Next week's news: Calling him "the right man at the right time," President Obama today named Gen. David H. Petraeus commander of all U.S. operations in the Gulf of Mexico. Mr. Obama acknowledged that efforts to stop the Deepwater Horizon spill are "bigger than any one person," yet expressed confidence that Petraeus could single-handedly win the war against oil in the Gulf.
Reaction came swiftly from Sen. John McCain, who said, "had Gen. Petraeus been in charge of Gulf operations from the start, the spill might never have happened in the first place."
Next month's news: Expressing dismay at the Senate vote rejecting Elena Kagan's bid to join the Supreme Court, President Obama today nominated Gen. David H. Petraeus as the Court's next Associate Justice. "The Supreme Court is bigger than any one Justice," the president told reporters. "I have complete confidence that Gen. Petraeus will help guide our nation in the war against bad laws."
In a hastily called news conference, Sen. John McCain applauded the nomination, adding, "I believe Gen. Petraeus will be confirmed with record speed, perhaps even during a coffee break. We've seen this man, and we like what we see."
Rarely has an individual won such unanimous praise among Republicans and Democrats "“ especially at a time when the two parties can't seem to agree on anything or anyone. It is therefore smart strategy for the president to seek nominees who: (a) have rousing GOP support, (b) will be quickly confirmed, and (c) won't make the White House look bad if they fail, thanks to (a) and (b).
Regrettably, there don't seem to be many candidates with these qualifications who aren't named Gen. David H. Patraeus, which explains why the president turned to him after Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal went all Rolling Stone and revealed that when it comes to loyalty he's one fry short of a happy meal.
Mr. Obama should immediately rank all members of his administration according to confirmability, and then nominate everyone with a passing grade for as many positions as possible. The list currently consists of: Gen. David H. Patraeus, Sec. of State Hillary Clinton, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Bo, the Obama's Portuguese Water dog.
Clinton is the only female Democrat whom Republicans seem to swoon over almost as much as Sarah Palin, although the reasons remain unclear. It may be that Clinton is seen as the most electable Democrat on the national scene, which is why Republicans would speedily confirm her for any non-elective office "“ preferably a lifetime position.
Gen. Petraeus, meanwhile, continues to demonstrate his mastery of the Capitol Hill interview process. Just a few weeks ago he avoided a tough question at a Senate hearing by fainting in his chair. He later claimed to have been dehydrated due to heat, yet it's unlikely that any senator will ask him at his next confirmation hearing if he realizes that Afghanistan's temperature averages 117 degrees, even inside taverns where Gen. McChrystal used to hang.
Michelle Obama now has an approval rating 13 points higher than her husband, according to Pew Research, and she has already proved herself to be more than capable in waging war against gophers in the White House garden.
Bo, too, has maintained a low profile despite a seemingly endless run of bad news at the White House, and clearly deserves more responsibility.
The president must take decisive action before it's too late.
Next year's news: After thanking Joe Biden for his service to the nation, President Obama today named Gen. David H. Patraeus to be his running mate in the 2012 election. "Governing the nation is a job too big for any one person," said the president. "Gen. Petraeus is the right man to help win the war against those forces who might vote against me."
John McCain was not available for comment.
Peter Funt writes about newspapers at: www.FuntonFronts.com and can be reached at www.candidcamera.com.
©2010 Peter Funt. This column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons, Inc. newspaper syndicate. For info call Cari Dawson Bartley at 800 696 7561 or e-mail [email protected]
Peter Funt is a writer and public speaker. He's also the long-time host of "Candid Camera." A collection of his DVDs is available at www.candidcamera.com.