There is a difference between a business plan and a business outcome. A business plan states how one intends to spend money combined with a forecast of how it will turn out. One can only control the inputs. If the plan was ill conceived, or there was bad luck or just bad timing, the outcome will be bad. Entrepreneurs and corporate management teams live by this reality every day. By analogy, the same is true in politics. Legislation is the equivalent of a plan. The results of that legislation are the outcome. His health care and stimulus bills are just “plans”, not outcomes. So far the public severely dislikes the outcomes. That is usually very bad for “management”, unless they change their ways.
How ironic is it that 2 months before the midterm elections the one success Barack Obama can crow about is the completion of the dreaded Bush Iraq war plan? He was even forced to invoke a “surge” in Afghanistan which subliminally tells his audience he is attempting to replicate Bush’s success in Iraq. Even worse, he must do this against the background noise of his Defense Secretary, Marine Commandant, and head of Afghanistan war operations telling the world the July, 2011 withdrawal date is “conditions” based only. He already fired one General for “insubordination”, so that option seems off the table.
Could Barack Obama have possibly looked weaker, even resigned, than he did during his Oval office speech? His weight has dropped, remarkable given how thin he is to begin with, which causes suspicion he has re-fired up his “nicotine jones”. This week he has defaulted to that great filler of presidential time, the “Mideast peace process”. Nothing smells more like defeat than another useless round of Israeli-Palestinian “peace talks”. Barack Obama can always be saved by an economic recovery, but he is disinclined to create policies which will increase his chances. Such actions are too trivial for a man who is trying to save our country for the ages.
Meanwhile, the public is running out of patience and Barack Obama is running out of time. By November, he could become one of the earliest presidents to reach lame duck status since the great peanut farmer himself.