On CNBC last night Ken Langone, the co-founder of Home Depot, delivered a lesson on debt and a scathing indictment of the president. His analysis of the debt is simple: If you borrow more than you can repay, then you’ll be in trouble. The fireworks (starting at the 8-minute mark) begin when he starts in on President Obama’s reliance on platitudes (“glittering generalities”) and his hyper-partisanship. “He is acting so unpresidential. . . . He is dividing us as a nation.” He also takes Obama to task for showing a lack of respect for the speaker of the House. Watch for yourself:
It is as genuine and compelling a criticism of Obama as you will see. I would expect parts of this will make their way into the 2012 campaign, and they should. As Langone said, the debt ceiling will be resolved, but the image of the president’s behavior and lack of efficacy as a deal-maker will last. And it will, I would suggest, help frame the key issue for 2012: Has Obama earned another term?