Two stories juxtaposed on the same web page yesterday served to summarize the state of the Obama presidency. In one story, the president officially launched his bid for re-election. Some reports say he will wind up raising a billion dollars. In an adjacent story, the White House went against oft-repeated campaign promises and announced that 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will be tried by a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay.
Thus the president’s re-election bid begins against the backdrop of the growing realization that he no longer controls events.
Gitmo is still open because he can’t figure out how to close it. Stalemate is the now the most likely outcome in Libya, an outcome that badly weakens the U.S. and the administration. Whatever happens with respect to the continued funding of the government this year and a budget for next year will happen with the president as mostly a spectator.
By 1979, gasoline lines, inflation, high interest rates and the Iranian hostage crisis had seized control of the Carter White House. Carter lost control of events and he lost re-election. The parallel should disturb President Obama, billion dollars or no billion dollars.