‘from consensus to instincts’

President Barack Obama delivers a statement in the East Room of the White House on the mission against Osama bin Laden, May 1, 2011

LA Times: The Obama administration’s top national security officials were gathered around … to hear Army Gen. David H. Petraeus argue for a slow drawdown of U.S. troops in Afghanistan …. President Obama quickly made clear his disagreement. More important, he said, was the administration’s goal of shifting responsibility for the country’s security to the Afghan government, which would let him bring home troops.

As a senior administration official put it: “He asked everyone, if we’re serious about transition, then when? When are we going to do it? “Everybody came out of that meeting knowing the president wanted to go this direction,” said the official who described the scene, “even though it wasn’t the pace that Gen. Petraeus was recommending.”

A week later, last Wednesday, Obama announced plans to withdraw the 33,000 “surge” troops he sent to Afghanistan.

To some who had attended the meeting, the encounter – and the president’s willingness to overrule key advisors – brought to mind another meeting four and a half months earlier. On that occasion, Obama and his top advisors were discussing the rapidly unfolding events in Egypt. Most top administration officials had been advising the president against calling for President Hosni Mubarak to step down.

But as the discussion went along, the television monitors in the Situation Room showed an angry crowd in Cairo’s Tahrir Square yelling, “Leave! Leave! Leave!” in response to Mubarak’s televised speech refusing to resign. Obama watched, and then told his aides, “Look, guys, this is not going to go back into the box.” The president said he would call Mubarak and tell him to step down, and he would deliver a public statement calling for a transition to begin immediately. The decision took aides by surprise. In retrospect, it seemed a sign of things to come.

…The success of the Bin Laden raid reinforced Obama’s security in his own judgments, aides said. “I think he reached a point where he had to trust his instincts, and there was nothing left to inform his decision except to do that,” said one advisor … “And he saw that trust borne out in what happened. … To make that risky a judgment based not just on your instincts but on your experience as commander in chief, and have it succeed, does something important psychologically that’s hard to quantify.”……

Full article here

20 Responses to “‘from consensus to instincts’”

  1. 1 nintendowii10
    June 27, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Without a doubt, President Obama has done more to keep us safe than President Bush and the Republicans EVER did.

  2. June 27, 2011 at 11:16 am

    From my twitter timeline:

    @CapehartJ COLUMN: Marriage equality: #Obama is not #Cuomo – Part I. http://wapo.st/k3DA4g #p2 Gop #ssm #ny4m #lgbt #gay

    • June 27, 2011 at 11:20 am

      what is capehart trying to say here?

      • June 27, 2011 at 11:28 am

        never mind. read it and it’s a good column.

      • June 27, 2011 at 11:43 am

        The usual crowd is saying Obama should “lead” like Cuomo and Cuomo 2016 because he helped to pass gay marriage in NY. I didn’t read the whole article but from skimming it, Capehart is trying to point out that Cuomo had advantages that Obama does when it comes to getting things done. What Cuomo did to get this bill passed is what Obama has been doing for the past 2-3 years – COMPROMISING and teaming up with opponents.

        This is how liberal heroes are born. A politician does one or two things that’s liberal and then the left latches on to that person as their next savior while completely disregarding that persons record on other issues. Then they cry betrayal when that hero starts to enact or speak on their policies. I haven’t studied Cuomo enough to make up my mind about him but I do know that he has done things that the left has blasted Obama for. Cuomo rejected the KSM trial in NY and he refuses to raise taxes to lower the deficit. He’s also gotten into scuffles with Unions. Its times like this where its difficult not to call these people racists.

  3. 9 dotster
    June 27, 2011 at 11:22 am

    I see that in yet another 5-4 decision, the Supreme Ct. hands another victory to corporations seeking to influence elections.

  4. 10 mtmarilyn
    June 27, 2011 at 11:23 am

    I trust his instinct more than anyone else. He has kept us more safe but you wouldn’t know it by what the msm and the Repubs say. I pray for this President everyday. He gets it from all sides. Thank goodness he is strong and steady.

    • June 27, 2011 at 12:47 pm

      He gets it from all sides bc he does not play the dc game. The left msm and the house dems wants hint to be ultra partisan, he is not.
      The right wants him to bend to their will, he does not!
      So, they all hit the airwaves and blogs to complain, pushed by special interests and lobbyists…

  5. 12 northanger
    June 27, 2011 at 11:30 am

    It is… 498 days to the presidential election and I know there are folks counting the days to vote for President Obama. They will not forget because he did not forget.

  6. 13 Sue in Minnesota
    June 27, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    President Obama has my complete trust and faith. The press may treat him like crap….they do to the extreme, and it is with purpose, but Barack Obama is his own man and is a force to be reckoned with. Personally I feel like analogies can be drawn to the way Jesus was treated and the way President Obama is being under constant attack from the highest levels of power in this country. I hope not to offend, I have not made President Obama into a false idol…but I recognize a man of greatness, as do the sources of power that he challenges. They are bending over backwards in attempts to thwart his efforts, in part because he is African American, but even more so because they fear his abilities and his potentials.


    • June 27, 2011 at 1:31 pm

      Good morning Sue, and the TOD Community 🙂 Sue I want to just say, that was a good analogy that you used about Jesus, and no, we’re not equating POB to Jesus, but If the People fought with Jesus, well of course Is PBO any different? If they talked about Jesus, surely they will talk about PBO 🙂

  7. 15 carolyn
    June 27, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    I thought I had noticed a positive difference since Bill Daley became chief of staff. He has the ability to declutter and keep everyone from petitioning the president all the time for their individual causes. One thing I noticed is that he is getting out to people more, and he instructed his staff to get him to disaster sites as soon as he won’t harm the recovery efforts, but the orders are to “get me there.” The more he gets out with people, the more they learn that he is not the satan he is portrayed by the right, nor the ineffectual he is portrayed by the left. Those personal visits will reap large benefits come 2012. I think Daley has the big picture and the long view like Obama does. I’ve read that the West Wing is much calmer with Daley, and we know Obama likes calm: “No drama Obama.”
    I’m glad he is comfortable enough now to trust his instincts. They are good. It does take time to get to this point. Imagine taking on a new job with the ENTIRE world staring at you and evaluating you every day!!! He was wonderful to begin with, but he has grown into this job in a phenomenal way. GWB never grew, but I think he did not make any decisions either. The dark one did all that.

  8. 16 GGail
    June 27, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    This shows that his confidence in his own instincts has risen based on his experience being the President. I pity the fools who think they can push or bully him from this point on. They do so at their own peril. OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA!!!!!!!!!

  9. 17 Ladyhawke
    June 27, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Here’s another in a growing number of blog posts taking it to the PL for constantly whining and criticizing President Obama instead of exposing the Republican Party obstruction and attempts to sabotage the economic recovery.

    I Obot? by Karoli

    It’s time to address this once and for all. Here are a couple of things about me that you can count on. First, when I criticize the President, I endeavor to do so in a constructive way. Second, I will give this administration the benefit of the doubt. Third, there is never going to be a time where I will grunt and say that Obama is just like Bush. This is because that would be a lie of the highest magnitude.

    I understand that it’s all the rage these days to take anger at Republican obstruction and project it onto the President. I also understand that it’s all the rage, and I do mean rage, to take disappointment that he hasn’t moved whatever heaven and earth he should have moved for your personal pet issues quickly enough.
    I’m done apologizing for my support for this President, who has worked hard since the day he took office, done his best, isn’t a slacker, and can’t please everyone. I support him unapologetically and wholeheartedly. That’s my right, just as it is the right of others not to. I respect that right, but will no longer waste time or give attention to self-indulgent complaints. It’s time to be strategic rather than spewing scattershot criticism. If you can’t do that, then really, I’m probably not going to help your cause anyway because I will assume your goal is to elect a Republican, and I will oppose you with all the might I can muster.

    We have a Senate at risk, a House that’s winnable, and a President who is strong against the current Republican field. I’m aiming for the big battles, which are with Republicans, not those to the left of me.

    Now excuse me while I go make a donation and buy the T-shirt. I’ll see the circular shooters on the other side, hopefully after another win.


    • 18 Sue in Minnesota
      June 27, 2011 at 2:02 pm

      Excellent commentary…”and with all the might I can muster”, needs to be our credo.

  10. 19 Sue in Minnesota
    June 27, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    O-ba-ma! O-ba-ma! O-ba-ma!

    Are your fired UP? Fired up Boss!

    Are you ready to GO? Ready to go.

    Let’s do this…..lets go out and CHANGE the world.


    • 20 utaustinliberal
      June 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm

      Wooohooooo!!!!!! Fired up and Ready to Go Sue! I’M IN OBAMA/BIDEN 2012. YES.WE.CAN!

      Great article from the LA Times. There is no one I would trust more to deal with the mess of getting this country back on solid ground than President Obama. From day one, he has shown that he is solid as barack 😉 and the one thing amongst many other character traits I admire about him, is his ability to take the long term view. One day at a time he is showing this country and the world that haste, aggravating impatience and impulsiveness is childish.

Comments are currently closed.







Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.



RSS Obama White House.gov

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS WH Tumblr

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Steve Benen

  • Joe: There is no post-truth world when it comes to the court system
  • Former Labor Secretary warns of banking dangers and recession possibility
  • Air Mail: George Santos, Boris Johnson, Restoration Hardware and Putin 
  • 'White supremacist genius': GOP resort to anti-semitic, racist attacks to defend Trump prosecution
  • The paradoxical relationship between America and poverty



Blog Stats

  • 43,345,434 hits

%d bloggers like this: