John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


President Obama’s Big Problem: You Can’t Fake Credibility

Posted on November 5, 2013
Lying Presidents

“Authenticity is vitally important in politics.  If you can fake that, you have it made.”

That’s an old Washington joke.  Ha Ha.

You might be able to fake authenticity, but you can’t fake credibility.

And that’s a problem for President Obama.

His credibility is now shot, thanks to the provable lie that helped him pass his signature legislative achievement.

When the President promised that the American people could keep their health care insurance under Obamacare, he knew he was lying.   But the voters bought the lie, hook, line and sinker.

And now at least 15 million of them who have been kicked off their insurance thanks to the President’s new law are spitting mad about that lie.

Presidents who lose credibility usually have a rough go of it at the end of their terms.

George H.W. Bush lied about “read my lips, no new taxes.”  He lost his credibility with the base of his voters, and despite winning a popular war, he couldn’t win reelection.

George W. Bush lost his credibility when he said that “Brownie was doing a helluva job,” during Katrina.  The ratings sank at the end of his Presidency to toxic levels, helping usher in the Age of Obama.

Bill Clinton lost credibility when he said that he didn’t “have sex with that woman.”  The only thing that saved his Presidency was Newt Gingrich, who foolishly pushed for a partisan impeachment of Mr. Clinton.

Ronald Reagan lost credibility during Iran-Contra, but somehow was able to stumble through the last two years of his White House.

Richard Nixon lost credibility when he said “I am not a crook.”  He had to resign.

Jimmy Carter lost credibility during his “malaise speech.”  That speech was widely panned and his Presidency went downhill from there, culminating in the disastrous Iranian hostage crisis.

Obama’s lies about Obamacare are game-changing.  He might not know it, but his Presidency is over.  Republicans will keep the House and take the Senate.

The only thing that will save him is a budget deal and the only way he gets a budget deal is if he sues for peace, gives up his demands for higher taxes, and accepts the Republican demands for modest entitlement cuts in exchange for some relief of the sequester.

The President’s legislative agenda is dead.  He might get immigration reform, but only because Republicans want it for their own political purposes.

The President’s big lie has destroyed his credibility and I doubt very seriously if there is anything he can do to fix this huge problem.

You can fake authenticity because that is what you show yourself to be.  You can’t fake credibility, because that is what the people perceive about  you.