Obama: I am Responsible.

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This afternoon, at his televised California town hall meeting, Obama said he knows folks are angry about the AIG bonuses. He said he is angry about them. He says blame is flying everywhere, at Treasury, Democrats, and Republicans. He said if folks need to blame someone, blame him. He said, ultimately, I am responsible. I am the president. All well and good as far as it goes. His words, however, don't allude to the depth of the first major black mark on his presidency.

Pres. Obama knows he will not be blamed for the actions of the AIG executives and board of directors. But, he is also not confessing to engaging in a war against a failing economy without an army in Treasury to fight it. Pres. Obama has been remiss in getting his treasury nominees through the Senate confirmation process, and that post haste from day one. If Pres. Obama has been waiting on the Senate, he has failed to become lobbyist in chief to hasten the Senate process along.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner may, or may not, be the right person for the job. To date, there isn't a detailed comprehensive plan for dealing with the toxic assets on financial corporate balance sheets, to judge Geithner as Secretary. Media, hating a vacuum of information, has taken to Geithner's past role as New York's Federal Reserve governor to fill the void and the controversy and debate over Geithner's past is distracting the Obama administration from the tasks at hand, consuming media cycles on topics other than those planned, and causing Pres. Obama to expend political capital on what otherwise should be a surge ahead in putting the financial crisis in the past.

President Obama has been in office almost 2 months. A very short time in a 4 year presidency, but, no doubt, a very long time for those in the White House and especially the undermanned, understaffed, Treasury Department. Pres. Obama is responsible for this, and saying one will take responsibility is different than taking the actions to remedy that for which one is responsible. President Obama said today, he is responsible. Now, let's see if he takes the bull by the horns and wrestles it to the ground, demonstrating an ability to respond appropriately to the situation. America is watching, Pres. Obama; supporters and adversaries alike.

My definition of responsibility is having the ability to respond appropriately to the circumstance one finds oneself in. To fight a war, one must have the manpower to succeed. The Treasury Department is at the front lines of this war against the recession, faltering banks, and other financial institutions. And the Treasury Department does not yet have the manpower to win this battle. Ultimately, the responsibility is yours, Mr. President. And we won't forget that you told us so.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on March 18, 2009 10:20 AM.

Myth: Homeowner Borrowers Are At Fault was the previous entry in this blog.

Obama's Way. Is there any other? is the next entry in this blog.

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