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The Insiders
Posted at 11:01 AM ET, 09/21/2012

Obama admits he can’t change anything

President Obama, giving us an update on his on-the-job-training, tells us he has learned, “You can't change Washington from the inside.” Correction: President Obama can't change Washington, period. Among the promises that have gone the way of hope and change is Obama's specific pledge to usher in a new and effective order in Washington.  All of this has given way to the reality that Obama lacks the necessary leadership skills.

The president, as far as I am aware, has been unable to build alliances anywhere in Washington. If readers think they know differently, please let me hear from you.

President Reagan admired and trusted House Speaker Tip O'Neill, and he had Sen. Paul Laxalt as consigliere. President George H.W. Bush trusted Rep. Danny Rostenkowski. Even Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and President Bill Clinton could share a laugh and they understood each other.

I reallycan't think of an effective alliance Obama has created since he has been in office. Everyone in Washington knows he has nothing but contempt for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, his own cabinet is layered by White House staff, and he is now on his third chief of staff since taking office.

I don't know of any private sector leaders who believe they have the president's ear. His jobs council doesn't meet — but I don't know if it is because the president won't meet with them or because the council won't meet with the president. They never bonded. How could they?  The president has a rigid ideology that shows he not only doesn't understand but despises what they do. 

And who is the foreign leader that Obama has a deep, helpful relationship with? It doesn't appear anyone has warmed to Obama or is eager to follow his lead.  Am I wrong?

So the president's revelation that "you" can't change Washington from the inside wasn't directed at you. It was an admission that voters should consider this November. Obama has quit trying to be the agent of change, and he publicly acknowledged that Obama II would just be more of the same.

By  |  11:01 AM ET, 09/21/2012

 
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