President Obama, your inexperience is showing once again. One of the most common mistakes made by inexperienced politicians is inappropriate use of humor. Take, for example, joking about the depressed economy. If you're a two-term state senator, maybe you can be excused for joking about a weak economy or laughing about it. When you're president of the United States, it's inexcusable. Yet, President Obama made that exact mistake earlier this week in an interview on CBS's 60 Minutes. Interviewer Steve Kroft called him on it:
Kroft: "You're sitting here. And you're--you are laughing. You are laughing about some of these problems. Are people going to look at this and say, 'I mean, he's sitting there just making jokes about money --' How do you deal with--I mean, wh--explain."Obama: "Well--Kroft: "--the mood and your laughter."Obama: "Yeah, I mean, there's got to be --"Kroft: "Are you punch drunk?"Obama: "No, no. There's gotta be a little gallows humor to get you through the day. You know, sometimes my team--talks about the fact that if--if you had said to us a year ago that--the least of my problems would be Iraq, which is still a pretty serious problem--I don't think anybody would have believed it. But--but we've got a lot on our plate. And--a lot of difficult decisions that we're going to have to make."
And therefore, having a lot on one's plate excuses that person from laughing about people being out of work? If you're busy, it's OK to joke about the economy being in a freefall and the ineffectiveness of the president's stimulus package thus far? I don't think so.
Inappropriate laughter is not the only mistake the president made during the 60 Minutes interview. He also hyperbolized, yet again, about the recession. He said he believes the United States could undergo a further implosion of the financial system if Citigroup or AIG have more problems, which in turn could launch,
"an even more destructive recession and potentially depression."
Such talk from the leader of the free world is immature if not downright stupid. Hasn't he learned by now that his words have more impact since he took over the White House? A U.S. president's words move markets up and down, with even more impact than those of the Federal Reserve chairman. A seasoned politician chooses his/her words cautiously, recognizing their impact. For a guy who "gets" it, President Obama doesn't "get" that part of being president yet.
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By Bonnie Erbe