share one other thing in common. Both will go down in history as one-term presidents.

Jim Longworth is the host of “Triad Today,” airing on Fridays at 6:30 a.m. on ABC 45 (cable channel 7) and Sundays at 10 p.m. on WMYV (cable channel 15).