January 21, 2013

President Obama yesterday took the official oath of office for his second term. Today he does the ceremonial thing. And somewhere, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly is scratching his head. In his 2010 book “Pinheads and Patriots: Where You Stand in the Age of Obama,” O’Reilly delivers a verdict on where Obama stands in the age of Obama: On shaky terrain, that is. The vast hordes who rely on “Pinheads and Patriots” for their information on contemporary politics will have a lot of trouble making sense of this day. Some excerpts from the book:

Page 24: “Along with national health care (which illegal aliens will receive, you watch), the immigration issue could wind up badly damaging Mr. Obama’s political future.”

Page 24: “In addition to having their ideology and hypothetical wish lists tested, all Presidents have to contend with the problem-solving factor. And it is here that Barack Obama took a terrible beating in the spring of 2010 — a hammering that might limit him to one term in office.”

Page 27: Quoting Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal: “The disaster in the Gulf may well spell the political end of the President and his administration … It’s not good to have a President in this position — weakened, polarizing and lacking broad public support — less than halfway through his term.”

Page 32: “As we all know, life is a series of ups and downs, and shortly after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, President Obama entered a stunning downward cycle that damaged his administration perhaps beyond repair.”

Page 48: “Will he change, or will we come to accept his style? One or the other has to happen or he’ll begin working on his memoirs in 2012.”

Page 52: “No Drama Obama. That image won’t work in the long run. The President has to step up his urgency level if he wants to be two-termer Obama.”

Page 53: “Al-Qaeda civilian trials. No question about it — POTUS was a major Pinhead for allowing this atrocity to take place. Nothing good will come of it, just wait and see. When the underwear guy was taken off the plane on Christmas and sent to a federal prison to see his lawyer, you could hear the gnashing of teeth all the way to Waikiki. Such coddling of terrorists could very well be the undoing of Barack Obama.”

Page 59: “[W]inning the ObamaCare battle is not a full victory. The President has to hope he hasn’t lost the war.”

Page 89: “It is true…that there comes a time when an overall assessment has to be made of a leader. That day of reckoning may spell very bad news for Barack Obama. Because so many of his policies have been Far Left leaning, he is close to the point of no return unless the economy begins to soar.”

Page 91: “If the President does not want to be infected by the Pinhead contagion that is now rampant in Washington, he must begin to take a few non-Far Left positions on vital issues. If he doesn’t, the strong current of voter disenchantment will eventually send him floating off into the sunset. Just ask Jimmy Carter.”

Page 97: “So the handwriting was incredibly clear one year into President Obama’s term: THINGS WERE NOT GOING WELL!”

Page 149: “It is almost eerie that today we may be experiencing a giant flashback to the Carter era. President Obama’s job approval rating is descending because of the economy, the oil spill, and overseas chaos, some of it generated by Iran. Will Obama be a Carter redux?”

Lesson for pundits analyzing the country’s next first-term president: Keep quiet about prospects for a second term before the first one is even halfway over. The dust jacket of O’Reilly’s book “Killing Lincoln” says this about the author: “He is, perhaps, the most talked about political commentator in America.” True — in part because of predictions like these.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.