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It’s Crowded at the Top

August 14, 2010

Hotair links to a CBS story that gives a list of things Obama has described as his “top priority” at different points in time. The list is made of thirteen items (unlucky, isn’t it), some of which the French Cowboy was surprised to find in there. Student loan reform, really? Hurricane preparedness, who knew? Strengthening ties with Canada and Mexico — I wonder whether they noticed.

AP thinks that this count is rather unfair, since saying that something is your top priority is just a common piece of political rhetoric. And he’s right that the expression is generally used more as a substitute for “Yeah, that’s something I know is a problem.” than in its actual sense.

Nevertheless, the legion of priorities Obama has accumulated by now is indicative of something. The quotes that CBS’ Mark Knoller gives are not taken from spontaneous off-the-cuff comments but from speeches Obama gave. This means that someone thought about the message before promises of priority status have been given. What one says in a speech has greater weight than what is said elsewhere.

But here the problem arises. Obama has inflated his rhetorical power. He’s given too many speeches and made too many promises to too many people. It’s part of why he’s lost so much in popularity. His voters are beginning to be truly disappointed as what they had expected from him isn’t being delivered. And with every speech Obama gives, he devalues the importance of his words like the Fed devalues the Dollar through printing ever more of it.

Obama’s nasty habit of saying one thing while doing something completely differnt isn’t helping. His fifty plus speeches on his health care overhaul could be forgiven if it actually did what he said it would do. And if Obama didn’t regularly stand on the side opposing 70% of Americans, his TV appearances wouldn’t begin to grate. In fact, people might not even complain about his frequent and luxurious vacations.

The French Cowboy thinks that Obama can continue telling every target group that their respective problem is his top priority. What’s really important is that Obama begins to actually solve a couple of problems — and a sensible setting of priorities will be inevitable to achieve that. My free advice to the president: to get the priorities right, it wouldn’t hurt to listen to the American people for a change.

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