Thursday, March 12, 2009

CNN Commentary By Ed Rollins - Slow down, Mr. President


While going through my morning ritual of checking all the major news sites for articles I feel you might be interested in, I came across a commentary piece on CNN.com. It caught my attention because of the headline: Commentary: Slow down, Mr. President.

This caught my attention more than anything because it was on CNN, and not Fox. The article was written by Ed Rollins, who is a Republican strategist who was President Reagan's political director and was national chairman of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's 2008 presidential campaign.

Mr. Rollins' chief point of his commentary is a good one. While President Obama was patient and showed great stamina in defeating both Hilary Clinton and then John McCain in the general election, should he now be a sprinter rather than a marathoner as he was before getting into the Oval Office. Here is a little taste of Ed's commentary. You can read the entire article over at CNN.com.

President Obama showed a marathoner's pace when he took on the Democratic establishment and defeated Hillary Clinton in the long primary season campaign and still had enough left to finish off a tired John McCain in the general election. He was disciplined and executed the long-distance runner's strategy perfectly.

However, the new president has now become a sprinter, racing out of the blocks full speed ahead! A sprinter doesn't have to pace himself. He just uses every ounce of energy, power and speed to get himself to the finish line in the fastest time.

We know the president is running fast. He and the Congress have spent more money in a shorter period of time than ever in our history. And Congress seldom moves fast

The problem we have is, we don't know after 50-plus days in office what the distance of the race is and what's the level of the president's pace or his endurance.

This is still a man we don't know. He gives the appearance of being cool under fire. We know he is smart, and we know he can give a good speech. Pollsters tell us the public likes him. Every president since Eisenhower has been liked at this stage of the game. But liking the man doesn't mean you like his policies.

We also don't know if he is a decision-maker. Can he prioritize? To date, he has been a man of motion. He has by the stroke of a pen -- through executive orders -- undone a lot of the Bush agenda, the same tactic Bush used to undo the Clinton agenda. That's his prerogative.

But the critical question is whether the president is in a fight or flight mode. Is he running fast because he is scared and thinks today's crisis necessitates immediate action, including reckless spending? Or, as I suspect, he is in a fight mode, and the fight is to change the course of this country toward bigger government and solving all problems at the federal level. If it's the latter, then I am very concerned, and every taxpayer should be, too.

What are your thoughts on President Obama's first 50 days or so in office?

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