Obama, rhetoric and reality

It is safe to say that there has never been a US president with such a wide disparity between rhetoric and reality. Here is a guy who was the least experienced candidate yet he was compared with FDR, Lincoln and Kennedy. And of course after less than a month on the job, he was nominated for and went on the win the Nobel Peace Prize.

One of things we heard back then was how his cabinet was going to be like Lincoln, a team of rivals, see this and this.

Well it turns out that this storied cabinet couldn’t even get keep Obama aides and Clinton aides apart. A few Republicans in the cabinet might have assured a full scale donnybrook. A forthcoming book notes this.

“Turf battles are a staple of every administration, but the Obama White House has been particularly ravenous,” writes Vali Nasr, an academic who worked for Richard C. Holbrooke, the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan in Mr. Obama’s first term….

“Those in Obama’s inner circle, veterans of his election campaign, were suspicious of Clinton. Even after Clinton proved she was a team player, they remained concerned about her popularity and feared that she could overshadow the president,” Mr. Nasr writes, according to The New York Times.

The bureaucratic turf conflicts, Mr. Nasr writes, excluded Holbrooke from secure video conferences that Mr. Obama had with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and from a presidential trip to Kabul, undermining the diplomat’s credibility with the Afghans.

You can take a boy out of Chicago, but you can’t take Chicago out of the boy.