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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Is the President Becoming Herbert Hoover?

A strange thing happened the day the market plunged almost six hundred points and the President came on the radio to assure the country everything was going to be fine. I had this flashback to old grainy tapes I had heard of Herbert Hoover addressing the nation after the stock market crashed in 1929 telling everyone prosperity was right around the corner. I sat in the parking lot in my thirteen year old Ford and listened to President Obama talk about the economy as being fundamentally sound and my thought was that we were heading into another Great Depression and this guy had become Herbert Hoover.

And now the President is on vacation. That's fine. Everyone deserves a vacation but you get the feeling there is this disconnect even as he loses himself in the oxygen of campaigning. You get the feeling he is on his campaign bus because he doesn't know what to do for the country and he wants to return to when he felt good about things like when he ran for the Presidency. Herbert Hoover became enfeebled by the Great Depression. He became a man hit on the head with the concussive blows of bad times. At the end he just sat in the White House and waited for Roosevelt.

A strange comparison for a charismatic man like Obama. But you get the feeling he cant get off the cloud he built somewhere when he went to Harvard and realized he could have it all as long as he stayed in his own personal nirvana. And maybe that's why the whole vacation thing irks so many people. Its not that he doesn't deserve a vacation it's just that so many people cant take a vacation now and you know what, he should get that. And yeah, he probably shouldn't have gone.

But here is where we Obama will have his cake and he will eat it too. The insular quality of Barack is one of that of a very successful yuppie. I hate to bring him down to that but there is a bit of the I deserve this and I don't care what anybody else thinks about me. Herbert Hoover was a millionaire who truly believed the country would just sort of right itself eventually. President Obama is a millionaire who knows the country will not right itself eventually. So then the question is...does he know what to do? Maybe he'll think about that on vacation. Because the other thought is he just doesn't care. And I don't believe that. I can't.

Books by William Hazelgrove