President Obama takes to late-night TV
October 26th, 2011
12:35 AM ET

President Obama takes to late-night TV

On Tuesday night President Obama sat down with Jay Leno on  NBC’s The Tonight Show and there were several interesting exchanges. The interview spanned three segments of the hour-long show and ranged from foreign policy to economics to 2012, moving from serious to funny and back again.

Right off the top Leno asked the president about criticisms of his approach to foreign policy – despite many arguable successes in recent months – based on a phrase used by one of his advisers in an interview with the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza. While discussing the president’s approach to the conflict in Libya, the adviser described the United States to Lizza as “leading from behind.”

The phrase immediately sparked a lot of conversation – especially in conservative circles – even causing Lizza to follow up with a blog post about the true meaning of the phrase, citing this Nelson Mandela quote as one source of the concepts popularity:

It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.

Tonight Obama responded to the criticism – and denied the use of the phrase:

THE PRESIDENT: Well, the truth was, we - this was a phrase that the media picked up on. But it's not one that I ever used. We lead from the front.  We introduced the resolution in the United Nations that allowed us to protect civilians in Libya when Gaddafi was threatening to slaughter them.  It was our extraordinary men and women in uniform, our pilots who took out their air defense systems, set up a no-fly zone.  It was our folks in NATO who were helping to coordinate the NATO operation there.  And the difference here is we were able to organize the international community.  We were able to get the U.N. mandate for the operation.  We were able to get Arab countries involved.  And so there was never this sense that somehow we were unilaterally making a decision to take out somebody.  Rather, it was the world community.  And that's part of the reason why this whole thing only cost us a billion dollars - as opposed to a trillion dollars.  Not a single U.S. troop was on the ground.  Not a single U.S. troop was killed or injured, and that, I think, is a recipe for success in the future.

On a lighter note, Leno asked President Obama about rumors that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden might switch jobs for the 2012 elections:

JAY LENO:  Now, let me ask you something.  And this is a fun story.  This is stuff I love, this rumor that Joe Biden and Hilary might swap, and she might run for Vice President and he might - is there any –

THE PRESIDENT:  You know, Joe Biden is not only a great Vice President, but he has been a great advisor and a great friend to me.  So I think that they are doing great where they are, and both of them are racking up a lot of miles. Joe tends to go more to Pittsburgh. Hilary is going to Karachi. But they've both got important work to do.  They are doing great.

On Friday, President Obama announced that the U.S. would remove all troops from Iraq by the end of 2011. Citing the thousands of service members that we have lost in the war there, and the billions of dollars spent over the course of 9 years, Leno asked the president what we had accomplished:

THE PRESIDENT: I think Americans can rightly be proud that we have given Iraqis an opportunity to determine their own destiny, but I also think that policymakers and future Presidents need to understand what it is that we are getting ourselves into when we make some of these decisions.  And there might have been other ways for us to accomplish those same goals.  But the main thing right now is to celebrate the extraordinary work that our men and women did.  Having them home for the holidays for good is going to be a big deal.

Leno also asked the president about the Occupy Wall Street movement – an outpost of which has set up shop just a few blocks from the White House in Washington D.C. The president seemed to attribute much of the frustration to a pervasive feeling that “the deck is stacked against” average Americans:

THE PRESIDENT:  Look, people are frustrated, and that frustration has expressed itself in a lot of different ways. It expressed itself in the Tea Party.  It's expressing itself in Occupy Wall Street. I do think that what this - what this signals is that people in leadership, whether it's corporate leadership, leaders in the banks, leaders in Washington, everybody needs to understand that the American people feel like nobody is looking out for them right now.  And, traditionally, what held this country together was this notion that if you work hard, if you are playing by the rules, if you are responsible, if you are looking out for your family, you are showing up to work every day and doing a good job, you've got a chance to get ahead. You've got a chance to succeed.  And, right now, it feels to people like the deck is stacked against them, and the folks in power don't seem to be paying attention to that.

So if everybody is tuned in to that message and we are working every single day to figure out how do we give people a fair shake and how do we make sure that everybody is doing their fair share, then people won't be occupying the streets because they will have a job and they will feel like they are able to get ahead. But, right now, they are frustrated.  And part of my job over the next year is to make sure that if they are not seeing it out of Congress at a minimum, they are seeing it out of their President, somebody who is going to be fighting for them.

On his campaign eating habits, President Obama said that his wife doesn’t mind his occasional trips for hamburgers and fried chicken as long as it’s in moderation. And after reaffirming once-and-for-all that he has “definitively” quit smoking, the president said he’s dealing with the pressure by exercising at the White House every morning with his wife. On family issues, President Obama said that his older daughter Malia just got a cell phone, but she’s not allowed to use it during the week – “just like they are not allowed to watch TV during the week.”

As a big basketball fan, Leno couldn’t resist asking the president about the NBA lockout, and the president called the situation “heartbreaking:”

JAY LENO:  Well, I know you are a huge basketball fan.  This lockout, this is really depressing.

THE PRESIDENT:  It's heartbreaking.

JAY LENO:  What needs to be done here?  Who is wrong?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, look, if you look at the NFL, they were able to settle theirs.

JAY LENO:  Yeah.

THE PRESIDENT:  And I think they understood.  Players were making millions of dollars.  Owners, some of us are worth billions of dollars.  We should be able to figure out how to split a nine-billion-dollar pot so that our fans, who are allowing us to make all of this money, can actually have a good season.  And I think the owners and the basketball players need to think the same way.


Topics: President Obama

soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Steve Maiello

    Sir, my question is why no serious questions where not asked except scripted ones as hearing a party line is just one view and as a national figure trying to use a one sided political view not only hurts your reputation but also the presidents as well. Why not asked real questions that the American public want to hear not only the catch phrases on bringing troops home ect... enough of the party line.....!! I am sure this comment will not make it online or be posted but felt I had to try. Please feel free to pass it on to to the Presidents staff as well, as I know I will never get a response just being a average working person with no pull in government or the political arena.
    Thank you,
    respectfully submitted,
    Steve Maiello
    US Veteran 1981-2006

    October 26, 2011 at 3:22 am |
    • Trace

      Steve ...First Thank You for your service, if that is truly the case. My father served honorably in the Army for 25 years, until his death.

      One thing he never did is try to paint an opinion of His president as political. He signed up to protect this country, and did so without questioning the CIC and how he did his job.

      You might try that

      October 26, 2011 at 10:14 am |
      • steveo

        Hope you don't mind me jumping in this but:
        1. The man said he served! I'll take him at his word.
        2. I appreciate your Dad's service! My Dad served as well, as did I.
        3. Steve is simply exercising his 1st amendment rights. Last time I checked that was still allowed!
        4. I see nothing disrespectful in his post!
        5. That is all (for now).

        October 26, 2011 at 11:22 am |
      • C-Lo

        Trace, I think this points to one of the systemic problems of the last 40-50 years, generally. Presidents ARE politicians these days. Don't know how old you or your father are, but I wonder if he served in a time when Presidents were and acted as military, rising through the ranks (Eisnhower, Johnson, Kennedy (to an extent) etc.) and acted primarily as CIC. These days, the CIC and Head of State seem to take on more honorrary titles than job descriptions. Don't know if that's a sign of the times, a shift in "reporting" and how the media/public portrays the POTUS, the rolls that recent Presidents have assumed, or what.

        Guess what I'm getting at is the POTUS is now more of a political figure than a leader in most people's minds (not that they are mutual exclusive). This is why I long for the day a Powell, Petraeus or similar would run. They are leaders first, men who know the "expense" of war, and politicians second. Obama is proof positive we have allowed the POTUS to be a political figure first (though there are other examples, just he is current and glaring example).

        This is why, IMO, you see the chasm separating your father's attitude and Steve's.

        October 26, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
      • C-Lo

        Funny thing is after re-reading Seve's post, the question was posed to Leno for not asking the questions, and seems to actually be a request to paint Obama in a better light than his appearance on the show allowed for "...not only hurts your reputation but also the presidents as well."

        October 26, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • Howard

      More campaigning, public relations, and photo ops ... while Ameirca circles the bowl.
      Obama's policies have resulted in Afghanistan siding with Pakistan against America ... creating a Libya that goes sharia (with thousands of missing stinger missles) ... an Iraq which will be taken over by Iran ... and, the rest of the middle east, who we depend on for oil, to line up against us ... while throwing our strongest mid-east ally, Israel, under the bus. In the mean time, Obama has diverted, blocked, or stopped all new oil drilling in the U.S.A., in favor of his impractical, inequitable, ineffective green pixie dust ... leaving America dependent on our adversaries for our energy ... and, all of this, while dramatically increasing our debt, and lowering our credit rating ...now, that's what I call terrible leadership. SAVE AMERICA ... DUMP obama as soon as possible !!!

      October 26, 2011 at 10:47 am |
      • C-Lo

        Howard:
        While I agree with a lot of what you say with regard to the President's policies and effect on the US, your cut/paste repeating the same mantra over and over does little to provide information and less to add to the dialog. This approach does not generally influence anyone.

        October 26, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  2. Victoria avgam54

    The President was thruthful, compassionate, had a great record to tout, was down to earth, approcahable funny & kind! I love so much that a man like this can kick so much terrorist booty!

    October 26, 2011 at 8:40 am |
  3. jean2009

    I'm amazed at people who would for starters think an interview with a late-night talk show comedian would be the same as an interview on say "Meet the Press". I do find the question asked were honestly and thoughtfully answered by the President.

    And yes, Howard the president is allowed to campaign, to attend public relation events, and provide opportunities for people to photograph him. Only a total fool would think he could not.
    And only an absolute fool would thing we should not be pursuing every opportunity to create new green and renewable energy industries in this country. The sooner the better is the most practical approach.

    Surprise of all surprise Howard thinks a country made up of Muslims would not go to the roots of their religion for the starting base of their law. Have you ever researched the basis of our Common Law, and its basis in English Law....and on back to its roots? I suggest... www. rational evolution .net – History of the Separation of Church and State.

    Save America vote: Obama-Biden 2012

    October 26, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  4. steveo

    jean2009

    I'm amazed at people who would for starters think an interview with a late-night talk show comedian would be the same as an interview on say "Meet the Press". I do find the question asked were honestly and thoughtfully answered by the President.
    -------
    I fully agree that Leno is entertainment and not a news program. Steve's questions would better fit a Meet the Press. At the same time I will not belittle his feelings and concerns!

    October 26, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • jean2009

      I did not belittle Steve's feeling, concerns, or right to express his opinion....however it is my right to voice my opinion that he was expecting something that is not normal for Jay Leno's venue.

      However Steveo....It does seem you do have a problem with me, or anyone else, for that matter expressing an opinion which isn't in agreement yours without you stating they are belittling another person's concerns. I would suggest getting over that since this is a public comment board.

      Thank you very much.

      October 26, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
      • steveo

        I believe you mis read me. I agree with you Steve's questions were better suited for a news program. I did not mean it was you or anyone else who belittled the coments. My bad for not being clear! I have nave problem with you or anyone else expresssing opposing positions! That is just the way I like it. I will be clearer the next time!

        For the record, I use "belittling" just once. As I read your post, it sounds as if my use of "belittling" is a common occurrance! If I am wrong, feel free to let me know. AND you are welcome very much!

        I think my point is too much name calling by some on all sides! I am such you would agree!

        October 26, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
      • steveo

        Make that "I have no problem with...

        October 26, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
      • steveo

        make that" I am SURE you would agree"

        October 26, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
      • jean2009

        @ Steveo Then why even imply through a comment that I was "belittling" of Steve: or imply that Trace was "disrespectful" of Steve for using his "1st Amendment right to free speech"? I don't think either of our posts said he didn't have a right to state his position. I don't see where either of us were " name calling".

        We do have a right to see things differently than Steve, and a right to state why and how we see it different....have I made my point? Stating an opposing position is not name calling.

        October 26, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
      • Steveo

        ":Stating an opposing position is not name calling"

        I agree but "idiot" and all the other terms Trace likes to toss around when folks disagree with him IS! The man said he served why question that? That is my point!! Nobody is questioning your right to see things differently. Why question mine?. In example, Why is it so hard for you to believe that I refuse to blindly follow any of the two parties? IMO, you guys feel the GOP can do no right and the DEMs can do no wrong!

        October 26, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • Trace

      Steveo, C-Lo,

      I did Thank Steve for his service. That was my first comment as I would have expected that for my father. But this is a different military than that of my father. This is an ALL Voluntary force! Therefore, my point was, today's military personnel sign up willing to serve. This again doesn't lessen my respect for them, but as it is with any other american, you take a job, you do what your boss asks. I certainly do on my job.

      Funny thing though, if anyone ever questioned the previous administration, they were called un-American. I remember that vividly and if either one of you do not, then honesty is not what we are discussing here.

      I would also make this point, This Current President has made it a point to value and treasure the lives of our nation's finest; the men and women that serve this country. Since Obama took office, we have had a coherent foreign policy, taken the fight to those that attacked us on 9-11, nearly decimated Al Qaeda completely, and offered every honor and opportunity to our returning veterans.

      I'm sorry people like Steve feel this president isn't answering the tough questions on a late night variety show. But I have seen This President interviewed on Fox News and answered tough questions to a news organization that reviles and vilifies him every single day. Yet, OUR PRESIDENT, is steady, compassionate and takes the abuse.

      So I ask you all, at what point does Obama get any credit? Honestly, though Dubya made huge blunders, and I questioned alot of his policies, I never thought he deserved to be criticized and given the hard tough questions every place he showed up. Geesh....You people seem unreasonable and very bias against Obama. Its as if This Particular President can't do anything right for those of you that simply promote nothing but his continued criticisms. I believe he's doing the best job he can, and it ain't easy......With apologies, I'm just expressing my freedom of speech.

      October 27, 2011 at 12:11 am |
      • C-Lo

        Nice post Trace. Thanks. I think you are resonable in your statement that criticism of the prior admin was labled anti-patriotic. That being said, the majority of the criticism (right or wrong) was based on the wars, where as the critism of this President is based on domestic policy...at least that's how I'm seeing it framed, which has a different psyche on the population. I am not justifying or demonizing either, just thinking through possible explanations. I think Obama is, and deserves, criticism, as did W, Clinton, Bush 41, Carter, Johnson....(yes I left out Reagan :-) ) But just like so many think he shouldn't be blindly criticised, I don't think he should be blindly extolled.

        As far as Steve's comment and what it's generated in discussion here, (re) read my comment above.

        Last, if you offer apologies for expressing your freedom of speech, you don't deserve your freedom of speech...in otherwords, that is something you, me or anyone else in this county should never apologize for (I understand you phrased it that was to "extend an olive branch). But one thing from me, Trace...I will try to NEVER "belittle" you for expressing your opinion...I may criticize the opinion itself, and return uncivil language, especially later in the week when I feel more snarky, but without us discussing our views and opinions, there is no growth. So please don't feel you need to apologize to me or anyone else for speaking your mind...I just ask you provide the same courtesy (which your post indicates you will).

        Best wishes.

        The 1st Amendment Guarantees our fundamental right to criticize the government without fear of repurcussions.

        October 27, 2011 at 10:38 am |
      • steveo

        Trace,

        Again I agree that Leno is entertainment and not a news program. I saw where thanked Steve for his service. As for me personally, what bothered me were the next few words! Since we all sit behind a computer screen, we don't know each other. I am not saying you meant any harm by your commenst. I am just saying it was odd that you did not take him at his word. Maybe this not even a Trace issue, maybe it is just my own! As you know there are those out there who will NEVER give the President any credit at all and there are those who will credit him for everything. I am not in either camp. I believe in credit when it is due! The President took out OBL and helped take out Ghadafi and Awalaki (sp?) and a Somali pirate or two. Yes he gets credit although the foundation to get OBL was laid by the previous administration who seems to get no credit. At the same time he gets called out for Solyndra just as the Bush Administration gets called out for Halliburton! I think that assessment is fair! Continue to speak your mind as C-Lo says. I will do the same! When one is in charge, criticism (fairly or otherwise) is going come. Just like you, I want the best for my country, we just disagree on what the best is. The same for Jean2009, keep speaking up! Common ground is out there somewhere! Lastly, I am sure you will agree, I wish posters would keep families out of this and just stick to policy! Whether Bush or Obama! The President is one thing, families should be off limits! Should be personal attacks either! Thats just me!

        October 27, 2011 at 11:16 am |
  5. steveo

    Correction..Should be NO personal attacks either!

    October 27, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • jean2009

      @Steveo If Steve thought the questions were not substantive or serious enough, then maybe he shouldn't be listening to Mr. Leno. Why take his comments to CNN who was only reporting on the fact the President appeared on the Tonight Show? Might I add CNN had no control over that appearance. Steve could have taken his complaint directly to the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, or he could have easily saved us a lot of comments by going directly to Fox Entertainment to hear plenty of bashing the president.

      And to C-Lo:
      Many previous CIC have not served actively in the military thirteen of the forty-four to be exact including Roosevelt, both Adams' and Thomas Jefferson (who was a part of the Virginia militia that did administrative work). Another ten served in the military but not in combat positions including: Lincoln, James Madison (administrative Virginia militia), Reagan, Carter and George W. Bush. So to base your comments on the last 40-50 years is not historically correct. The numbers show 23 or the 44 (over half) of Commander In Chiefs' have either not served, or never seen active duty. The President holds that rank regardless of previous service...that may currently gall you and others, but that is how it is.

      At the present, we have a great CIC who is ending an unnecessary war and bringing our troops home, who has achieved bringing Syria to a quick end without American boots on the ground. For having no previous military experience he is doing a better job than the previous CIC who put us into several of these messes.

      The last thing this country needs is more of a military industrial state ...something that President Eisenhower had the wisdom to warn us against becoming. This is not to imply that a president with military credentials would be a war monger with a trigger finger...sometimes they are less so because they know the gravity of the situation and the vast costs. What this country needs right now is for people to pull together and put people back to work. Something this president is trying to do.

      October 27, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
      • C-Lo

        I don't disagree with you on most of this, Jean, however if you look at the ones you've listed, consider how devisive their administrations have come to be known, regardless of which side of the fence you sit with each admin's policies. Some of them achieved great goals (again regardless of your agreement with the goal itself), but they were devisive.

        Part of your last paragraph was exactly what I was trying to say, that those who have worked up through the ranks and seen combat (whether directly or as a commander–general, major, etc.) have, I believe, a much greater appreciation for the costs of war, but also for the necessity. I truly believe few of them would be "war mongers."

        The outline of troop withdrawal from Iraq, like the hunt for OBL, was outlined under the Bush admin. and Obama has followed through. A similar situation to what we saw in Viet Nam, rolls reversed.

        Additionally, and I know there are exceptions to this, as I said, the criticism of Obama has been focused more on domestic policy, just like criticism of Bush was more about foreign policy...even the blame for the economic turmoil is heavily based on the costs of the wars.

        Although I personally would like to see "active" military duty on a presidential resume, I think military activity in any extent is a beneficial atribute, as this is one of the President's primary duties–CIC. I'm not saying that military duty is the PRIMARY qualification (ie all who serve are not qualified to be president) but I believe, generally, all presidents should have served. It's dificult to run any organization effectively if you don't understand the organization fundamentally (not impossible).

        October 27, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
  6. steveo

    Good afternoon Jean2009,

    I cannot answer for Steve! I can say that I would not have expected in depth questions and analysis on Leno. I would ihave expected lightheartedness and laughter, that is what Leno does. I'll not begrudge the President a few laughs, he aong wil all presidents have a tough enough job! I will say this about your comment on Fox, Fox was also hard on Bush, especially on TARP and when he abandoned conservative principles! I did not always agree with Bush as I don't President Obama. In addition ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, all bashed Bush. It goes with the territory! It amazes me how folk pile on Fox for leaning right yet 6 other networks are high-fived and chest bumped as they lean left.

    I will gladly agree with you for paragraph four with the understanding that we still need a strong military. War is costly (in lives and funds), ugly, and sadly neccessary (but not always)! This country was birthed by war. Not saying you agree or disagree, just putting it out there! I fully concur with you second the last statement. We do need to come together as a nation and get back to work, there is just no agreement on how to go about that. As long as the attitude is party first and America second, we will stand still and point fingers, just like we are doing right now! That is how I see it!

    October 27, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  7. steveo

    I included a tigger word so have to repeat this (minus the word)

    Good afternoon Jean2009,

    I cannot answer for Steve! I can say that I would not have expected in depth questions and analysis on Leno. I would ihave expected lightheartedness and laughter, that is what Leno does. I'll not begrudge the President a few laughs, he aong wil all presidents have a tough enough job! I will say this about your comment on Fox, Fox was also hard on Bush, especially on TARP and when he abandoned conservative principles! I did not always agree with Bush as I don't President Obama. In addition ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, all bashed Bush. It goes with the territory! It amazes me how folk pile on Fox for leaning right yet 6 other networks are high-fived and chest bumped as they lean left.

    I will gladly agree with you for paragraph four with the understanding that we still need a strong military. War is costly (in lives and funds), ugly, and sadly neccessary (but not always)! This country was birthed by war. Not saying you agree or disagree, just putting it out there! I fully concur with you second the last statement. We do need to come together as a nation and get back to work, there is just no agreement on how to go about that. As long as it is party first and America second, we will stand still and point fingers, just like we are doing right now! That is how I see it!

    October 27, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  8. Trace

    C-Lo / Steveo,

    I had a snarky last week and I do apologize for any offensive remarks, but I do not apologize for my position or opinion. And on many fronts of this political debate, I suggest you are both wrong, though admittedly, you two pose more coherent arguments then the majority of GOP/Republican Tea Party Types. But I AM NOT assigning either of you as member to that party. Either of you would have to admit that as a bit of a character flaw – LOL...I say that in jest.

    It would surprise both of you what I do for a living, and though I'm not a member of any branch of the armed services, I support them in ways that are invaluable to the success of the missions outlined by this administration.

    I believe it was C-Lo that said that Bush should receive some credit for the removal of OBL from the battlefield. I viamently disagree. I ask only that you review my evidence and proof during the last presidential debate (Obama v. McCain). If you remember correctly, McCain said that if he is elected president, he would get OBL. That seemed to me almost like black mail, when the fact of the matter was that a number of congress members knew something about OBL's whereabouts. How do I make that claim? Candidate Obama said "...if we have actionable intelligence that OBL is in Pakistan and the Pakistani government refuses to act, we should go in and kill him" That's a direct quote gentlemen.

    So if Bush laid the ground work for Obama to kill OBL, How did Obama know where OBL was hiding before ever winning the presidential election? Also, if a U.S. Senator (Obama) knew where OBL was, how is it Bush didn't know? Or even worse yet, because Pakistan is a nuclear weapons capable sovereign nation, did Bush fear retaliation? Where a non-military experienced with no military background Obama openly stated "....We Have a Warrant for this Guy and he is a done deal"

    I really don't understand how one of you said "Bush was criticized for his war policy failures, whereas Obama is criticized for his domestic policies". Doesn't that just exclude the fact Bush wasn't in office more than another 2 months before this country's economy totally collapsed. Of course he wouldn't be critized for that by people who are vapid enough to believe that Obama was responsible for the 750K jobs we were losing every month before he was ever sworn in.

    Now, I will again say that you both sound more than reasonably intelligent, but come on guys to think by any stretch of the imagination Obama created our financial problems or even made them worse lacks any evidence of critical thinking. The problems this country now faces took years to fester. Do either of you remember when Henry Paulson's TARP was brought to congress on a single piece of paper, when we as tax payers had to pay $784 Bn to save our financial system?

    Lastly, I will offer you two intelligent gentlemen one more point of contention. This country's constitution calls-out a structure characterized as three (3) separate but equal branches of government. I won't insult you by calling them out. But there is one branch that has the ability to do something about this country's financial solvency, and its not the Executive Branch. President's are assigned too much blame and given too much credit for the condition of the U.S. economy. I say that President Obama has done a good job taking us from losing 750K job loss per month, which in 2008 I was victim, but by 2009 I was one of the 2.5 million Americans who benefited from Obama's policies. Of course this is not nearly enough considering the previous administration did nothing to stem job losses exceeding 9 million, but it is what it is.

    I have really enjoyed our back and forth. It is only my hope that the intelligence you both obviously possess will eventually encourage a re-think of your position on this fine President we have fighting for all of us and a return to greatness of this country we all love.

    And Jean2009.....I really admire your intellect, ability to articulate a position, and defense of this president, who is doing the best job he can. You are simply awesome....it helps we share the same political views – LOL

    October 28, 2011 at 2:16 am |
    • steveo

      Trace,
      No apologize needed, we all have off days. I do appreciate it though! Look, I appreciate the conversation with you, Jean2009, and C-Lo. It causes me to think! I am learning! Much better than reading those who offer nothing but personal attacks! You said alot in your post. I will answer a few points:

      The OBL episode was bungled, no doubt. If in fact Clinton was offered him and took that offer, we could have avoid alot of wasted time, energy, and funding to include American deaths. I fully credit the President of getting him. Yes, he gets credit! He is the CIC. I have no issue with that

      I never said the financial situation started under President Obama, it started under Bush. Even some in the GOP were concerned as conservative financial principles were abandoned by President Bush! I don't blame this President for the foundation, I do, however assign blame for the acceleration! The President himself acknowledged as leader the buck stops with him! in fact, that is how it is with any President.

      Bush had to deal with a Dem- led Congress for a good portion of fhis presidency but you as you read these blogs, He gets the blame. You are correct though, Congress is more responsible for the econony than any president ever will be. Yet Presidents still have a hand in it by simply setting the tone of cooperation and setting an environment by offering policies! That is what President Clinton and that is why we had growth!

      I am in full agreement that President Obama was dealt a bad hand when he stepped into office. I will also say, 9-11 dealt President Bush a bad hand when in office less than 9 months! The difference to me is I have heard this President blame the previous adminstration more times than I can count. How does that help us going forward? Trace, both parties have fumbled. Both parties play politics first and America second! Clinton showed us what can happen when folks compromise! Yes it took him a second term to figure it out but he got there! No such thing as a perfect administration, but proper compromise benefits all of us.

      You offer well though out points and ideas and I appreciate that, I might not always agree by I appreciate it! Keep blogging and I will keep reading!

      "It would surprise both of you what I do for a living, and though I'm not a member of any branch of the armed services, I support them in ways that are invaluable to the success of the missions outlined by this administration"

      Surprised? maybe, maybe not. If you are supporting my country andhelping her get better, that's what I appreciate!

      October 28, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • C-Lo

      Trace:

      I will try to answer a couple of your call outs to me from various posts at once, mostly by providing you my "idealistic" view of politics/economics, and how that shapes what I say here and why I support the candidates. That being said, let me also say that I do see and understand the "liberal" mindset, and I'll fall back on that overused phrase of "I have a lot of friends who are...(fill in the blank) liberal." I have these conversations not only here, but in my day to day social life as well. I also belive political ideology is not really different from religion or "family values" in that each has it's own merits and pitfalls. Whew, that's a big disclaimer!

      If you notice throughout these posts, Dem's/Liberals point at Bush, McConnell, Boehner...Repubs/conserv's point at Obama, Reid, Pelosi...Tea Party blames big gov't taxing of everyone, OWS blames corporations for buying out DC. Now it appears Obama skirts the issue of lobbiest contributions by using "bundlers," whatever the heck that means (I know what it means, but come-on)! In the end, all fingers point to DC. Either to blame or ask for solutions. I believe we have become soft and weak in this country, not as individuals mind you, but as a society.

      I find it interesting that, I think it was you or Jean, asked steveo if it hurt riding the fence. In a lot of ways, yes it does as everyone calls for moderation/compromise, but then gets beaten up for trying to take a moderate view point. Jean will tell you that I am further right than Atilla the Hun, but the fact of the matter is, I, and I think steveo are on a separate page all together. These "debates" have been over what DC has been doing with it's power over the last, well, forever. But recently everyone seems to be angry over how this power is being used from the left and right.

      My political leaning is toward less gov't all together, and where gov't is needed, should be localized as far as possible to give communities more say over how they are governed. It is much more suitable for me to move from city/county A to city/county B than from state A to state B or out of the country if I don't like the policies enacted "locally."

      I prefer the Libertarian ideology overall, and like I say there are pros and cons to any of them. My preference for this is that it emphasizes not only personal freedom, but personal responsibility. It make us accountable to each other rather than a gov't. Our three branches were established for the specific purpose they are acting on now, checks and balances. It's been said democracy is messy. While it's painful to watch what is happening in DC, is it not MORE painful to watch one party/ideology completely dominate? If your answer is "no" then it's only because you believe in the ideology of the current party in power (not just now, but at any time).

      This is leading to another problem in the US, IMO. As kind of a cause/effect of everything I've said "we" sit around and wait for DC to "solve our problems," many of which they have created. In a capitlalist society, if a product is not meeting our expectations, we dump it and look for a replacement. We've tried this over and over in DC and keep running into the same distrust and disgust by 70-90% of the population and the more we look to them for answers the more reviled we are by them.

      When are we, as a population, going to realize DC is not the answer, we are? Why aren't we starting our own companies to compete against big corps? We've been "brainwashed" over the last decades to believe we need to fall lockstep in, provide labor to corps, rely on them and DC to provide us employment, safety, retirement...we are less and less self reliant. Gov't puts regulations in place that the big corps can either afford or lobby for exceptions and loopholes, whether legislative or financial (taxes). Gov't/Fed Reserve walk hand in hand to control finances/economic conditions (as best they can) to enslave us to debt, and limit the access to capital from banks to start companies (believe me–I tried).

      I am not saying these are done with bad intentions by either side (R or D), but the system itself is a failure. Even old school Dems (JFK Dems) I think would be alarmed at the power concentrated in DC. Anything the gov't controls (taxes/money or freedoms/legislation) is one fewer piece of our lives that we control. There ARE important functions of gov't, the disagreement is where those functions stop AND how they are carried out. A smaller gov't means less disagreement over what they are doing–it's then limited to what they are/are not doing.

      Specifically to your points inferring, I believe, seemingly hypocritical stances on Bush/Obama inheritance of economic issues...I offer this–first, the economic issues "handed" Bush happened almost literrally overnight with the dotcom bubble in March of 01 and were compounded by 9/11. Yet through it all, inflation remained tame, unemployement never over about 6%...it wasn't an easy time, by any means, but not as ugly as it is now. The economy Obama was "handed" was primarily the result of the housing bubble, a much larger, and certainly more complex and integral economic driver. This bubble was, however, driven by the same "irrational exuberance" we were warned of a decade earlier on the stock market. Speculators from those buying the houses for rentals, fix/flip, to the banks forced more and more to lend to "unqualified" owners through Bush's home ownership for all initiative, to the market speculators/market makers creating mind boggling CDO's and the risk rating companies lack of or ignoring their oversight duties. These were all results of Big Gov't policy making and, again, allowing corps to skirt the regulations while blocking out the little guy. Nor will I ignore the decade of wars we are still fighting–again brought to you by Big Gov't.

      It is for these reasons I support Cain and Paul first and foremost. However, listening to many of the left wing hosts here in Denver who talk about ORS (Obama regret syndrome), they actually like Romney and Cain. Unless it's Perry or Bachman, I will vote the R ticket, otherwise I'm writing in!

      I hope this begins to answer your questions. Obviously there is a lot more to it all, but I've tried to sum it up as a "starting point."

      October 28, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
      • Steveo

        Well Professor that was highly articulate and well said. I fully agree with your statement on moderation! We ask for it and when it appears...Remember, the blue dog Dems? Moderate and now extinct. They caught if from all sides. The left thought they were too far right and the right contended they were too far left! The way they in which they were treated is the bright and shining example of what's wrong in DC!

        October 29, 2011 at 11:12 am |
  9. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Hi people...I'm trying to get back on the "stick', but did I understand someone questioning the fact that OBAMA wasn't ever militarily attached? Wasn't in the military? How could that have had ever possibly enhanced the outcomes of the good military, terroristical and foreign policy decisions he's already made? How would that have made any difference? There were at least 20 presidents before him who also weren't military. So what is your point.? Many who were military have made some terrible decisions!

    October 28, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
    • Steveo

      Hi Liz, I agree the military argument is faulty. But why stop there? How many folks have foreign policy experience? The presence or absence of these experiences is not a requirement for the presidency! Helpful? Probably BUT that is why Presidents have advisers! Have a great day Liz1

      October 29, 2011 at 10:59 am |
  10. Liz Carter in Georgia

    @Steveo; Hello! You are right!...but why stop even there, then? How many people have had 'US PRESIDENCY' experience PERIOD, unless they have been President of the United States, at least once? How many people studied law, but in the mean time, two of their 'major' course subjects were political science, domestic and foreign policy, as it relates to US status quo? OBAMA did have strategical classroom training, models and examples! We've elected so many who had neither military nor classroom training in it!

    October 30, 2011 at 8:09 am |