May 8th, 2012

Richard Cohen tells Obama to be like LBJ

Richard Cohen advises Obama to read Robert Caro’s latest biography of LBJ and learn how to make friends and influence people like Johnson did.

Dream on. In an alternate universe, maybe. In this one, a person can learn a few things and change somewhat as he/she goes through life, but change that basic virtually never happens.

Obama will never become a people person, like LBJ. Johnson relished pressing the flesh, and wheeling and dealing in the Senate for the many years he was a titanic figure there, persuading and arm-twisting and threatening and cajoling. Obama’s power is through the power of his silver tongue (I always saw it as tin, but I know a lot of people differ), his extension of executive power through czars and agencies, his reliance on a couple of leaders in Congress such as Nancy Pelosi (as long as Democrats were in charge, that is), and the assistance of his fawning allies in the press.

It’s hard to come to any conclusion except that Obama is a cold fish, as Cohen seems to recognize. Our current president is uncomfortable among people and crowds, preferring to stay with a small group of very trusted advisors, and only appearing for a short time at events and doing the bare minimum of schmoozing.

He’s never really had to do more than that. He looks down on people from his Olympian heights, removed and distant, above it all, seemingly calm and thoughtful. That’s what’s always worked for him in the past, and it’s suited his temperament, as well.

It’s ludicrous for Cohen to expect a man with that personality, and who spent only a couple of years of a single term in Congress before running for president, to have somehow amassed the skills and the knowledge base of LBJ, a master of power, people, and Congress. Very few people could emulate him, and Obama is probably the least likely person to do so.

21 Responses to “Richard Cohen tells Obama to be like LBJ”

  1. Gringo Says:

    Reading your comments on the futility of wanting Obama to become more LBJ-like reminds me of the metric I made four years ago of comparing the job experience of Obama with the job experiences of US Senators who later became President.

    Cabinet experience – none
    Vice President experience – none
    Governor experience- none
    Military officer experience – none
    House of Representatives experience- none

    The only US Senator who became President who had the same metric score as Obama’s was Warren Harding. At least Warren Harding had executive and managerial experience, as he had run a newspaper for about a dozen years.

    You get what you pay for, not what you wish you were buying.

  2. effess Says:

    LBJ is a fit comparison — he was among the worst presidents. In order to reduce his War on Poverty/Vietnam War deficits, he incorporated Social Security and its, then, giant surpluses, into a consolidated federal budget — with those surpluses spent elsewhere. He then thought he could further reduce the deficits — in the short-run — by “privatizing” Fannie Mae. Except that he retained to right for the president to name six members of the Fannie board, thus maintaining the impression that the government would step in with a bail-out. Johnson later cloned Fannie, with Freddie Mac, since the objection was raised that Fannie needed “competition”. (If one wants an overview of what a thuggish operation Fannie and Freddie were/are, I recommend this c-span Brian Lamb interview with Peter Wallison: http://www.c-

  3. Elizabeth L. Crain Says:

    My chief recollection of LBJ’s campaign is Bill Moyers’s despicable daisy-girl ad. My chief impression of his presidency and the cynical voter-farming programs with which he saddled future generations is disgust.

  4. Paul in Boston Says:

    How apt, Thomas Friedman wants the US to be more like Communist China and Richard Cohen wants Obama to be more like LBJ. You just can’t make up how stupid and foolish these NYT columnists are.

    If Cohen didn’t live through LBJ, as some of us did, he should read the first three volumes of Caro’s biography that lay out in vivid detail what a lying, scheming, vote stealing, corrupt meglomanical monster that LBJ was. God help us if he were in power today, the Republic would be toast. The man was really meant to be a mafia chieftain or a Communist dictator.

    Remember his handling of Viet Nam? Heh, heh, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?

    The man almost single handily ruined America.

  5. Honeyimhome Says:

    Changing from milquetoast to Patton is pretty unlikely. Although, I get the impression Obama wields influnence more from cold exclusion because that would be perfect for his personality. You fall out of favor with him, and the invitations don’t show up for the next gala. You get his flunkys on the phone and can never reach him anymore when you could before. That sort of thing.

    If his golfing buddy group has grown even smaller, that would explain it. Also, explains why his history is a trail of murkey darkness. He’s a cold mingler who wears a mask with smile on it when he needs too.

  6. NeoConScum Says:

    But, Neocon…They both want a Looney-Crazy Lib Universe. LBJ established the carnage that told Barry that building a Bigger Catastrophe was good.
    C’mon out, everyone, to the little ‘hood in Clermont-Minneola with NCS and get a close-up look–as I am granted most Fridays–of what Lyndon begat and Barry wishes to expand greatly. Want to count youthful heads with No Daddy under the roof? Want to meet obese Mamas with their hands perpetually out, but no jobs or husbands? Want to see what ‘working the system’ really means,’Yo?

    C’mon, y’all, it’ll be character building. Give ya a chance to see what Liberal-Lefties want Gov’t centered upon.

  7. George Pal Says:

    Why should it matter what Obama demonstrably is? All that counts are perceptions. He may be, properly promoted, the greatest people person ever to occupy the White House. He is after all the smartest president ever.

    As Elizabeth Warren demonstrated, you can be whatever you want to be so long as the wardens, whether at Harvard or the asylum, play along.

    I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

  8. Artfldgr Says:

    The Left’s solution to everything is socialism, although they are usually careful not to name it, instead identifying issues that seemingly only their policies can redress.

    But “the issue is never the issue. The issue is always the revolution” as David Horowitz has explained.

    The “issues” are mere distractions.

    even worse, the smart are manufacturing their own distractions so that they wont work out whats happening.

    plus size models?
    idiot pundit commentary to induce idiot commentary over it?

    c’mon? how about the law changes designed so suppress records? (like adding one word to the selective service laws so that the records for Obama can be destroyed?)

    cant wait till the next jello installment..

    articles on the voter fraud strategy? no way…
    articles on the 14 new names of ACORN?

    no way… (better to gossp about other things)

    its traditional training of academic intelligentia.. the unimportant is essential and the essential is to be ignored..
    (ergo their bizarro ideas on how to fix things OR their so distracted that they cant even see whats going on… )

    Whats Project Vote doing?

    Will Holder go to jail for contempt?

    How about the fact that the SYSTEMIC suppression of mob violence on whites has barely made news… (or has anyone watched the only news that covered the two journalists attacked? how about the kid doused with gasoline and set on fire?)

    Who is J. Christian Adams? why did he resign?

    how about discussing the selective enforcement of laws so that they cant be tested in the supreme court? but upon a break down, they all come into effect with no way to present them?

    which is what the real fight with Arpaio is about… ie. the federal police have no right to neuter the lawmakers by refusing to prosecute, and be supported in that to hide unconstitutional laws that stack the law until they are chosen to be used!

    or how obama is with certain groups..
    like Richard Cloward (Columbia University) and Frances Fox Piven (CUNY) being founding members of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)

    and SDP is the group who was against Hitler in Germany and for Stalin, and how that group was resurrected a few years ago, and is under Vpered (Russian for FORWARD)..

    how about judicial watch showing the DOJ, Project Vote, the White house and unions are colluding to fix the election…

    how about this?

    While these organizations are nominally independent, closer inspection often reveals interlocking directorates and/or shared staff. Many are supported directly or indirectly by George Soros foundations
    Poll Watchers submitted 763 incident reports, detailing over 3,000 violations, to Harris County. These included intimidation, harassment and illegal voter assistance conducted by poll judges and workers. To date there has been no response from the County.

    any discussions of the National Popular Vote bill? why not? fat models and modern frivolous hen clucking gossip more important than making the Electoral College null and void?

    of course… this is politics for women, not men.. like morning news is for women, and never tells you the news much at all.

    (meanwhile check out how many states have ALREADY made the laws while we haven’t even been aware of it!!!!!!!!! go !)

    Eight states and the District of Columbus, totaling 132 electoral votes, have passed NPV laws.

    so maybe the electoral college cant save us.. eh? (we cant save us!!! look at our choices of conversation and the depth we reach, barely deeper than the oxygen coating on a layer of paint)

    Almost every state has provisions to restore voting rights to former felons.

    Richard Cohen is an ASS..
    didn’t we figure that out before?

    now.. why are you promoting us to listen to an ass who will say assinine things, and so on? because he is such an ass he is entertaining? that he posits really deep ideas? (bs… not really deep, really deep SEEMING)

    what is so valuable about richard cohen?

    other than he is painting a false image that this is like any other bs election and that we should not even pay attention to ACTUAL THINGS going on.. as its all to do with the intellectual ideas.

    ie… if you go wandering through a minefield paying attention to clouds of fluff, that seem to have substance but are nothing.. don’t be surprised when you her a click, but not the boom that follows…

    the end is a done deal and the selection of articles and such shows that!!!

    after all.

    just imagine.. this is 1933
    that Austrian freakout is about to get the woman vote, and secure the whole gig.

    and what do you think you would write about?

    something important? somethnign that may stop the shoa from happening? somethign to WARN the public as to whats going on outside their view? hell no!

    no.. just the same as here..
    [its why BOTH groups selected women]

    which is why in no point in history has the dumb ass people who got themselves into this corner, gotten out of it.

    if Thelma and Louise want to drive off the cliff, we have to let them.. that’s what Marx said, engles agreed, and Hitler talked was key!

    i will say that it was Thelma and Louise that was the major force in both those histories. in germany the men who were voting differently had not the numbers… the others were dead in the war, so womens votes made that history… (and just as the wave after boomers made more women and men, they were plied with the same techniques, and did the same thing)

    you tell me how having conflicted discussions about the opinions of richard cohen will help?

    its all empty and meaningless with not even the smallest opportunity for something useful to come up… (ergo, its a decoy to get those smart enough to act, to sit around and not act!)

    do you think that he is going to actually grasp some essential? that his ENTERTAINMENT is there to PREVENT you from looking at what the other hand is doing?

    and it works!!!

    those people who do that never ever wake up to the role they play and the fixed end result they create!

    why are we not pointing out the feminist lie in the life of Julia? (because feminists want communist dictatorship!)

    here is this girl.. the state will give her free stuff along the way.. she can even have a baby without a man…

    feminist ideology is the musing fantasies of a MALE sex addict!!!!! (who didnt want to commit, help her raise her kids, didnt like her being unskilled, unavailable, protected by family and friends, and so on.. but no, despite the outcome matching his fantasy, its just coincidental that the man who the Fabians and progressives credit and whose ideas they foment had any influence on women.

    we just didn’t know that they were really nymphomaniacs at heart and only pretended to care about their kids (for cards on mothers day, i mean soviet womans day)…

    cant have it both ways. either they aren’t like that, but are influenced.. or they ARE like that, and revealed!!!!! (and if latter the left is credited with liberating that! just think, thanks to moses harmon in the old days, the only person i might have had sex with would be the wife i loved… not the 20+ others before her. that i never married. eh? )

    So here is my answer to the Cohen article

    who CARES? he is a nothing whose brain leaks party drivel for false considerations and wasting time.

    he could have tried to compare and contrast obama with dumbo the elephant with the feather, and it would be the SAME act and practice for him…

    want to know why he didnt?

    cause he knows your stupid enough to get sucked into a gossipy woman article over nothing, but not THAT stupid to do the same thing with the other focus being dumbo!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (The magazine and paper owners know it too.. which is why they paid him to do that to you and didnt pay them to find out news for you… news does not sell to women!)

    so, lets just replace FDR with dumbo, and have a big talk on that… or maybe compare and contrast obama and cicero? or obama’s father and his dreams?

    sad part is that this has the same amount of erudition and meaning as discussing obama compared to dumbo

    they both had strong mothers
    they both had mother victims of white men
    evil capitalists sought to make a slave of them

    watching smart people get suckered into meaningless conversations of the post modern kind is like watching bernie madoff sell a sucker vacation property and stocks for retirement.

    and BOTH suckers will fight and deny and never change their actions (to show you they were right), and will push to the completion of something they will later ask, why didnt any one stop it?


    we were too busy looking for self pleasure, entertainment, “lite back o the fence conversation”, drivel, and on and on

    and this caused us not to have time for the serious stuff as to law changes, lies, cheats… strategies… sources of ideas, and their negations… and so on and so on.

    in a nutshell…
    we are watching them use feminine focus to insure that no one pays attention to what really might matter..

    And the feminine will not admit they have a different focus..

    so will argue that this is important. the inane ramblings of a socialist pining for days before he was born, from a false history that he promotes to the ignorant, ignoring the new facts to paint the old picture, and being paid by the same people who are hiding whats going on?

    ie. they have hired him to get you to read him instead of reading what would matter and what would change your mind or others who came here… ie. neutralizing your contribution to null.

    meanwhile. your not asking why print an opinion piece as news and then not tell us about the new law, the other voter laws, what soros is doing, and on and on?

    want to know HOW the german leaders using the same ideology, the same hegel, the same ideas, the same gleichshaltung and movement of power to the one place, the same false voting, and on and on?

    hitler and marx said it wasnt possible without them.

    Want to know how they did it?

    they relied on women to be women
    while telling them sweet little lies

    funny how there was a hit song that women really liked called “tell me lies tell me sweet little lies”… and so on…

    “It is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge.”

    “If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work.

    The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable.

    Favorable conditions never come.”


    so we are waiting for favorable conditions to talk about things happening now… we want them to be history not potential projections..

    we want to distract ourselves till the storm passes and then when things are better get down to work…

    but if that’s what we do, it will get a lot worse before it gets better, and better wont be in any of our lifetimes.

  9. Artfldgr Says:

    George Pal

    may i correct your last statement?
    its not
    “i think i can, i think i can, i think i can” – that is a positive story of working hard and so on..

    no.. as i have said before, its rocky horror…
    and in this case, the song…

    Dont dream it, be it!

    (it tells the story in archtypes and such, as does shock treatment… IF you know the story, if not, you dont get it)

    Give yourself over to absolute pleasure
    Swim the warm waters of sins of the flesh
    Erotic nightmares beyond any measure
    And sensual daydreams to treasure forever
    Can’t you just see it?

    Don’t dream it – be it.

  10. George Pal Says:


    I stand happily corrected.

  11. effess Says:

    Second attempt at the c-span Lamb/Wallison link. It appears the first link didn’t get through in its entirety.

  12. Artfldgr Says:

    House to vote on Trayvon amendment

    the distractions are covering a lot of bs…

  13. RPK Says:

    While reading this article about Obama’s arrogance and coldness, I had a flashback to our famous (or infamous) Canadian Prime Minister, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, who shared with Mr. Obama almost all of the character traits you describe. Arrogant? Check. Contemptuous of the common folk? Check. Rude and aloof with the press, so that they loved him all the more? Check. Celebrity hound? Check. Over-educated and under-experienced? Check. Significant exposure to the hard left? Check. Prepared to shut down democracy if “necessary”? See the War Measures Act. And the press helped maintain his “cool” image while showing all his opponents in the most geeky, awkward way they could, like kids pulling the wings off flies.

    I could go on, but even more ominous is that Trudeau was able to leave a legacy that is certainly controversial, and rife with results produced by the law of unintended consequences. It includes among other things the adoption of a constitution that has led to judicial activism and the expansion of federal power, significantly expanded multiculturalism, multilingualism and moral relativism, and worst of all the most historically significant expansion of public debt. Hmm…

  14. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States Says:

    LBJ, asshole that he was, was a master politician. He was never better than “earthy”.

    Obama is an elitist academic boob.

    Telling The One he needs to be more like LBJ is like telling the Sahara to be more like the Ocean.

  15. Smock Puppet, 10th Dan Snark Master Says:

    >>> no.. as i have said before, its rocky horror…

    Well, they certainly got the jump to the Left part correct.

    Now the nation’s about to take a step to the right.

    I don’t want to find out exactly what it is that’s going to drive us insay-ay-ay-ayane…

  16. NeoConScum Says:

    Hey Gang…Richard 36-yrs in the Senate Lugar is OUT. Big Time butt kicking by Tea Party & their guy, Murdoch. Lugar out spent the Tea Party by milions & milions & millions. I LOVE this news.

    God, I wish we could repeal the baatshiite crazy 17th Amendment.

  17. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Richard Cohen is a particularly silly man. He’s pining for the dominance LBJ enjoyed in the year following Kennedy’s death.

  18. Artfldgr Says:

    Texas INMATE gets 40 per cent of votes against Obama in West Virginia primary

  19. gpc31 Says:

    Thank you for reading Richard Cohen so that I don’t have to. I am not an IQ snob, but the brains of Cohen, Kristoff, et al., are like hard baked enamel: superficial and dense.

  20. Artfldgr Says:

    Life of Julia/Julian!

  21. Artfldgr Says:

    While most people concern themselves with hacking away at the tree, I find it instructive to look at the root.

    its frustrating watching everyone hack at a tree too hard to cut…

    or to pound at a diamond rather than tap it in the right place..

    but thats the difference between cro magnon brutish ignorance, and knowledge that cuts like a laser..

    a blunt object will not manage to cut out the desease and not crush the patient… but its all we have… even the smart have not any finer weapons due to their post modern educations and lack of JDC work ethics…

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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