Leonard Jacobs of the CFR on Fox’s “Obama Change Index,” Week Ending Sept. 9


FoxNews LogoFor the last four months, I’ve been participating in a weekly written analysis of President Obama’s performance called the Obama Change Index.

Typically, I weigh in on four areas of discussion: Law and Justice, Dealing with Congress, Social Issues and Foreign/Military Affairs. A Democrat, a Republican and an Independent participate, grading the President numerically.

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These numbers are averaged – thus, the “index.”

It’s not scientific, but it is pretty interesting.

For the period ended September 9, you can click on the link above to see what I wrote. Or you can just read the text below:

If the Bush Administration was the Enron Era, the Obama Administration is the End Run era: the President’s unveiling of rule changes to make it easier for citizens to save up for their retirement is a brilliant tactical move in that they require no Congressional approval. Of course, it might have been fun to put the GOP in the position of being the Party of No against saving money, but why bother? In this instance, the President put the people first.

President Obama addressing a Joint Session of Congress is full of risks, both known and unknown. In the former column, he risks giving obstructionist GOP-ers a new chance to reiterate their witless opposition to providing health care to millions of Americans. In the latter, he risks making some hitherto unforeseen gaffe or vulnerability that could put the final nail in reform. It’s the risk of the unknown that he must take.

The right’s blithering hysteria regarding President Obama address to schoolchildren again underscores how idea-challenged the GOP is. Wasn’t it Reagan who, on camera, lauded Republican philosophy? Isn’t that indoctrination? Trouble is, Obama still resists replying in the firepower terms used so joyously by the GOP. When will he learn that a BB gun is no way to reply to a missile? (And next time, Mr. President, omit language that asks kids how they can help you. Talk about an unforced error…)

Finally the Administration is getting out in front of the rhetoric on Afghanistan. As the right increasingly embraces President Obama’s hawkishness-adding 21,000 troops to those already on the ground-watch for the far left to begin squeezing him from the other side. Fortunately, not all of the left fails to understand the imperative here: the president is indeed doing the right thing. Now he must reconnect his reasoning with an exhausted American public.