Liz Sidoti of the Associated Press seems to be setting the table for a certain amount of failure from Barack Obama by helping lower expectations among the people. Her latest AP report is as much as warning that, since he is facing "heady challenges," we shouldn't expect too much from him. In other words, before he has even really faced anything at all, Sidoti is making excuses for him almost in the mold of an affirmative action hire. It seems a perfect example of using the soft bigotry of low expectations to make preemptory excuses for Obama.
At the start, she seems to be downplaying any possibility that Obama will shine by noting how tough are the challenges he faces. Even the headline warns that "Obama faces heady challenges, and they're growing." But, the reality is few presidents in modern time faced a placid world upon taking office. Obama does not face any worse times than did Harry Truman, John Kennedy, Nixon, Reagan or any number of modern American presidents.
But, Sidoti's warning seems more angled to lower expectations with the hope of preventing Obama's fans from early finger pointing than to offer any serious discussion of what Obama faces come January.
Amusingly, after the Old Media spent the last four years saying that experience doesn't matter, Sidoti starts right off lowering expectations by reminding us that Obama has little experience.
President-elect Barack Obama, relatively young and inexperienced, is facing a rapidly growing list of monumental challenges as he prepares to take the reins of a nation in turmoil.
You can almost feel Sidoti saying to her pals, "now don't get all upset at our Barack. After all, things are really mean out there! It's gonna be really, really hard for The One."
She notes that Obama is "sounding dire" these days since his dreamy election and also seems to act as if the failure of the bailout is somehow one of the evils he faces.
He spoke during a week in which Congress killed a bailout of the failing auto industry, the government reported that jobless claims spiked to their highest levels in more than a quarter-century, and the Treasury Department said the nation registered a record federal budget deficit for November.
The failure of the bailout linked directly to the other issues makes it seem as if she is stating as a fact that the failure of the bailout is a bad thing.
Then we get the historically illiterate Liz Sidoti we are familiar with...
With woes foreign and domestic on more fronts than even Franklin Delano Roosevelt encountered when he took office in the midst of the Great Depression, Obama will be sworn in as the country's 44th president in January.
Sorry, Liz, but times today are NOT worse than the WWII era! Times today are not easy, certainly, but we are in nowhere near as bad a shape as was the Great Depression followed quickly with an all-encompassing world war that Roosevelt faced.
Sidoti next amusingly worded her reporting of the Obama connection to the Illinois governor's growing scandal.
At the same time, Obama may be drawn into an unfolding political scandal over Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's alleged efforts to trade the president-elect's former Senate seat for personal gain. The ongoing federal investigation could ensnare some of his top advisers and taint the self-styled reformer who has tried to steer clear of notorious Chicago politics.
I like how Sidoti said "drawn in" as if he stands outside it all. Drawn in is absolutely the wrong rhetoric to describe this mess. If Obama ends up becoming ensnared in this scandal it won't be because he was "drawn in" but because he was there in the FIRST place. If it is found that either Obama himself or one of his staff was involved they were not "drawn in" but part of the problem at the beginning.
But, you see, this is the sort of softening of the situation that we are seeing in Sidoti's report. Obama isn't corrupt he was merely "drawn in" to this corruption investigation as if he was skipping through the woods to grandmother's house and that snarling wolf happened upon him in all his innocence.
Next, after noting that Obama has promised an ambitious list of big government programs, Sidoti is careful to warn us that things are so bad that "some priorities may fall to the wayside or be done piecemeal."
That's right, folks, if Obama can't do all he promised, why it won't be his fault. See, things are really tough these days! Thanks for the warning, Liz.
And then guess what? That's right Liz found us an "expert" to be all experty for us.
"There's a lot of ground giving under him. It's a terrific challenge," said Fred Greenstein, a Princeton University professor emeritus of politics and a presidential historian.
"From one perspective, it's as if he's about to take over the captain's job on a sinking ship. From the other perspective, he could be on a glide path to Mount Rushmore if he does a combination of morale building and energizing people while dealing with the economic distress by producing some constructive changes in the society and in the economy."
"The striking thing is he doesn't seem scared," Greenstein added.
Gosh, he's just so darn unafraid, isn't he?
Sidoti goes off again to sonorously inform us that Obama has no experience.
Indeed, Obama exudes confidence. He has surrounded himself with people in his incoming White House and Cabinet who have decades more experience than him in government, as well as foreign and domestic policy. They include big names such as Hillary Rodham Clinton, Larry Summers, Tom Daschle and Robert Gates, longtime Washington insiders.
Comparatively, Obama has been on the national stage for a short time. He was introduced to the country during the Democratic convention in 2004 when he was in the Illinois Legislature and running for the U.S. Senate. Age 47, he will become president after serving just four years in the Senate.
So, all throughout the campaign the media touted that Obama didn't need experience. He was the one we were waiting for. Now, all of a sudden, they tout how great it is that he has surrounded himself with experienced politicos from decades past. NOW experience is important?
Liz is so desperate to pump up Obama that she then resorts to dismissing Franklin Delano Roosevelt as having come to office in easy times. (my bold)
Most historians liken the situation facing Obama to that which confronted Roosevelt -- but the comparison does not seem to do justice to the colossal challenges Obama is facing.
Roosevelt was already an established politician when he came into office at the depths of the Great Depression in a society with no safety net for the suffering. And the economy was much worse then than it is now. But he did not have two wars on his plate, nor a political scandal swirling nearby. And Roosevelt did not have a planet suffering from global warming and watching its natural resources dwindle.
So, FDR had an easy time of it because there was no global warming? Please, what nonsense.
Sidoti also reveals her ignorance of the differences between Hoover and Roosevelt.
He also let his four-month transition pass by keeping his distance from Republican Herbert Hoover. The two men had sharp policy differences over how to address the Great Depression, and Roosevelt stayed mum between his election and his inauguration.
This is historical illiteracy plain and simple. There was little difference but one of scope between the big government ideas that Hoover had and those FDR had. Hoover had begun many of the same programs and floated many of the same intrusive ideas that FDR merely made larger when he launched his New Deal plans. It should also be noted that the Supreme Court shot down a large part of FDR's early programs as unconstitutional, too. Sidoti has no clue what she is talking about.
Sidoti then gives us another example of her trying to cover for any possible Obama failure to come. She attempts to cover Barack by taking the left's favorite whipping boy and extending his reach. You guessed it, it's Bush's fault.
Politically, with things so bad, Obama can claim any change for the better as a success. If the economic and security situation deteriorates further, he can rightly say he inherited a mess.
And now Sidoti has unknowingly stumbled upon why FDR was considered such a great president even though he was an utter failure until WWII began. He merely kept blaming Hoover. And this time, the media will help Obama blame Bush in like manner.
I sure hope that Liz Sidoti is getting paid well by team Obama for her efforts at excuse making for The One?