John Feehery: Speaking Engagements

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Entitlement

Posted on June 2, 2008


  Does anyone else find it ironic that Barack Obama quit his church over comments made by a white Roman Catholic priest?


  Yes, the priest, Father Michael Pfleger, did make those comments at Obama’s church (well, now ex-church).  But Obama really doesn’t even know Pfleger, and in myview, he reacted too quickly to distance himself from comments that had nothing to do with his campaign.


  Pfleger’s comments were typically outrageous in their delivery, but the priest does have a valid point about the Clintons.  They do feel a sense of entitlement about the Democratic nomination, and they are shocked that they are going to lose this nomination to Barack Obama.


  You get the depth of this sense of entitlement in how Harold Ickes reacted to Tim Russert’s questioning on Meet the Press yesterday.  Every time Bill Clinton opens his mouth, you can sense how frustrated he is that his wife isn’t getting the nomination.  From the very first start of this campaign, when Hillary Clinton voted for the war and when Mark Penn started positioning her for a general election, you got the sense that the Clinton’s believed that they were entitled to the nomination.


  Maybe Hillary felt she deserved it after putting up with all of her husband’s bad behavior over the last two decades or so.


  But Hillary Clinton isn’t the only one who is feeling a sense of entitlement.  The Obama campaign also feels entitled, not only to the nomination, but also to the Presidency.  Of course, they have a good case on the nomination.  After all, they are leading in the delegate count.  But the Presidency is a different thing entirely. 


  Is Obama entitled to win the White House?  What has he done – other than win the Democratic nomination – to be entitled to be our President?  Does he have deep experience?  Did he serve in the military?  Does he have any great achievements outside his efforts to run for President?  Is he known for anything more than writing a couple of books and giving a few great speeches?


  If Obama does believe he is entitled to the White House, he would be joining most leading Democrats in sharing that conclusion.  Ever since the 2000 election, the Democrats have believed that they were entitled to the Presidency.  They believe that Al Gore beat George Bush in 2000 and that George Bush stole the election from John Kerry in 2004 in Ohio.  They now believe that they are entitled to the White House, and they are acting with the arrogance that comes with that attitude.


  Of the major candidates, John McCain is the only one who actually can make the case that he is entitled to the President.  He is a war hero who has long experience in working together with Democrats to get stuff done in the Congress.


  Luckily for McCain, he is not acting like he is entitled to the White House.  With his party’s brand badly damaged, McCain can’t act like he is entitled to anything.  He is taking nothing for granted.  He is running scared, and that is what he needs to do to be successful this fall.


  Nobody’s entitled to nothing when it comes to a White House run.  They have to earn it.