The Talker

It struck me the other day when I was listening to the President address reporters about the scandal in Columbia involving the Secret Service, that President Obama just doesn't understand that not everything deserves his comment.  Presidents should comment on issues of national importance and on those occasions where it is appropriate for the leader of the free world to send a message.  He shouldn't looked bullied, embarassed or on the defense if at all possible. 

Obama takes a different approach.  He believes that his voice should be added to virtually everything.  The Columbia scandal is just the latest example.  This issue should have been handled exclusively by a Department of Homeland Security official or senior White House staffer but not the President.  He should have deferred to others in the administration preferring to answer questions of the media related to the summit and other more pressing matters. 

If you're the President, there is a trap giving your two cents about everything.  You detract from your broader message and seem smaller and less important in the process.  It's about understanding the Presidency and respecting the office.  Obama has a well earned reputation for being a big talker.  He wants the attention.  He needs to make it look like he's in charge of everything.  The Martin shooting in Florida, the Kuran burning uproar in Afghanistan and the Secret Service scandal are all examples of him putting his desire to talk ahead of the reputation of the office he holds.

Additionally, as someone who has travelled with the Secret Service all over the world and with three US Presidents, I can say that the vast majority of these dedicated individuals are fine upstanding public servants who take their job seriously.  The President feeling the need to comment yet again on another ongoing investigation - into a few bad apples - was a slap in the face to the agents who nobly serve him and other protectees in our government.  He should have just kept his mouth shut.  Instead he drew additional attention to the incident and injected the embarrassing situation into a diplomatic conference. 

I guess when you're famous for talking instead of doing, old habits die hard. 

2011-2012Albert Solano