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Obama Loses Ground-- Messaging is not working. We Need Strength and Passion, Not Calm Equanimity

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Obama's made two trips to Louisiana in two days and if anything, it's made things worse for him. Maybe it's because he can't talk his way out of the miserably inadequate job he's done playing bystander, allowing BP to run the show.

Maybe it's because he failed to decisively act when there was still a chance to stop the leak early on.

Maybe it's because he failed to act to clean house in the agencies that should have prevented this disaster, particularly MMS. And the fact that he didn't even know whether the head of the failed agency resigned or was fired-- well, I'm guessing someone who should have told him will no longer have a job with home soon enough. Certainly, Ken Salazar, who is way too friendly with big oil, should be fired.

The problem is, this is the worst manmade ecological catastrophe the US has ever faced and Obama has failed to show we the people that he gets that. His words didn't come close to doing that. His actions, well, they are like his personality-- steady, even-- when we need dramatic, big and strong.

Strong!. Maybe that's it. Obama has always come across as steady, with incredible equanimity. That character strength played well in the election and surely helped him defeat emotional pipsqueaks McCain and Palin. But now Obama comes up short. He is not looking strong when the EPA backs down from its order to BP to stop using a toxic dispersant. He does not look strong when he fails to tap the strengths and resources of our military. He does not look strong when he is not aware of what key government agency heads are doing or when they are leaving.

This is not all his fault. While Obama's image in the Louisiana has gone into meltdown mode, his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has been off the reservation, spending at least the past few days in Israel, where he's having his sons Bar Mitzvah and generating major anti-Obama press coverage.

A Bar Mitzvah is a traditional rite of passage from childhood to adulthood. It looks like the BP gulf leak may be Obama's rite of passage. Rites of passage are tests that must be passed. In aboriginal cultures young men going throught their rite of passage are sometimes sent off into the forest to survive on their own. It appears that Obama's advisors have done the same to the president.
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Consider how his visit yesterday was apparently used by BP, where they threw a mass of clean-up workers at a stretch of beach that had not seen them before. Regardless of reality, this looks bad, looks like crude, naked PR manipulation. It does not look like a president in control-- not that PR should be first on Obama's mind in the face of a catastrophe, but considereing how bad he's doing in the PR realm, it is disconcerting to see such sloppy work by the people who should be maintaining a presidential image the nation can be confident. It's part of the work of the White House administration.

I want to see Obama succeed, as best is possible, considering his weak start, in facing the gulf oil crisis. He lost ground the past few days. There are so many things he could be doing and could have done. I wrote about them in my article, Dear President Obama: Steps You Must Take to Prevent BP Oil Disaster From Making You A One Term President

He did some of them in his first press conference in ten month, this past Thursday. But there is so much more he could be doing and declaring that he is doing.

President Obama is in trouble. He failed America these first 40 days since the Gulf Eco-Catastrophe began. Even if he had done everything right, which he has not, he failed to maintain the American people's faith in him as a leader. I'm not sure he can recover that faith, but it will take strong actions, including purging failed agency heads and staffers in both environmental protection agencies and within the White House administration. It's amazing that Democratic members of congress aren't in an uproar. His failures so far will hurt them in November. Then again, they can't even pass legislation eliminating limits on BPs and all other corporations' liabilities.
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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

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Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also (more...)
 

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You talk about Obama failing the leadership test w... by liberalsrock on Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 10:56:36 AM
Which federal judges he should have removed and on... by BFalcon on Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 12:30:30 PM
He failed to remove Bushs federal judges or people... by Dana Pico on Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 12:52:08 PM
Consider how his visit yesterday was apparently us... by Aurora on Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 11:06:10 AM
here: click here"American Liberals and Progressive... by Aurora on Tuesday, Jun 1, 2010 at 10:18:09 PM
Having been on the Delta during the Presidential e... by Georgianne Nienaber on Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 11:43:32 AM
Another compassionate conservative that we should ... by BFalcon on Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 12:28:09 PM
Although Obama is in the forefront of this massive... by Janet Loughrey on Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 12:43:09 PM
Of course, "experts" on health care now became "ex... by BFalcon on Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 12:44:20 PM
Obama has failed massively on this front. He can s... by Nathan Hevenstone on Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 1:20:04 PM
The Supreme Court needs to repeal its ruling to gi... by Dana Pico on Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 5:09:38 PM
They are behemoths of revenue with the protections... by Timothy Bickford on Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 8:04:51 PM
I was with you on the piece about how Obama should... by ssg13565 on Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 2:43:12 PM
Two days of telling us he cares and is doing all h... by Rob Kall on Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 6:44:39 PM
You expected him to accomplish all that you asked ... by ssg13565 on Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 10:56:03 PM
Indeed we do need strength and power but we also n... by Marika on Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 4:27:19 PM
Well said, Rob. Where is all the passion Obama had... by Nancy S on Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 5:54:12 PM
Yes President Obama is losing ground, but it is th... by Henry Pelifian on Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 6:00:44 PM
How ludicrously absurd! obama is making statements... by steve scheetz on Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 7:05:09 PM
for a second American Revolution...the bloody type... by Michael Morris on Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 7:38:13 PM
I fear you are right.... by Marika on Monday, May 31, 2010 at 4:24:44 AM
ammunition has tripled in price, guns are flying o... by Michael Morris on Monday, May 31, 2010 at 6:42:00 AM
I don't believe anyone else would have preformed b... by Timothy Bickford on Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 9:01:43 PM
Sad but so true, Rob -- Barack Obama has failed mi... by Eugene Elander on Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 12:53:09 AM
BP should be taken off the job immediatley. Follow... by Progessive 1 on Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 4:50:43 AM
. . . just whom do you think would be put on the... by Dana Pico on Monday, May 31, 2010 at 6:39:37 AM
Obama seems to be stuck in the 1980s, when it was ... by Perry Logan on Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 5:19:25 AM
It says that BP may even be giving orders to Obama... by Ian MacLeod on Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 7:35:54 AM
If Obama seems totally lost could it be because no... by Progessive 1 on Monday, May 31, 2010 at 1:42:54 PM
Maybe, there were supposedly 6-7 'fail-safe' redun... by Lynne Kringler on Monday, May 31, 2010 at 2:35:12 PM
They DO train for DEEP operations, and they have s... by Ian MacLeod on Tuesday, Jun 1, 2010 at 3:45:19 AM
It is my understanding that they can't go that dee... by Lynne Kringler on Tuesday, Jun 1, 2010 at 5:43:04 PM
What we do need is a man like Rep. Alan Grayson of... by Linda Ross on Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 9:23:35 AM
What we do need is a man like Rep. Alan Grayson of... by Linda Ross on Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 10:50:07 AM
Linda, Now Obama has jumped from being a socialist... by Lynne Kringler on Monday, May 31, 2010 at 3:26:03 PM
Where did I say Obama was a socialist?Who are "you... by Linda Ross on Tuesday, Jun 1, 2010 at 1:22:32 AM
WOW!! you are a fine bunch. He hasn't done enough,... by Lynne Kringler on Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 6:55:10 PM
You tell them Lynne.If most of the people on this ... by ssg13565 on Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 8:47:13 PM
Sorry, but I call BS on your post/rant.Let's look ... by Linda Ross on Monday, May 31, 2010 at 1:23:45 AM
Luckily, I never counted on people like you in the... by Lynne Kringler on Monday, May 31, 2010 at 4:08:43 AM
Luckily, I never counted on people like you in the... by Lynne Kringler on Monday, May 31, 2010 at 4:08:57 AM
HYPOCRITE FEAR MONGERING TROLL SAYS:Like I said ju... by Linda Ross on Tuesday, Jun 1, 2010 at 1:32:34 AM
Hit and run. Personal attack . Fear mongering, no,... by Lynne Kringler on Tuesday, Jun 1, 2010 at 5:12:55 PM
. . . it is somewhat amusing to point out that the... by Dana Pico on Monday, May 31, 2010 at 6:44:54 AM
Is to point out what a stellar govenor she was. Pa... by Lynne Kringler on Monday, May 31, 2010 at 12:38:05 PM
Having experience and doing a good job are two dif... by Progessive 1 on Monday, May 31, 2010 at 1:28:55 PM
The problem isn't 'messaging'.People need to face ... by Samson on Monday, May 31, 2010 at 12:21:06 PM
BP like all corporations play both sides of the fe... by Progessive 1 on Monday, May 31, 2010 at 1:15:30 PM
He would have to do in the future 1/2 of the thing... by Lynne Kringler on Monday, May 31, 2010 at 1:29:54 PM
He (President Obama) would have to do in the futur... by Dana Pico on Monday, May 31, 2010 at 3:00:34 PM
My vote is for the man not the party, Why change i... by Lynne Kringler on Monday, May 31, 2010 at 4:18:18 PM
This site is run by idiots.Obama's chief of staff ... by Samson on Monday, May 31, 2010 at 12:23:58 PM
The only idiot is you sir. You want everyone to be... by Progessive 1 on Monday, May 31, 2010 at 1:04:30 PM
Is there no end to your unfounded accusations? I'm... by Lynne Kringler on Monday, May 31, 2010 at 12:57:03 PM
. . . before you wrote, you'd never have said, "I'... by Dana Pico on Monday, May 31, 2010 at 3:09:40 PM
So much is lost in the writing in these posts. I w... by Lynne Kringler on Monday, May 31, 2010 at 3:59:04 PM
You post as though you have changed your mind abou... by Lynne Kringler on Monday, May 31, 2010 at 2:04:23 PM
when you mentioned that government has in fact bee... by Michael Shaw on Tuesday, Jun 1, 2010 at 2:19:47 PM