Attack Botch?

Thank heavens, I am not a political advisor. If I were, I would take the President behind the barn and explain that looking like a twit is not a sound re-election strategy. At which point I would be fired–another good reason not to pursue that as a career.

Attack watch, a campaign web site devoted to “getting the facts” and “fighting the smears” against Obama launched two days ago to the delight of every conservative pundit who can type. Within hours, there were 750 followers. Lord knows how many there are now, or how many spoofs have been spawned in the meantime. It has become the greatest political joke of our time and has done so at Internet speed–36 hours. (#attackwatch on Twitter lands you among what I am told are the funniest political jokes to hit the Internet in a while.)

A wise man once told me that whenever someone prefaces a comment with, “Let me be honest with you,” I should ask myself if they are lying the rest of the time. Since then, I have always remembered not to rely on anyone’s word that they are honest.

Add to that the type of thing that passes for a “lie” in AW’s book. Legitimate differences of opinion, like whether Obama has created any jobs or whether he supports Israel are part and parcel of the debate necessary to our momentous decision about our next Chief Executive. A confident and competent President would welcome the chance to show his/her ability to address these issues. Instead, the Obama campaign is beginning to look like Al Gore–worn out, defensive, pathetic. The answer to legitimate criticism is not an argument, but a whine, and then a louder one.

This is not an Administration to which anyone, liberal or conservative, looks for leadership anymore. Obama is not a firm, stalwart general out in front of the troops, but more like a bookish lieutenant in the Command Tent poring over papers about battle strategies. When he does venture out, his troops work hard to resist a smirk. The enemy soldiers across the battlefield lazily clean their weapons and mull the dishonor of engaging a worthless opponent. They charge, not with a shout, but a sigh.

Each day, Obama demonstrates that he is just not much of a man.* He is a young adolescent still in knickers, pretending to be President. Were he to don some long pants, one could at least respect him while disagreeing. As it is, he garners respect from no quarter. Yet instead of getting out of the way, he childishly refuses to let adults get about the business of setting the economy aright and injecting strength into a country that grows softer by the day.

The next 15 months will be painful. Few of us like to see a human being descend to the levels Obama will visit as his character and his support devolve into an object of pity. Let us hope that we find better in 2012.


*Obviously, woman can and do have leadership qualities. The contrast is intended as a critique of Obama’s character, not a swipe at women.

About Terry Noel

I am an Associate Professor of Management and Quantitative Methods at Illinois State University. My specialty is entrepreneurship.
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1 Response to Attack Botch?

  1. Jane Carrell says:

    You categorize this particular PR error very aptly: “The answer to legitimate criticism is not an argument, but a whine, and then a louder one.” This harkens back to an overlooked (pre-election) fault of this individual who is the most powerful man in the world. He is the consummate narcissist. Whining is what narcissists do, when thwarted, or cheated of their accustomed level of praise. It will be good riddance, come Inauguration Day, January 2013. “The End of an Error”


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