According to media reports, President Obama (almost) resolved the spiraling Egyptian crisis in one "private message" to Hosni Mubarak. "Mubarak Promise Comes After Private Obama Message" AP reports.
President Obama is firmly in charge and appears to finally be calling the shots. In a bold, presidential moment, Obama said last Tuesday evening that he has told Mubarak that a transition to representative government "must begin now."
For the millions of Americans who only watch CNN, it appears that our president has, once again, saved the day. Only problem is, it's just not so.
On Monday, after maintaining a conspicuous silence throughout the escalating Egyptian protests, Obama finally revealed America's stance on the escalating Egyptian crisis. A full week after they started. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said it is "not for me or our government to determine" whether Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak should leave office.
Translation: America , via Obama, is firmly committed to sitting on the fence and waiting for the situation to resolve itself. As it appeared to do on Tuesday, with Mubarak announcing the he would not be running for re-election.
With a response time measured in minutes, Obama appeared on national news and claimed the credit. The Washington Post reported:
“President Obama, clearly frustrated by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's intention to retain his hold on power until elections later this year, said Tuesday evening that he has told Mubarak that a transition to representative government ‘must begin now.’”
Taking a cue from George Bush's famous "We hear you now" declaration made on the burning embers of the World Trade Center, Obama proceeded to voice his support for the Egyptian protestors, saying the passion and dignity demonstrated by the people of Egypt has been an inspiration. He says young protesters will reach their destiny. "We hear you now!" Obama stated.
The media ignored the fact that it took a full week for our president to be so inspired, while giving full credence to the "private message" Obama reportedly sent to Mubarak which reportedly persuaded Mubarak to announce he would finally step down. Does anyone else smell a rat?
Like every other issue Obama has faced in the last two years, he maintained a deafening silence until he saw which way the wind was blowing. Then he jumped on board and took the credit. Following events and maintaining silence until there is no political risk is not leadership.
The good news is, Obama has finally taken a stand. The bad news is, he is now committed to those who want Mubarak out now. Unfolding events show this crisis is far from over. With communications now restored, Americans are watching live as this crisis spirals into yet another phase.
Waiting to place a bet until after the race is run is not leadership. And claiming success for a position he never took is shameful. Almost as shameful as trying to obtain courage on the cheap by trying to associate himself with the real leadership George Bush took. "We hear you now" indeed.