Yesterday I heard Rush Limbaugh ask the question: “Why is Obama doing all these fundraisers? He’s not running for re-election. He’s not campaigning for fellow Democrats.”
Here’s the answer: Remember the Peter Principles? One says, “We all get promoted to the point of incompetence.” This renders the image of that person sitting behind a big new desk, door closed, half giggling, half shaking. Giggling because they pulled it off. Shaking because of the fear of being found out.
Obama has been found out. Obama knew how to get the job. He just doesn’t know how to do the job. He just knows how to run for election. And he has proved to be very VERY good at that. Just ask Hilary and Mitt.
Cut to the present. There’s POTUS behind the big desk. His IN basket overflowing. His OUT basket empty. The failures and debacles, now in a second term, are too many to any longer hide or deny. So what does he do? What is his recourse from all this evidence of failure? Go out and do what he does best. Campaign! But, oops, he’s not running. And none of his party, who is running, wants him at his or her side either. What to do? What to do? Fundraise! For whom? I don’t know. Just FundRaise! It’s faux campaigning. He’s not fund raising. He doesn’t care about the money. He just wants that hyper-adrenaline theatrical moment when he stands in front of an adoring audience and struts his stuff. Call it a fund raiser. Call it whatever you want. He just wants to get on Air Force One. Go somewhere. Bound down those steps like an all-star athlete, and fall into the arms of the adulating public. And who is that waning remaining public? Hollywood (Gweneth), Fashion (Wintour). These are the crowds that understand theater. This is the Obama Medicine Show come to town. Put up my teleprompter. Turn on the cameras. It’s faux-campaigning time. It’s OBAMARAMA!
He has to escape DC. It reeks of failure. He has to be on the road. That’s what he knows. That’s what he is good at. Campaigning validated him. We all do it. When failure dogs us, we revert to doing whatever we know succeeds, even if it is no longer relevant. It’s a neurotic reflex. He must do it. To sit in the Oval Office and face failure is crushing. He is simply overwhelmed. He literally doesn’t know how to do it. He never had such responsibilities. So he reverts to what he knows. He reverts to his venue of success. He “campaigns”.
He is a sad figure. A compulsive campaigner. He loves the stump. His venues have shrunk. He’s now playing rural towns, obscure colleges, small houses. Literally, private houses, with $30,000 plates. But he gets the chance once more to flash that big smile, drop his “g’s” and wow a room of adoring faces. It validates him. It energizes. It re-charges. He can go back to DC with a little edge and fight on a bigger stage. But crisis and failure will haunt him again. Once more, he will take to the road. He must! It is his refuge. Like the sad clown with the painted smile, he goes on in the face of failure. He is driven to do it. He is driven, but I don’t know if the Republic can stand and survive two more years of this charade. The problems and crises may be too great.
The mid-terms should be a rout for the Republicans. Maybe they can assemble an agenda and administer to the assembling ills. We hope.
In the meantime, we are sad witness to Obamarama, the traveling medicine show, with the familiar potions that cure nothing.
For further readings about life as theater, click below: