The Amateur

When Barack Obama became President, I expected, as a Conservative, that he would promote a great many policies that I did not approve of. I did not expect, however, the sheer incompetence that he and his administration should demonstrate. And, even as the months and years went by, I never realized the scale of this incompetence until I read Edward Klein’s book, The Amateur.

Klein begins by examining Barack Obama’s rather slim record before he became President. Birthers or people who believe that Obama is some kind of sinister Manchurian Candidate will not find such to satisfy them here. Klein notes that Obama’s careers as president of the Harvard Law Review, Illinois State Senator, and United States Senator were all most notable for a singular lack of any actual accomplishments or any substantial trail left behind. Obama seems to have been far more interested in making grand speeches than in the daily details work of the legislator. He seldom attended committee meetings and seemed to be not very interested in his constituents.

Klein goes on to point out that these personality traits have persisted into Obama’s career in the White House.  The trouble with Barack Obama is that he has not had the sort of experiences in his life that would have prepared him for the Presidency. This, by itself, would not be a fatal flaw, as Obama could have surrounded himself with experts in foreign and domestic policy whose advice he could have sought. President Obama, however, does not seem to be aware that he is inexperienced and has a high enough opinion of himself that he believes himself to be more knowledgeable than the experts. The result is an administration that continually makes foolish mistakes and is incapable of learning from these mistakes. Barack Obama, then, is in the words of Bill Clinton, an amateur.

It would, perhaps, be easy to dismiss The Amateur as yet another partisan hit job on Obama. Liberal supporters of Obama will certainly see it that way, just as many Conservatives will delight in the anecdotes of the President’s incompetence. I think that honest observers will find that the arguments in The Amateur ring true as they scan the headlines and see ample evidence that few, if any, in the Obama administration really know what they are doing. Honest Liberals would do well to read this book and consider whether Barack Obama is really the best their side has to offer.

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