“Leading From Behind” – Obama’s “Malaise” Moment?

April 30, 2011
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A few days ago, an unnamed Obama advisor used a rather unfortunate phrase:

Obama may be moving toward something resembling a doctrine. One of his advisers described the President’s actions in Libya as “leading from behind.”

The phrase so aptly sums up Obama’s “leadership” style, that it’s catching fire. On the right.

e.g. Charles Krauthammer:

Leading from behind is not leading. It is abdicating. It is also an oxymoron. Yet a sympathetic journalist, channeling an Obama adviser, elevates it to a doctrine. The president is no doubt flattered. The rest of us are merely stunned.

Bill Kristol:

Thank you, Mr. or Ms. Anonymous Obama Adviser Speaking on Background to Ryan Lizza. Thank you for so boldly and visibly injecting into our politics the phrase “leading from behind.” Thank you for associating it with your boss. Thanks for confirming that our current president believes his task is to accommodate American decline. Thanks for reminding us how high a priority he places on appeasing those who revile us. And thanks for explaining that our Leader from Behind sees his role as “shepherding us through this phase” of appeasement and decline.

How do you defeat a leader from behind? With a leader from the front. All the Republicans have to do is nominate a real leader: a workhorse not a show horse; a steady hand not a flip-flopper; a profile in courage not in cleverness; a competent man or woman with strength and confidence in defense of liberty at home and abroad.

Surely this isn’t too much to ask?

In his “malaise” speech, Jimmy Carter never actually used the word “malaise.” Yet the word became inextricably linked with his presidency. Could “leading from behind” do the same to Obama?

7 Responses to “Leading From Behind” – Obama’s “Malaise” Moment?

  1. From Instapundit on April 30, 2011 at 6:22 am

    “Seven quarters into the Obama recovery, GDP growth has averaged an annual rate of only 2.8 percent. In contrast, since 1970, the first seven quarters of previous recoveries averaged 4.6 percent. The poor growth rate is especially surprising since the preceding recession was so severe, there should have been ample room for high growth as the unemployed returned to work. For example, the Reagan recovery followed a similarly high unemployment rate and saw the economy grow at an average annual growth rate of 7 percent . . . . The slight decrease in unemployment – currently at 8.8 percent — has been touted as good news. Yet that slight drop has largely been the result of job-seekers giving up looking for work and leaving the labor force. On top of that, the new jobs that have opened up have primarily been temporary jobs, the number of permanent jobs has actually fallen.”

    Foreign affairs is not the only area where the administration is leading from its behind.

  2. Dr.Dog on April 30, 2011 at 7:27 am

    Well No Poli you flip it around just like you did in your post — “A Leader, Out in Front”. Perfect bumper sticker for a opposition candidate. The inference is there but unstated who it refers to.

  3. ATTILA on April 30, 2011 at 7:51 am

    Obammer will never leave his buddies behind.

  4. jan on April 30, 2011 at 10:34 am

    How do you defeat a leader from behind? With a leader from the front. All the Republicans have to do is nominate a real leader: a workhorse not a show horse; a steady hand not a flip-flopper; a profile in courage not in cleverness; a competent man or woman with strength and confidence in defense of liberty at home and abroad.

    The workhorse reference, versus a show horse, reminds me of a Mitch Daniels type. He acts more than he speaks about what he is going to do, which, to some makes him less capable. IMO, though, he has aimed high in the state of Indiana, accomplishing most of what he took on, except for healthcare reform. But, Daniels’ demeaner and looks does not reflect a man of swagger and strength, like Obama when he was considering his run for office. And, the fact that republicans across the ideological spectrum — liberal, moderate and conservative — like him, labels him a RINO in some people’s conversations.

  5. MikeyW on May 1, 2011 at 1:57 am

    - “For example, the Reagan recovery followed a similarly high unemployment rate and saw the economy grow at an average annual growth rate of 7 percent . . . .” That’s funny. What was the unemployment rate when Reagan took office, and what was it after his second year? What was the deficit when he took office, and what was it after two years? Just curious…

  6. anonymous un-RINO on May 1, 2011 at 5:25 am

    Hey troll, Reagan vetoed the leftist Congress’ big spending budgets, and shut the government down multiple times.

    He didn’t go after commie redistributionism and massive deficit spending as plan to escape recession, as has your commie buddy Obambi.

    Don’t embarrass yourself, troll.

  7. Mad Dog on May 2, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Asking MikeyW (better known as Sky King) not to embarrass himself is like asking a dog not to lick his privates.

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