Nero fiddled while Rome burned and President Obama flew to Los Angeles while his Fiddlers burned the American economy. Obama knew that this Lenno appearance would attract attention. After all, that was the sole purpose. Obama hoped to keep afloat a popularity that begins to show a tattering around the edges. How best and where to do that was obvious: Hollywood!
The message was clear. The economy? Don't think about it! Let your government do the thinking you. We'll manage the nation's budget. We'll "save" 3 million jobs (which means hiring 3 million as baby boomers retire-a net of zero).
So having given a Lenno appearance, Obama had some readily prepared quips to make to deflect the inevitable criticims. Among them:
"Some folks think I can't appear on the Lenno Show and be president at the same time."en
Heh-heh. But he can! Wow! Look how relaxed, look how elegant! Princely even!
Remember, he's President Obama, a better actor than Ronald Reagan, except that Reagan didn't need a teleprompter. Obama's pretty good off the cuff, but only when he's in the sort of round-table academic atmosphere lubricated with cocktails and mutual admiration society. This precludes answering off-the-cuff questions about something as complex as the economy.
It's okay Obama has a passion for thge limelight but the timing of the trip couldn't have been worse. Geithner is under increasing pressure to resign. Dodd is stumbling about the stage like a booze-sotted sailor, saying one thing one minute and the opposite the next. Barney Frank is hurling accusations in every direction (except at himself) from the prow of a sinking ship.
People are rightly angry at the mismanagement and seat-of-the-pants direction of the economy. AFter all, these people are not steady like that guy who landed the plane in the Hudson and saved hundreds of lives.
These are people who have little idea of what they are doing; they are panicked and pumping money into the economy to give it an artificial boost without dealing with its obvious underlying problems.