The Amateur: A look inside the Obama Administration with Edward Klein

How do Barack Obama's mistakes really impact our economy? Has his foreign policy been good for America? What about Valerie Jarrett? Edward Klein, bestselling author of

FLORIDA, July 18, 2012 — Like all of us, Barack Obama is a human being. He makes mistakes.

However, Edward Klein says that the President has failed to learn from them. This, in turn, bodes negatively for the economy. From Klein’s standpoint, how has the Obama Administration damaged America’s financial prospects?      

The President’s foreign policy is another thing which Klein criticizes heavily. How, specifically, has it been counterproductive to American interests?  

On a more domestic scale, Klein points to Michelle Obama and Valerie Jarrett as being major forces within the Obama White House. What are their roles, exactly? Why do they hold so much power?

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Joseph F. Cotto: Like all of us, Obama makes mistakes. However, you say that he has failed to learn from his errors. This, in turn, bodes negatively for the economy. From your standpoint, how has his administration damaged America’s financial prospects?

Edward Klein: The Obama stimulus program was a temporary fix to fund state-run programs. Once the money ran out, the states had to lay off public employees like teachers and firefighters, adding to the unemployment numbers.

Obama promised to bring the unemployment down to an acceptable percentage; instead, unemployment has been above 8 percent during his entire time in office. The economy is still limping along and may collapse into another recession. He’s been in office too long to blame George W. Bush for America’s economic problems. We are now suffering through the Obama recession and Obama has no one but himself to blame for this.

Cotto: Obama’s foreign policy is something which you criticize heavily. How, specifically, has it been counterproductive to American interests?  

Klein: Put simply, Obama promised to restore America’s standing in the world. Instead, America is now more, not less, unpopular in the Middle East and Europe than it was under George W. Bush. In addition, Obama promised to “reset” relations with Russia. Instead, our relations with Moscow are more tense today than they have been since the collapse of the old Soviet Union.

Obama promised to end the war in Iraq. He withdrew American forces from Iraq unnecessarily, leaving that country open to outside domination by our sworn enemy, Iran. He promised to prevent Iran from obtaining an nuclear bomb; Iran has made more progress toward developing a nuclear weapon since Obama took office than it did under George W. Bush.

Cotto: You point to Michelle Obama and Valerie Jarrett as being major forces within the Obama Administration. What are their roles, exactly? Why do they hold so much power?   

Klein: Valerie Jarrett is the first person in the history of the modern presidency who is senior adviser to both the first lady and the president. She is the only member of the White House staff who dines nightly with the first family. She is the last person to leave the Oval Office after a meeting, thereby giving her the opportunity to get in a last word with the president. She vacations with the first family—again, the only member of the White House staff who has that intimate connection to the president and his family.

The president has said on more than one occasion that he runs every major issue by Valerie Jarrett before he makes a decision. All of this gives her unprecedented power—and she has used it to persuade the president to take far leftwing stands on issues rather than compromise to get his legislation through Congress. 

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Agree with the President’s policies or not, he has essentially made a career out of being a political and legal operative. Taking this into account, can he honestly be called an “amateur”?

The American media is at a crossroads. Today, established sources, such as the alphabet networks and more than a few major newspapers, are in serious decline. Cable news channels and the Internet, meanwhile, are increasingly popular. What does the future hold for our country’s media structure?

Finally, how was it that Edward Klein came to be such a prominent author and journalist?

Stay tuned for the third and final part of our discussion.


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Joseph Cotto

Joseph F. Cotto is a social journalist by trade and student of history by lifestyle choice. He hails from central Florida, writing about political, economic, and social issues of the day. In the past, he was a contributor to Blogcritics Magazine, among other publications. He is currently at work on a book about American society.

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