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At Home and Abroad, Obama's Power Has Its Limits

By Ben Pershing
If the first 11 weeks of President Obama's tenure have taught us anything, it's just how much power -- both hard and soft -- the president really has. He can take over massive companies, fire CEOs, spend hundreds of billions of dollars and draw massive audiences in foreign capitals. In Europe this week, he has been a private dealmaker and a public superstar.

Yet this first major foreign trip has also shown us how much the president can't do. In London, Obama did not get other nations to commit to the levels of stimulus spending he had wanted. In Strasbourg, he did not persuade allies to offer more than a handful of troops for Afghanistan. And in New York, the U.S. was unable Sunday to coax the UN Security Council to agree on a response to North Korea's missile launch. (To be fair, Obama himself wasn't actually at the UN twisting arms.)

Minutes from now, Obama will address the Turkish Parliament, and the betting here is that he will not -- with this single gesture -- persuade the Muslim world to drop its mistrust of the U.S. or, for that matter, make Americans feel more positively toward Muslims. But Obama can work to keep Turkey as a vital ally in the Middle East. He can do that, in part, by encouraging the EU to accept Turkey as a member. And Obama can try not to offend his hosts on the subject of the Armenian "genocide." Obama's first question at his news conference this morning with the Turkish president was on this subject -- specifically his past position that it was indeed genocide -- and Obama said he has "not changed views" on the controversy but, "I want to be as encouraging as possible" of talks between Turkey and Armenia.

Continue reading at Political Browser »

By Ben Pershing  |  April 6, 2009; 8:18 AM ET
Categories:  The Rundown  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: POTUS Events: Obama Visits Turkey
Next: Obama Stands by Views on Armenian Killings, But a Word Is Absent


I am not sure if the President is accomplishing anything on this overseas trip other than introducing himself to world leaders and burning jet fuel. But that is the nature of presidential overseas trips under most presidents. A lot of what happens is meant for consumption by the people at home. He should not overdo it though or he will look like a jetsetter while things are in ruins at home.

Posted by: danielhancock | April 6, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

To spamsux1.......

You have got to be kidding!

Posted by: afed27 | April 6, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Ben Pershing writes: "Yet this first major foreign trip has also shown us how much the president can't do."

This is pure (possibly racist) nonsense.

We all know that The Obama can do anything he wants.

If these things did not occur it is only because The One did not want them to occur at this point in time.

Posted by: spamsux1 | April 6, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Obama's Power has its limits., LOL> Sounds like he is superman. :) Sweet title. Well you know, he does have a video game now. Check it out at.

Posted by: pastor123 | April 6, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

What I really want to know how much it cost the U.S. taxpayers to transport 500+ people for this little European vacation? I thought we were in the middle of an economic "crisis"? Can we afford to spend over $2 BILLION per year to run the White House anymore?

P.S. Richard Nixon flew commercial as President:

Posted by: JakeD | April 6, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse


How long with Obama, Holder, etc. NOT doing anything about "directed energy" weapons before you start questioning if they are complicit themselves? You are aware that Inauguration Day was January 20, 2009, right?

Posted by: JakeD | April 6, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Prediction: Obama will compare lingering Turkish prejudice against Armenians and their claim of genocide to Americans who blindly condemn all of Islam as the root of global terrorism.



Attorney General Eric Holder
DHS Sec. Napolitano
DoD Sec. Gates
Treas. Sec. Geithner
DNI Dennis Blair, DNI Inspector General-designate Roslyn Mazer
Rahm Emanuel. David Axelrod, Jay Carney, White House
(staffs, please forward)


Google it.

YOU -- or someone close to you -- could be the next victim.

Unless Team Obama takes down the draconian Bush-Cheney extrajudicial punishment network... array of secret "programs of personal financial destruction" and a government-funded network of vigilante "community stalking"... using the GPS satellite system to hunt and harass human prey (with the full knowledge of law enforcement)...

...coupled with the proliferation of mind- and body-degrading "directed energy" microwave radiation weapons -- the Zyklon B of a grassroots, military/intel- enabled civilian American Gestapo.

Attorney General Holder, you must act NOW to restore human and civil rights in America.

Before the naivete of liberals empowers the saboteurs and Dr. Strangeloves who say "No!" to change.

Where is the civil rights division investigation that victims have demanded?

Or is there "nothing to investigate" -- because the government already knows all about this?



Posted by: scrivener50 | April 6, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

President Bush never took over massive companies or fired CEOs. I wonder what the Obamaniacs would have screeched if he had. I'm sure the Code Pink would have had some kind of demonstration.

Posted by: JakeD | April 6, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

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