Patterico's Pontifications


Q: President Obama, what was your biggest mistake?

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 7:18 am

[Posted by Karl]

I ask because it was the sort of question the establishment media loved to ask the prior president:

“Two and a half years later, do you feel any sense of personal responsibility for September 11th?”

“One of the biggest criticisms of you is that whether it’s WMD in Iraq, postwar planning in Iraq, or even the question of whether this administration did enough to ward off 9/11, you never admit a mistake. Is that a fair criticism, and do you believe that there were any errors in judgment that you made related to any of those topics I brought up?”

“Two weeks ago, a former counterterrorism official at the NSC, Richard Clarke, offered an unequivocal apology to the American people for failing them prior to 9/11. Do you believe the American people deserve a similar apology from you, and would you prepared to give them one?”

“You’ve looked back before 9/11 for what mistakes might have been made. After 9/11, what would your biggest mistake be, would you say, and what lessons have you learned from it?”

“I guess I’d like to know if you feel, in any way, that you have failed as a communicator on [Iraq].”

That was all in one press conference; the interrogators included NBC’s David Gregory, CBS’s John Roberts, and Time’s John Dickenson.  The narrative that George W. Bush would not admit mistakes — fomented by a press in “When did you stop beating your wife?” mode — became a theme of the Kerry campaign when Bush stood for re-election.

Pres. Obama’s 60 Minutes interview this past Sunday revealed a man who allowed for no failure of his own or of his administration, not on policy, not even on overpromising.  Rather than meekly offering, “There’s a general perception that the stimulus was not enough. That it really didn’t work,” Steve Kroft might have noted the net job loss during Obama’s term and referred to Obama’s 2009 statement that the nice thing about his situation was that if he can’t turn the economy around after three years “then there is going to be a one term proposition.”

Of course, Kroft would never do that.  It’s likely that, left to their own devices, no one in the establishment media would question Obama they way they did Bush, offering the choice between admitting mistakes, looking arrogant, or avoiding accountability.  There is an entire field of GOP candidates who could make the point that Obama blames everyone else for his failures, which might goad the press into covering the point.  RNC types probably want to shun this approach on the theory that people feel sorry for Obama… but maybe they feel sorry for him because no one dares point out he wanted the job and wanted to be held accountable, but now takes no repsonsibility for his failures.


29 Responses to “Q: President Obama, what was your biggest mistake?”

  1. Ding!

    Karl (e39d6b)

  2. It’s was a waste of innocent electrons, that were sacrificed;

    narciso (87e966)

  3. CNN’s Dan Lothian asked Obama about the position of some Republican candidates on water boarding:

    “So I’m wondering if you think that they’re uninformed, out of touch, or irresponsible.”

    That is the level of today’s journalism.

    What makes it even funnier is that Obama never blames his policies. He blames his ability to explain and promote their value.

    AZ Bob (7dbcdc)

  4. Commercials featuring President O’Blameless amid Greek columns claiming he wanted to be held responsible followed by finger pointing to tsunamis, tornadoes, Arab uprisings, European debt crises, etc., etc., would be a nice touch.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  5. Well they repeat the Levick Group meme, even without prompting, every soldier is guilty and
    every terrorist innocent, until proven otherwise, Meanwhile;

    narciso (87e966)

  6. Obama’s biggest mistake? deciding to run for a job he was not qualified for in the first place.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  7. Nice link, narciso, re: post #2. For example, here’s a hard hitting question:

    “Have you given up on the Republicans? Have you stopped reaching out to them? Are you just out there now trying to get your message across?”


    “You definitely have some impressive accomplishments. (O: Thank you Steve.) No, you do. And more than a lot of presidents who manage to get reelected. My question is, is it enough? Why do you think you deserve to be reelected?”


    “I’m sure your poll numbers will probably automatically go up as soon as there is a Republican candidate in the race. I mean, that’s normal. I mean, you’re being judged now on your performance.”

    This last one is funny. Imagine being judged on your performance. How unfair.

    AZ Bob (7dbcdc)

  8. Making poor hiring decisions for key positions is something that could rank high on the list. His panoply of cabinet and czar level losers would look good on my local post office wall.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  9. _____________________________________________

    It’s was a waste of innocent electrons, that were sacrificed;

    A liberal columnist (Conor Friedersdorf) working for a liberal publication (The Atlantic) criticizing a liberal reporter (Steve Kroft) for playing softball with a liberal (or ultra-liberal—ie, when one has the gut biases of “goddamn America!”) president. But then how many of these same types will deny that much of the media is tilted to the left? Or say something dumb like: “It’s BS to claim the MSM slants things in favor of liberals and liberalism! After all, outfits like CBS News are owned by big corporations!!”

    Mark (411533)

  10. Yes, I know, but if failed even by that standard,
    speaking of curious hiring practices;

    narciso (87e966)

  11. The canadian pipeline will create jobs which harm the environment

    /Tree huggers

    We have support for raising taxes on anyone not our cronies

    /Scary Screed

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  12. His biggest mistake was to lie 24/7, and make that explicit government policy.

    Yeah, as the late Wm. Safire said, the Clinton’s were congenital liars and under their watch “leading America” became telling us what was best for us to believe.

    But Scratch, Lord of the Flies, has abandoned that gloss:

    From zero hedge, Black Friday rosy goodness a lie:

    Big sales on negative margins mean 0.2 percent growth for retail, year on year, after adjustment for inflation.

    And 2010 was a very good year. /sarc off

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  13. Sometime after he leaves office, Obama will answer this question with “I should have played more golf.”

    Kevin M (563f77)

  14. Comment by Kevin M — 12/13/2011 @ 9:33 am

    And, on Nov 6th, the American People will afford him that opportunity.

    AD-RtR/OS! (21429a)

  15. Screw that! He can play all the golf he wants RIGHT NOW.

    He can remain the POTUS; just don’t sign anything … executive ordes, pledges, treaties, signing statements, bills into law — none of that! Just go play golf for the next eleven months.

    Icy (1a73e7)

  16. It bears pointing out that Friedersdorf has been quite hostile to Obama in the past, cf

    aphrael (5d993c)

  17. You have to wonder how many invitations he’s had to forego?

    AD-RtR/OS! (21429a)

  18. Like all liberals Lord of the Flies is a functional atheist.

    That fact notwithstanding, his association with Jeremiah Wright, Louis Farrakhan, appeasment of the Iranians, apologies for terrorists like Hassan, and overt support for radical Islam everywhere only highlight his common disposition with fundamentalist Muslims.

    He’s pro-Death, for dispatching survivors of partial-birth abortion, rocketting Israeli children, piling debt on unborn Amerikkkans until they must default,…

    There is no argument, antiChrist, open the seventh seal.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  19. Bemidji midget
    his mirrored visage melts like
    land o’lakes buttah

    Colonel Haiku (db6c74)

  20. That’s easy.

    Attempting to compromise with Republicans

    B.Obama (32ce47)

  21. The idea that Obama reached out in an effort to compromise is laughably absurd.

    JD (8edcef)

  22. To Fox viewers maybe.

    Everybody else, not so much.

    B.Obama (32ce47)

  23. You are beyond parody, troll.

    JD (8edcef)

  24. IMaDickWad is back!

    AD-RtR/OS! (21429a)

  25. And here I thought someone was cracking a joke. I had a good chuckle and felt thankful to whoever had posted it. It never occurred to me that it was meant seriously.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  26. I can’t quit yew!

    IaMDoucheWipe (1a73e7)

  27. he wanted the job and wanted to be held accountable

    Ah, no no no no….

    He wanted the job, and he wanted the credit for any successes.

    He’s a libtard. He never, ever, under ANY circumstance wanted to take the blame for any failures.

    Smock Puppet, SF/Sci-Fi Critic (2fb1c2)

  28. Just go play golf for the next eleven months.

    Wind, rain, snow, or shine…

    And lightning….

    Especially *lightning*.

    Smock Puppet, SF/Sci-Fi Critic (2fb1c2)

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