Bumps in the Road: Trump vs. Obama

The resignation of national security advisor Michael Flynn has the anti-Trump media declaring the new administration a “mess,” in “turmoil” and thrown into “chaos.”

Funny, these same Chicken Littles barely shrugged their shoulders during the turmoil-laden first 100 days of Barack Obama’s first term. Some perspective is in order.

Remember the withdrawal of Obama’s pick for National Intelligence Council chairman, Charles Freeman, in March 2009? Obama had tapped the former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia for the sensitive post despite abundant conflicts of interests. Freeman had served for four years on the board of the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, a company owned by the Chinese communist government. The state-owned firm has invested in Sudan and Iran. Freeman also led the Middle East Policy Council, a Washington, D.C.-based group funded by the Saudi government. And he chaired Projects International, a consulting firm that had worked with foreign companies and governments.

Obama knew all that and looked the other way at Freeman’s role as a de facto lobbyist for Saudi royalty. Even worse, he ignored Freeman’s Jew-bashing and tyrant-coddling record with a Blame America axe to grind. Freeman carped that our country exhibited “an ugly mood of chauvinism” after the 9/11 attacks and condemned his fellow countrymen for connecting the dots of Islam and Saudi-funded jihad: “Before Americans call on others to examine themselves,” he fumed with Jeremiah Wright-style bombast, “we should examine ourselves.”

In fine form, Freeman inveighed against the “Israel Lobby” in his resignation letter.

The screed said less about Freeman than it did about the Obama administration’s AWOL vetting system. Where were the watchdogs to guard against terror-friendly conspiracy-minded kooks slipping into sensitive intelligence positions?

The Freeman withdrawal came after a series of Obama nominee withdrawals that the amnesia-suffering Beltway media has now conveniently forgotten in its haste to declare Trump’s transition the worst disaster ever.

By this time in Obama’s first term, former Democratic New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson had withdrawn as Commerce Secretary nominee after both liberals and conservatives protested his long record of corruption and incompetence. His political horse-trading with private businesses — campaign donations for infrastructure projects, patronage jobs and board appointments — was so notorious it had earned him the moniker “Dollar Bill.”

At the time Obama tapped him to lead the Commerce Department, Richardson was the subject of a high-profile probe and ongoing grand jury investigation into whether he traded New Mexico government contracts for campaign contributions. The White House transition team knew about the pay-to-play scandal involving a California company, CDR Financial Products. They knew that the FBI and federal prosecutors had launched a probe of CDR’s activities in New Mexico in the summer of 2008. They knew CDR was tied to a doomed bond deal in Alabama, which threatened to cause the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. They knew CDR had raked in nearly $1.5 million in fees from a New Mexico state financial agency after donating more than $100,000 to Richardson’s efforts to register Hispanic and American Indian voters and to pay for expenses at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

It took 33 days before Team Obama threw Richardson and his ethical baggage off the bus.

Richardson’s replacement, former GOP Sen. Judd Gregg, accepted and then quickly withdrew after disagreements over Obama’s massive federal stimulus proposal and Democrats’ politicization of the Census.

Another Beltway barnacle, former Democratic South Dakota Sen. Tom Daschle, was also forced to withdraw from his nomination as Obama’s Health and Human Services secretary amid a storm of ethical scandal, conflicts of interest, and tax avoidance. That was compounded by Treasury Secretary Geithner’s admission of “tax goofs” involving his failure to pay $43,000 in federal self-employment taxes for four separate years (until, that is, he was tapped for his Obama post). At least five other Treasury staff picks withdrew before the Obama administration had reached the 100-day mark over tax problems, conflicts of interest, bad judgment and records of lax oversight of industry.

By the end of his first 100 days, Obama had set a turnover record for an incoming cabinet with four major withdrawals. And by the hallowed 100-day mark, Obama had announced less than half of the total Senate-confirmed Cabinet department positions he needed to fill, with only 10 approved — even though the Democrats had an overwhelming majority in the Senate at the time.

Yes, there will be significant bumps in the road and some tough lumps to take as President Trump builds his team. But a dishonest media and preening political establishment pretending there’s something “unprecedented” about such stumbles only discredit themselves.


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Michelle Malkin is an American conservative blogger, political commentator, and author. Her weekly syndicated column appears in a number of newspapers and websites. She is a Fox News Channel contributor and has been a guest on MSNBC, C-SPAN, and national radio programs. Malkin has written four books published by Regnery Publishing. She founded the conservative websites Twitchy and Hot Air.

Latest comments
  • Trump must be more cautious with his language an tweets he shoots himself in the foot so often it will weaken his performance.Where are The Conservatives on Repeal and Replace Obamacare is this another lie from that foul group? Mr. Trump must demand action no more delays and be transparent.If his colleagues are deficient say so and name names.

    • Consider this thought: The tweets keep the media busy, meanwhile lots is happening behind the scenes.

  • Thank you for this excellent compare-and-contrast report.

  • You forgetting the ever obnoxious commie Van Jones?

    • Glad you brought it up. Obama knowingly appointed known and proud (!) communist in Van Jones to be his “Technology Czar”, whatever that obama-invented position is. This should have been a huge red flag to other democrats, but not so much. He rightfully had to withdraw after his many writings and positions became known to the public. But,a Silver-Lining awaited him, as he became a regular on Georgie Stephanpoopulous’s Sunday morning show. If this doesn’t tell you where Obama and ABC News are coming from, you are a hopeless moron. And, all the while, the democrats in the Senate and the House were silent, either because they didn’t want to fall prey to the trap of being called a racist for standing up to Obama (a condition they intentionally created, which was the reason they nominated him), or because they are closet communists themselves; take your pick, both are equally subversive and un-American.

      • Democrats are Communists. Even Norman M. Thomas , the six time Socialist party U.S. presidential candidate said so when he said “the Socialist party does not need to chose a candidate because the democrat party has adopted our agenda”. The old Kennedy democrat party went away with JFK.

    • Bruce, amigo, if we tried to list all the crooks BO wanted as pets, we would run out of ethernet space.

      • How many of those Muslim Brotherhood whacks continue ‘hiding out’ in our vaunted gubment?

  • It is just baffling that the senate is bragging about dragging their heels on this president’s cabinet appointees and then tee-heeing in the most smarmy way about how chaotic the first 3-4 weeks have been. I don’t see “chaos” in getting off the ground. We deliberately asked for/elected a NON-POLITICIAN for exactly the reasons we are seeing demonstrated daily in the news!!

  • Oh, yeah. This is barely the tip of the iceberg of incompetence and corruption by the dnc/kkk=nazi party usa. BTW, the Daschle Miracle is when people who are not registered to vote magically vote anyway, when they never knew they were voting. Rather like the Chcago Miracle, where the dead rise to vote for the DNC. Boston Miracle, vote early vote often. Penna Miracle, just sign the absentee ballot, the dems will fill in the rst for you, just as you wanted! The cali… No wonder Hitler loved the DNC.

  • She should have been selected into a Trump cabinet position as she is one ultra- tough and ultra-intelligent individual who has more gravitas than most of the girly-men in the “Re-PUNK-lican” establishment!

  • I believe the Leader of the Pac trying to undermine Trump is Obama himself. Why did he decide to stay in DC after his term was over, besides to irritate everyone? He’s back to his old shifty self… a community organizer….organizing all the Radical Left to destroy Trump. Obama is a very ignorant, arrogant, and dangerous man. His plan was to destroy America and make it a Muslim State. I wouldn’t put anything past him. He and his left friends are so angry that Trump won…they are willing to do anything to get him out. He still has a lot of his Radical Muslim friends in the WH, the State Dept., Pentagon, everywhere. How do we know the WH hasn’t been bugged? The WH needs to be gone over with a fine tooth comb. The WH is full of Obama’s corruption minions. They’ve got to go!

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