Obama must ensure his prez campaign does not derail: Experts

March 15th, 2011 - 12:31 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama Washington, Mar. 15 (ANI): Experts are warning President Barack Obama that he runs the risk of hurting his public image in the run-up to next year’s presidential elections by continuing to react to crises around the world with the same restraint and cool that characterized his slow-and-steady campaign for presidency between 2006 and 2008.

“I don’t know if they don’t realize the disconnect and maybe they don’t care … but it does matter,” Dana Perino, former White House press secretary under George W. Bush, told Fox News.Former Bush adviser Karl Rove said that he doesn’t “begrudge” the president for taking time out for recreation, but Libya and the budget in particular demand more involvement on Obama’s part.

“He seems paralyzed,” said Nile Gardiner, a director with the conservative Heritage Foundation.On Japan, Obama has been quick to offer U.S. assistance to that nation as it struggles to recover from a catastrophic combination of earthquake, tsunami and possible nuclear meltdown, but on Libya, the signals coming out of the White House are mixed.

On the one hand, Obama has spoken forcefully about the need for Colonel Muammar Qaddafi to step down and even used some colorful language, such wanting to tighten the noose around the latter’s regime, while on the other hand, Obama administration officials have made clear the United States will not play the lead role in resolving this conflict.

Gardiner called the U.S. position an “unusual abdication of leadership by the world’s only superpower.”

John Bolton, the hawkish former ambassador to the United Nations under former president Bush, also wrote in a column Monday that Obama is “passive” as the window of opportunity in Libya narrows.

Bolton warned that U.S. interests in Libya are greater than some suggest — because a protracted civil war could make Libya another base for terrorism, and if Qaddafi prevails, he could revive his nuclear weapons program.

Retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who commanded NATO forces during the Kosovo war, wrote in a Washington Post column Sunday that the crisis in Libya does not merit military action by the United States.

While Obama’s cautious approach to Libya and the broader Middle East may be evolving, budget talks on Capitol Hill are indisputably at a standstill. And lawmakers say they could really use a hot-wiring from the White House.

West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin took to the Senate floor to claim Obama had “failed to lead” as Congress struggles to agree on a budget for the rest of 2011.

The White House has rejected the claim, noting Obama was meeting last week with Senate Democratic leaders and Biden was calling congressional leaders from Moscow. (ANI)

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