Before the two best teams in the NFL squared off against one another, two political titans entered their own arena to do battle. Here are my five takeaways from the Obama / O’Reilly Super Bowl interview.
1. The entire Obama administration is technologically naive
O’Reilly pressed Obama on the botched Obamacare rollout. Obama repeated multiple times:
“I don’t think anybody anticipated the degree of problems”
Really? Nobody in the entire administration anticipated these problems? I find this incredibly difficult to believe. I work in the web industry. I develop web applications used by hundreds of thousands and even millions of people. I can tell you from personal experience that if my deadline was approaching and the product was not ready, I would be in regular communications with the client discussing crisis mode options.
CGI Federal has taken a lot of heat for the botched rollout. Some of that they deserve, no doubt. But I suspect the #1 problem was a terrible set of specifications delivered from the government. Poor specifications leads to poor product. I also suspect that the middlemen within the Administration did not possess enough tech knowledge to comprehend the extent of the disastrous rollout.
“[Nobody] anticipated the degree of problems.” Obama’s own words. I expected more from the supposedly “most tech-savvy administration in history.”
2. Holding people accountable is now officially meaningless
O’Reilly challenged Obama on Kathleen Sebelius’ continued employment. O’Reilly clearly believes she failed and she should go. I happen to agree. However, Obama’s reassures us:
I promise you that we hold everybody up and down the line accountable.
Okay, but what does this mean? Obama has told us before that he holds people accountable. Other than General Stanley McChrystal, who has Obama actually fired? Only a select few have even resigned.
In the Obama administration, you can oversee the Fast and Furious scandal, lie about the cause of the attack in Benghazi, lie to Congress about the government’s data-collection policies, and even botch the rollout of the President’s signature legislation and your job is secure. But dare to mock Joe Biden and you’re fired!
3. Obama can’t turn off “Campaign Mode”
Obama has no more elections to win. His team holds out hope of a 2014 Congressional victory, but knows the chances are extremely slim (hence the threats to go it solo). You would think that he would be focused on cementing his legacy. You would think he would admit mistakes, as GWB began to do when he was in a similar place in his Presidency. Instead, Obama dodges acknowledging mistakes have been made at all.
Furthermore, Obama took O’Reilly’s question about the “fundamental transformation of America” and turned it into a short diatribe on the “benefits” of his progressive ideology. Here’s one of his quotes:
I think that what we have to do is make sure that here in America, if you work hard, you can get ahead. Bill, you and I benefited from this incredible country of ours, in part, because there were good jobs out there that paid a good wage, because you had public schools that functioned well, that we could get scholarships if we didn’t come from a wealthy family, in order to go to college.
I consider this a throwaway answer. These are nothing more than Hallmark sentiments and they reflect the only thing Obama does well — campaign and give speeches.
4. Bill O’Reilly doesn’t seem to think jobs are one of the top 3 issues facing this nation
I can see opening with Obamacare. It’s a very big, very present issue. But O’Reilly has an opportunity to interview the President and he goes to Benghazi? Not that Benghazi isn’t important, but we already knew what the President was going to say. Did O’Reilly think he was going to trick the President into admitting they knew it wasn’t a video? I saw zero value in that exchange.
Likewise, asking about the IRS targeting scandal was worthless on this stage. We care about the IRS being used as a weapon, but the scope of everyday folks impacted by that participant scandal was extremely small. Meanwhile, the sluggish economy impacts EVERYONE.
Where was the question about Obama’s so-called “laser focus” on jobs? And when Obama countered with how many millions of jobs have supposedly been created, where was the counter that American currently has the lowest labor participation rate since Jimmy Carter? And when Obama referenced the stock market, as he predictably would have, where was the question about Obama’s former mantra of “Main Street vs Wall Street”?
Frankly, I was disappointed in Bill’s choice of questions.
5. Apparently scandals don’t exist unless Fox News creates them
It’s no surprise that Obama is not a fan of Fox News, but the President went out of his way to attack Fox and O’Reilly. Multiple times he placed the blame at Fox’s feet, as if the numerous scandals embarrassing his administration have zero legitimacy, and there’s no reason the American people should ever even hear about them.
See the interview and read the transcript here. So what were your takeaways?
© 2014, Robert James. All rights reserved.
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