Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 22, 2010 / 8 Adar 5770

Obama lacks one crucial ingredient — intuition

By Michael Barone




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | No president enters office knowing everything he needs to know. His experience is limited to some greater or lesser extent; his knowledge of the people from whom he will choose appointees is incomplete; his mastery of the substance of public policy, after years on the campaign trail, is likely to be out of date. And like all of us, he does not know what the future will bring.

So presidents must rely on something else, something intangible and unquantifiable, in determining what is within the realm of possibility and what is a bridge too far: intuition.

Great leaders have it, though it sometimes fails; failed leaders don't, though their plans sometimes succeed.

In the first category are great American presidents like Franklin Roosevelt. FDR could have nationalized the banks in 1933 and war industries in the 1940s. Instead he prevented runs on the banks and called in captains of industry to help run the war effort.

Fluent in German, he listened to Hitler on short-wave radio and recognized by 1938 that he was a monster that must be destroyed. Alerted by Albert Einstein's letter to the possibilities of nuclear fission, he said, "We can't let Hitler get this before we do," and authorized the spending in secret of something approaching 1 percent of gross domestic product on building the atomic bomb.

His judgment in picking military leaders — Gens. Marshall, MacArthur, Eisenhower, Adms. King and Nimitz — was unerringly brilliant. His decisions to invade North Africa in 1942 (against all military advice), to concentrate on the European theater and not the Pacific in 1943 (against the Navy's urging), to stage the cross-Channel invasion in 1944 rather than 1943 (despite British and Russian pressure) all look very good in retrospect. It wasn't so easy to make them at the time.

Barack Obama, so far, seems to belong in the second category. Like everyone who gets elected president, he entered office brimming with confidence, convinced he could end the hostility of the Iranian mullahs, Islamist terrorists, the leaders of China and Russia, and the likes of Hugo Chavez.

At least so far, that confidence has proved to be dreamy. Obama now knows their hostility was rooted not just in distaste for George W. Bush's Texas twang but to the fundamental character of the American people. A Muslim middle name hasn't made much difference.

At home, Obama, like many others and not just in his own party, believed that economic distress would move Americans to favor government direction of the health care and energy sectors and to support sharply increased federal spending.

That intuition now seems unfounded. As does the intuition that the Senate would pass hugely important legislation on a party-line vote with not one vote to spare. That left Obama and his party hostage to the Cornhusker Hustle and the Louisiana Purchase and the chance that a special election would transform the 60-vote supermajority to a less-than-super 59. The bridge turned out to be too far.

Letter from JWR publisher


Obama has picked some good people for important positions and has had some significant policy successes. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, after one misstep, came up with a stress test that has stabilized the big banks. Education Secretary Arne Duncan's competition program promises to spur useful innovation in schools around the country.

Our military forces seem to be on the verge of victory (though Obama doesn't like to use the word) in Iraq and seem to be making clear progress in Afghanistan. The president decided, thankfully, to dissatisfy those Democrats who would acquiesce in an American defeat.

But on what he identified as the biggest foreign and domestic issues, Obama's intuition has proved to be faulty. Things have not worked out as he hoped. And, though a president cannot micromanage everything, his deference to congressional Democratic leaders in determining the details of the stimulus, health care and cap-and-trade bills has proven politically disastrous.

Obama's two predecessors also suffered from failures of intuition. Bill Clinton recovered and got deserved credit for the 1996 welfare reform and the 1997 balanced-budget deal. George W. Bush recovered and deserves credit (though Joe Biden is claiming it now) for the success of the Iraq surge strategy.

Obama too may develop better intuition than he has shown so far. But first he has to acknowledge that a successful presidency requires more than the confidence conferred by a high IQ and fancy degrees.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

JWR contributor Michael Barone is senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner.




Michael Barone Archives

© 2009, Washington Examiner; DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS SYNDICATE INC.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles