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Where's the leadership?
May 2nd, 2012
02:34 PM ET

Where's the leadership?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The dysfunctional disaster that is Washington will only get worse after November's election.

Moderates are quickly becoming extinct - with Congressional Democrats and Republicans who represent the middle heading for the exits.

Politico reports on a study by political scientists that shows Congress is more polarized than at any time since reconstruction.

The sad part is our current political environment encourages the extremes: 24/7 cable news, Super Pac money, interest groups, activist blogs - they all cater to ideologues.

The big losers here: The American people. With the two parties too busy fighting to offer any real solutions to what's looming on the horizon.

And don't kid yourself - we're in trouble.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is warning Congress that the Fed won't be able to undo the damage to the economy if lawmakers mismanage the fiscal cliff.

This so-called fiscal cliff represents $7 trillion worth of tax increases and spending cuts that will be triggered by year's end - if Congress doesn't act.
$7 trillion.

None of this will get addressed until after the election; at which point there will only be a few weeks to try to do something before the triggers kick in.

And then there's President Obama, who seems content to whistle past the graveyard while trying to get re-elected.

Mr. Obama is ignoring the big issues– from deficit reduction to Medicare, Social Security and government spending.

Instead the president is majoring in the minors - focusing on smaller, and more politically popular, things like the Buffett Rule, student loan rates and oil speculators.

It may help him win votes, but the country is on a collision course with disaster.

Here’s my question to you: Where's the leadership?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Lisa in New Jersey:
Jack, Never in my life have I seen politics so polarized. I am a moderate and there does not seem to be any place in politics for people like me. I truly believe that there are more moderates than the far right or the far left. The extremes in both parties are tearing the very fabric of our nation apart.

J.M. in Dallas:
When we elected Obama, we shared his vision. We did not expect the Republican Party's attempted plan to make him a one term president. It appears to me that this is not a question of leadership, but a lack of support from people who prefer an agenda different from what the majority of America wanted during the last election. The lack of leadership is in the Senate and House.

D.:
It's like the old TV ad: "Where's the beef?" Well, there isn't any. There is a lot of b.s. but no real red meat in terms of addressing the issues this country is facing.

Doug in Massachusetts:
Now that is an open-ended question. Let’s take a look. In Congress? Nope, just crooks. Wall Street? Nope, more crooks. The Treasury? No one home there. The Executive Branch? Nope, just pitchmen for the military industrial crowd. What about the big corporations? They are beautiful if you live in China. The Fourth Estate? Journalism has become agendalism in most cases, but there are exceptions, and if you are reading this you are tuned to the right show

Bill in Orlando:
Very good question, Jack. I would say on vacation, playing golf or joyriding on Air Force One.

Rob in North Carolina:
What leadership? When was there any in recent memory? Mom and dad are arguing all the time and the divorce isn't quite final yet so we are stuck in the middle. They are quickly dividing the assets though!

Posted by
Filed under: On Jack's radar
soundoff (137 Responses)
  1. Elizabeth From Toronto

    Ask the people who elected the current House of Representatives that question? Cause it looks like they want to re-elect the same people again in 2012. Maybe Leadership is not important!

    May 2, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
  2. Russ in PA

    The fact that you ask where the leadership is while showing us a picture of Bernanke can only mean that you ask how the FED chairman – and the FED in general – can lead us out of the current econmic mess. If you would take the time to llok at the Austrian economic school, you'd know that the FED has dug the hole we're in, and has no way to get us out. Not until we embrace the free market once again. After all, the US has experienced 18 recessions/depressions while being guided by the FED, and the dollar has lost more than 97% of it's value. Ironic tha the currency INCREASED In value in the 1800's when the FED didn't even exist, isn't it?

    Ron Paul in 2012...

    May 2, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  3. Jenna Roseville CA

    Where's the leadership?

    Jack, our leader, President Obama, can be found at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave in Washington DC.

    You didn't know that?

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    May 2, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  4. MNResident

    One thing is PLAINLY clear–The leadership is NOT currently in Washington DC, or in anybody in the media that has lap-doggedly supported the current regime in that awful city.....

    May 2, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  5. Gary H. Boyd

    It could well be within the Chambers of the Supreme Court Jack. If the 9 individuals on the high bench choose to vote down Obamacare and the law suit against Arizona on immigration, it could dramatically influence a second term for Obama.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    May 2, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  6. JM from DFW

    When we elected Obama, as stakeholders in America future, we shared his vision.
    We did not expect the Republican Party's attempted plan to make him a one term President, by challenging him on his commitment to deliver what the American people vote him to do.

    It appears to me that this is not a question of leadership, it's a lack of a support structure that include people that prefer an agenda different from what the majority of america wanted during the last election.

    Based on the structure of our Government, the lack of leadership is in the Senate and House. These people cannot find common ground on nothing! We need to find people that will represent all of America.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  7. Loren, Chicago

    How can you have leadership when everyone has been bought and paid for? If ever the phrase "evil cabal" had any resonance, it does with respect to the persons in charge of the financial systems in the United States. As they are all former employees of the companies that brought the United States to this financial state, and none of those persons have been indicted or suffered any financial losses as a result of their hijacking of the financial system for their own gain, one can only conclude that an evil cabal of financiers have in fact taken over the Fed, the Treasury, the Comptroller, and Department of Justice, among other federal agencies. And the choice of those persons starts at the top, our President. There is your leadership, promise change and give us the most corrupted group of leaders this country has seen since the Harding administration.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  8. Ed from California

    Didn't you read the funny papers, Jack? The republicans are the leaders. They won the house in the last election. They won, because they're the ones with the plan of creating good paying jobs. To bad those jobs are minimum wage service sector jobs..... or jobs that service the 1%(Household servants jobs), or, perhaps if your lucky, a job sweeping out daddies bar. Mr. Boehner, "Where are the jobs"?

    May 2, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  9. Lawrence C. Caird

    Mitt Romney doesn't have sway with the social conservatives in his party. If he can't successfully stand up to them over Gays on his staff, why should we believe he could stand up and prevail against America's enemies. Clearly, he is not strong enough for the job.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  10. Doug Ericson

    Now that is an open ended question. Well lets take a look. In Congress? Nope just crooks. Wall Street? Nope, more crooks. The treasury? No one home there. The Executive Branch? Nope, just pitchmen for the Military Industrial crowd. The Military then? I am geting a nibble here, because the Rocket Scientist and software computer geniuses who devloped the Drones sure are smart. But the Generals commanding the troops think its still the 12th century when it comes to military tactics. What about the Judiciary? The Supreme Court rules by most popular agenda, and it seems the lower courts have adopted that method too. What about the big Corporations? They are beautiful if you live in China. The Fourth Estate? Journalism has become agendalism in most cases, but there are exceptions, and if you are reading this you are tuned to the right show. Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  11. John from Alabama

    Jack: The leadership is in the first rate banking system in the world. With all the turmoil in the domestic and foreign markets Ben Bemanke has charted the United States Banking System through the touchest times since 1929. Mr. Bemanke is not a dynmo, but he is rock stead, and charted a course for weak banks to be bought out by stronger banks. His policies have kept unemployment low and credit flowing for a better recovery. Leadership is not in sensationalism, but doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do, and be cautious. Maybe dull, but all it has to be is correct. Mr. Ben Bemanke has done a great job.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  12. Ann from Charleston SC

    Where is the leadership? I think his name is Norquist – the guy who got Republican congressmen to sign the no new tax pledge. Here is a non elected person who has effectively brought our government to a standstill.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  13. Herman Portland OR

    The Senate led by Harry Reed has a shown little interest in passing any bills that come from the House or a budget that would show leadership. The current administrations policies and the President have lead on partisan lines and has come up short on many of the promises of transparency, accountability and spending. They are both leading our country poorly by blaming the past administration or anything else if at all possible.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  14. Peg in NY

    Leadership is in the White House being thwarted by the GOP.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  15. tom Bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    He is the only president to succeed in creating affordable health care for all. When Europe went down the road of austerity and double dip recession, our president went for stimulus and led us out of the second Great Depression. He led the auto industry from Romney-hopeless to number one. There aren't many I'd follow on faith, but I'd follow this president.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  16. Pat in Michigan

    I surrender Jack give it to EXXON

    May 2, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  17. bill johnson orlando

    very good question jack. i would say on vacation,playing golf or joyriding on air force 1.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  18. jk in MN

    Based on how Congress operates I'd say it's with the billionaires like the Koch Brothers – they don't want to lose their campaign financing.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  19. MARK, OKLAHOMA CITY

    Jack, leadership is something we haven't had in this country since the day JFK was killed. Real leadership exists only in our history books now.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  20. Jef

    Sorry Jack, Pat Paulson is dead!!!!

    Jef
    Bossier City

    May 2, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  21. Pete in Georgia

    Where ??
    It's in the hundreds of thousands of homes accross America, the moms, the dads; it's in the public and private schools where against all odds they are "Leading" youngsters daily. It's in the police depts., fire and rescue depts., hospital emergency rooms, and churches & synagogues from Maine to Hawaii. I could go on, but you get the idea.
    You're NOT going to find it in the cesspool of deceit and corruption known as Washington D.C.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  22. Pete in Florida

    Here we go again – Cafferty attacking Obama for not doing enough, while ignoring the FACT that the Republicans have REFUSED to work with him on anything from the very day he was inaugurated. Given the obstructionism of the entire Republican party, it's a MIRACLE that Obama has accomplished so much!!! Why dontcha just move on over to FOX, Jack; you'd fit right in – give Obama credit for nothing, and attack him for everything.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  23. NATE NC

    This like a seesaw or teeter totter as two parties alternate power. Problem is the fulcrum represents the American People constantly bearing the weight. SADLY, NO LEADERSHIP IS COMING. Why? Well, you remember how much fun is was to be on one of the seats, right?

    May 2, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  24. Rick, Medina, OH

    Jack,

    We can throw a lot of rocks here, and I'm sure you'll hear plenty about the 'obvious suspects.' But, let's not forget about our state legislators, the guys who draw the Congressional districting maps every 10 years. 'Gerrymandering' is now so complete, only about 20% of House seats are really contests anymore. This is a key enabler to the political environment you describe.

    Rick,
    Medina, OH

    May 2, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  25. Brad, Portland, OR

    But... but... increased revenues and spending cuts will cut the deficit, just like Republicans want. Sure, the Republicans would rather cut taxes on the rich, and cut spending even more on social benefits for the poor and middle class to accomplish the deficit reduction, but it sounds like if Congress gridlocks and no changes to the budget can get through, the deficit goes down automatically.

    Then we can see how Republican economic prescriptions play out in reality, instead of in their heads.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  26. Mike S., New Orleans

    If Obama isn't leading, Jack, who is? The GOP has done nothing but obstruct initiatives ever since Obama took office. They stand for nothing, and are against anything that a Democrat proposes. President Obama has done a pretty good job proposing solutions to problems that will automatically be obstructed by Republicans because they care more about their own power than they do the American people.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  27. calaurore9

    Agree. I think Obama had the instincts. He was lead astray first by Rahm lateralling the stimulus and healthcare to Pelosi and Congress. He should have learned from that. He needs to clean house and surround himself with better counsel. Replace Gibbs, Axelrod, Jarrett, with Begala, Gergen, to help him become the statesman he can be.

    Carol in Ma

    May 2, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  28. Kyle S Irvine, CA

    There is no more leadership in Washington Jack, its an election year and our elected officials don't have time for us. There needs to be term limits in Congress so our officials don't have to worry about re-election and focus on our nations problems.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  29. Rob in NC

    What leadership? When was there any in recent memory? Mom and Dad are arguing all the time and the divorce isn't quite final yet so we are stuck in the middle. They are quickly dividing their half of the assets though! Rob in NC

    May 2, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  30. ken from connecticut

    The leadership is there. And guess where it's leading this country? To disaster. Without The Truth be known, disaster is but the fruit of the actions of our gov't, and in a large part of the people not caring or getting the true information to make the right decisions. It's a rip off country, a country that is dying, and in my opinion is a complete disaster now!

    May 2, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  31. Kim , Dodge City, Ks

    If anyone out there thinks American politics has anything to do with leadership, then they would need their head examined. Politicians like promoting the quaint notion that they are doing the work of the people, for the people. But we all know the truth, and that truth is that the last thing they could possibly care about is the common citizen or their plight.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  32. Paul in NC

    Jack, it seems like your disdain for Obama is becoming an obsession. No he hasn't taken on some of the issues you mention because he has been hanstrung by an obstructionist congress and a radically activist Supreme Court. You'd probab;y accuse Houston and Crockett for lack of leadership at the Alamo. Meanwhile John Boehner is a spectacular failure as Speaker of the House. Eric Cantor, the Brutus of the House, is eagerly awaiting the right opportunity to slip that dagger between his ribs and the rest of the Republican caucus go on mindlessly pushing their NO buttons. In the senate Harry Ried has never been a particularly strong leader and Mitch McConnell is an irrelevant old geezer who hasn't uttered a rational sentence in years. Not much is going to change until the voters oust all these clowns and elect moderates, from either party, who are willing to compromise with each other and work with the president on major issues.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  33. Jane in CA

    Jack, when did you start getting your questions from the RNC? Social Security is not a big issue. It never has been. Quite the contrary, the trust fund is still growing, even with the great recession. An increase in the tax rate of less than 1% would put it into 100% mode for the next 75 years. Deficit spending as a % of GDP is well below the rates of WWII. If we had the fortitude to actually pay for our last two wars, the deficit would be less than half what it is now. Yes there is a structural problem with US taxes, but it is not because of spending. When you cut revenue to 1/3 of what it takes to run the country, deficits happen. When you do deficit spending in recession, because you should, and then don't make up the shortfall when the economy grows, deficits mount up. What part of this do you not understand? Clinton reduced the deficit. Republicans increased it. If you look at graphs going back to the 60's, the inflection point is always the same – things started going to pieces in Reagan's administration. His policies were designed to destroy the American worker, and they worked.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  34. Paul From Round Rock, Texas

    We have not had any real leadership for years. Now as you state the moderates are being forced out to pasture. A government with only to extreme sides that fight each other a the drop of a hat nothing ever gets done that is what we have now and for the near future.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  35. Bill of New Mexico

    Obama is a zero on leadership.

    Zero on everything else except speeches. Now, they tell me Obama uses a teleprompter and somebody else writes Obama's speeches. So Obama is zero on speeches, too.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  36. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I think the speaker of the house John Boehner is weak and is a puppet on strings for Cantor and the boys. This is the reason why there is nothing being done in Congress today. President Obama and Boehner had an agreement to reduce the deficit by trillions of dollars but Cantor and the boys stopped it in its tracks. When you have one party who takes a pledge to one man Glover Nordquist not to raise taxes especially on the wealthy, more seriously then the pledge they took as a congressperson then you have a dysfunctional Congress that doesn't have the people's interest at heart.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  37. Lisa s N.J

    Jack, It is truly a sad state of affairs. Never in my life have I seen politics so polarized. I am a moderate and there does not seem to be any place in politics for people like me.I truly believe that there are more moderates then the far-right or the far left. The extremes in both parties are tearing the very fabric of our nation apart. I truly believe that we have far more in common as Americans than the elite of both factions would like us to believe. P.S. The media is a large part of that elite.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  38. bud rupert

    JFK said that our whole system is set up for delay and block. Always has been and always will be. Not to worry! When things get to critical mass they will find a room sit down and fix whatever needs to be fixed. In the meantime we have to watch and listen to both sides do what they have always done. Politic!

    May 2, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  39. CRAIG R. MCNEES

    tampa, fl seems all bought and paid for. corp pick who is running, who is winning, what laws to pass, and no one is accountable. this may not be the end for America, but we can see it from here.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  40. David of Alexandria, VA

    The better question is, "where is our demand for real leadership?" We have serious issues to address and a lot of the obvious answers are going to hurt. There are no magic bullets and no limitless credit cards from the 1%. Someone has to step up to the plate to make the tough calls as best he or she can. Job security cannot be a part of the job. And we have to be the ones who surpress the urge to select our voters based on stage presence, religion, ethnicity, the latest sound-bite or gaff. The leadership must come from us to hold ourselves as accountable as our elected officials.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  41. Gordo from NJ

    When our NJ Congressman, Leonard Lance, was the Republican state Senate leader, he had a well-earned reputation for moderation and working across party lines. Now that he is in Congress, he has rejected all that is moderate and votes 100% with the Borg. Like the fictional Star Trek Borg, the entire GOP now acts as one.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  42. Gary in San Jose, California

    Leadership's best tool is a common goal. Democrats and Republicans are so focused on defeating each other that they have lost sight of their primary purpose. Their job is to do what is best for us and that means making the difficult decisions instead of deferring them to a later day. We should force the candidates to articulate the common goals that cross party lines so we can move forward as a nation.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  43. Ted

    Jack...The president says we are headed in the right direction. He wants to keep going FORWARD with the spending until the election. Every time he gets on Air Force 1 and goes to a fundraiser it cost taxpayers 250,000 dollars. He is leading by example...on how to waste money......NOTE... If you are not careful ,you may get a visit from the secret service about the statements you make about our president and his leadership. I have to give you credit for telling it like it is.....you got guts...

    May 2, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  44. Sean (Raleigh, NC)

    It's evident; the American body is cuffed bi-partisan. Our political system has proven itself dysfunctional, and the American people have proven they don't care. The irony is this: the masses have displayed their ability to compromise with the powers; all they want is enough. However, the powers are afflicted by the disease of more. The current gaps, along with the ease at which they've been achieved, work together to convince the 1% they've won. They know; a people contained by fear will never be able, nor willing to stand against their oppressors. The poor statistics behind yesterday's Occupy movement serves as a keen example.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  45. Ed from Texas

    Voters are to blame for who gets in office, but the press is to blame for uninforming and misinforming the voters. Where's the leadership in the press? It has First Amendment protection for a reason, but it fails to fulfill its function by "seeking professional safety through even-handed, unfiltered presentation of opposing views." We need more reporters and fewer moderators.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  46. Sandstone.

    "It's on the point of the dome, Jack! It should be rammed in a certain area of Obama's Regime, when he gives his next speech"

    May 2, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  47. Charles - San Antonio

    To be a leader, you need some followers. And the republicans are in no mood to follow. In fact, they are doing just the opposite. The are saying no to everything President Obama wants, just to deny him any suceess. This political gridlock has to end. However, if by some miricle Romney wins the presidency, the say "No" gridlock policy will be validated. Then I am sure the democrats will use it, and another four years will be lost. We need to put an end to this gridlock. The best way is to punish the republicans by re-electing President Obama and giving control of both house of congress to democrats. That will teach those conservative republicans, assuming they are not opposed to learning something.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  48. Bob from Bellmore Long Island, New York

    Leadership only happens when people are united for a common cause, willing to compromise and sacrifice for the common good; a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. We elected a President in 2008 with the promise and hope of change. Then, two years later, when some people didn’t like some of the changes, they elected a group of representatives whose sole purpose was to block the process; and they succeeded. Did anyone actually believe that Washington could be changed in two years? So now we have exactly what we deserve; a stagnated government, divided by ideology and greed.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  49. chris

    leadewrship have been gone for 10 20 years ago we are over paying a bunch of idots ruining the u.s and while we suffer in higher taxes gasoline getting robbed athe pump and more control of our lives from idots in every state capital and of course washington is drunk with power

    May 2, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  50. David, in hot and sunny Tampa

    I think leadership in this country died about the turn of the century, make that the nineteenth century. Like all leadership it got buried in a load of ego, greed and elitist crap. I don't want or need what we have now whether from the left or right.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  51. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: When you find it Jack-please let me know! They are all absentee landlords!

    May 2, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  52. Rich McKinney, Texas

    You know Jack, I use to think as a young man that the president had the best job in the world. Not anymore. Our political leaders have destroyed this country with wasteful spending encouraged by lobbyists and their own never ending political carriers. Somewhere along the way the American people got thrown under the bus. This next election is hardly worth having if there will be nothing left of this country to run and no one capable of running it in congress..

    May 2, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  53. Karen

    Where's the leadership? Waiting in the wings.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  54. Josh from New Orleans

    Instead of asking where is the leadership, you should be asking where is the compromise from the Republican party? Obama's leadership is there but the republicans have become the party of NO, especially since they don't like it that an African American is in that leadership role.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  55. Joe Johnson from Eustis Fl

    Jack leadership really its been missing from the beginning of this administration. We the people in 2008 were looking for a savior to save this country and we bought the hipe and pipe dream of Change we can believe in. He can not lead because he has no leadership qualities to draw from he is a politician that rose from out of no where on to the big stage with no idealsor values of his own. We are definitely in trouble and on a course that Im not sure we can turn around at this point and definitely not with this president!

    May 2, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  56. perry jones

    leadership .... is that a new con..septt or a catch phrase according to the dictionary it is not in DeeeCeee. or Afghanistan, or were ever they are campaigning today

    May 2, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  57. curtis in philadelphia

    Interesting fact Jack, in the 92nd Congress 1971-72, 72% of the House and 78% if the Senate had military experience. In the 112th Congress, 2011-2012, only 21% of House and 29% of Senate had military credentials. I think this speaks directly to leadership or the lack thereof. In the military, leadership can put aside differences and compromise and get the task at hand done. Today "compromise" is a bad word in some circles. While at the end of the day its easy to name the President for fault, as it was with Captain Smith of the Titanic, but Smith didn't design the boat and Obama doesn't control the House or Senate. Sadly our nations situation is comparable to that of the Titanic.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  58. Bill N

    Corrupt and catatonic is the Kstreet constuct of govt of by and for fraud.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  59. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    President Obama has been TRYING to lead but found it impossible with a bunch of Republicans who made their only priority to deny him a second term. I put the LACK of leadership on the Republicans in Congress who believe they were voted in to Block Obama's agenda every step of the way.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  60. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    The crisis continues only if Republicans keep the House, which is unlikely. I expect a deal either in the Lame Duck or before, depending on how likely it is that Obama will lose while the Democrats keep the Senate. If that occurs, Obama has no reason not to let the Bush tax cuts just run out. This will hurt the poorest Americans to the tune of $10 a week, while the riches will take a $10,000 a week hit. I suspect the richest will tell the GOP to geek fairly quickly. Given that the Tea Party is going full steam ahead to purge the GOP of reasonable Senators, they are likley to lose seats come November. Obama may get a tax law on his terms come January (which, again, is why the GOP will make a deal now – as after the election he may decide to wait until the GOP lame ducks leave town).

    May 2, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  61. Eric Hatch (Loveland OH)

    People in leadership roles are more interested in pacifying their base than in bringing everybody on board. Obama, to his credit, tried to build consensus, only to be slapped upside the head by Congressional party hacks (aka leaders) more interested in power than results. So there may be some moral leadership, but no effective, get-it-done leadership in our government. And nothing but hate commercials to sway not our opinions but our urges. I'm gonna puke.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  62. Dave - Phx

    Currently leadership is made up of the 1%. The 1% state that only they know what's right for us, and only they create jobs, thusly naming themselves job creators. I seem to recall an American dream where you can start your own business and make your own life, but you are not considered a job creater unless you obscenely rich? Who do they think they are kidding? The 1% is leading alright, leading us right down the toilet.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  63. Dan from Stewartstown PA

    The leadership was lost somewhere between the time President Obama met with John Boehner and Boehner's meeting with House Republicans. I suspect that it was highjacked by some lawyer who got GOP legislators to sign a pledge not to raise taxes, and is now basically blackmailing our political system. But what the heck do I know, Jack? I'm just someone who pays too many taxes and sees lots of sheep form their political opinions based on commercials and soundbites. Sheesh!!!

    May 2, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  64. Dave, Orlando, FL

    The leadership has retired and is in an assisted living community in Florida.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  65. Greg Cox of Bremerton, WA

    Where's the leadership? Who knows; it's truly and obviously absent. Perhaps it's like a batter waiting in that crock bowl sitting in the refrigerator. As in waiting to RISE! In the meantime, leadership in our nation's Capitol remains cold. BRRR...don't want to do something that will help our failing programs. Nope, can't do that. THAT won't get us any votes. As soon as November rolls into December...that's when these elected do-nothings start to do something again but only if that something will get more votes in the future, satisfy a PAC, get a big donor a government job and, you know the drill, Jack, try to paint the "other party" as evil. Our government "for the people" is extinct. There are no true leaders in D. C..

    May 2, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  66. Steve, NY

    It seems like Obama and the Democrats are trying to destroy capitalism and this country. . Maybe the Tea Party is right, Obama is a Communist and is leading his followers over the cliff. All I know is that on the big issues that Obama is implementing or planning to implement it's aways after ther 2012 election. The people have to be wise to this by now. They can't all have their blinders on. His health plan will destroy this country unless the Supreme Court over turns it. The Arizona immigration Law if it doesn't get approval from the Supreme court will further erode state rights. Illegal immigration is the Feds job , so why isn't the Fed and Obama doing it's job. Simple answer no leadership in Washington. Lots of promises and lots of spinning going on but no action.
    So the leadership is with the President, but he's not leading. He only plays the blame game. Blames everything on the Republicans. Blames all the past problems on Bush and will blame all his failed policies on his succesor. He can't loose.
    His agenda is to level the playing field with income distribution and punish the achievers That's why Romney is the villain.
    Anybody that is succesful and rich a villain except if you're a Liberal or the President of USA, and the Press is asleep at the wheel. The press doesn't point these things out. The bottom line is, Romney does not have a chance to win in November unless the Press turns on Obama.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  67. Willy in Las Vegas

    "And then there's President Obama, who seems content to whistle past the graveyard while trying to get re-elected."

    Oh YA, it's ALWAYS all Obama's FAULT in Jack Cafferty question. NOTHING about Republicans that refuse to raise revenue OR cut out special interest tax breaks.

    I seem to remember the Bush administration getting handed a SURPLUS when they took office in 2001. they took care of THAT real quick with TWO tax cuts for the rich, TWO wars and an unfunded Medicare part D mandate that was more a payoff to the drug companies than a help for seniors. and this Paul Ryan so called "budget" blows an even BIGGER hole in the defecit with even BIGGER tax breaks of multi-millionairs.

    I don't know HOW Republicans have the GUTS to call themselves "Consevatives"

    May 2, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  68. Jason from Iowa

    There is no leadership. This is a democracy – we don't have leaders, we have representatives. Our government is becoming more polarized because we are becoming more polarized.

    But who is leading the polarization of the American people, you may ask? The media. Spinning every story such that it fits into the theme of two sides fighting each other simply sells more ad space than merely stating the facts. Selling news has become a competition for money, rather than a civic duty. As long as that is the case, media corporations will rely on the most effective way to sell the news, which is this polarized sensationalism. In this case the leaders are those of the media corporations. I guess what I'm saying, Jack, is talk to your boss and ask him to stop, please!

    Of course, I could be wrong about this – perhaps the media is not doing this to sell more ad space. That is a possibility, but it means something even more sinister: that what our media tells us between the ads is also bought. If the polarized sensationalism isn't merely a passive result of trying to sell ad space, then it is an active attempt to push an agenda. If that's the case then there are your leaders: the ones dividing everyone just to push an agenda. Jack, you have a much better chance of identifying them by name than any of us ever will. Arrest them for treason against the American people, I say.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  69. Paulo - Calif

    Sadly, gone the way of outdated honor, integrity and thoughtful compromise–trumped by expediency. Short-term gain and re-electibilty is the credo of the modern-day politico. Gone are the days of Tip O'Neill and Reagan solving the countries problems over a friendly beer.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  70. RickFromDetroit

    The leadership is in President Obama' Wall Street Portfolio which is bulging from his insider trading opportunities from the stimulus programs he implemented 3 years ago! The Congress, too!

    May 2, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  71. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    It looks like we have 435 members in the House of Representatives, and 100 members of the Senate, as children, never played "Follow the leader". It is apparent most of them played "Kick the Can", and as so-called adults, still kick it far down the road.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  72. Tom From Texas

    Leadership was abandoned years ago for re-electability! Congress has turned over passing legislation to
    the executive branch in the form of regulations. Can't lose votes if you can get by with not doing anything
    but criticizing those who try to do something.Meanwhile the Supreme Court has turned into umpires calling
    balls and strikes on extreme legislation.

    Only answer is some sort of well thought out term limits, making re-election impossible. In this way politicians
    can pass sensible laws and budgets with out worring about how there political 'donors' will respond, and it will
    put an end to Lobbyists once and for all. No one will need the cash or have to worry about standing up for
    the American people after taking office, because they can't run again anyway.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  73. Frank Poynton from Los Angeles

    Apparently the leadership on the right is taking its cues from the likes of Ted Nugent or visa-versa. That sort of venom has been relentlessly spewed upon President Obama for his every attempt to change the culture in Washington and get something done for a change. It began on his very first day in office. A stated and well documented goal by the leaders of the Republicans from day one was to make sure President Obama have only one term in office and that was it, nothing else. So much for having truly responsible and forthright goals of moving this country out of a morass after years of disfunction. That would be an admission that politicians themselves were part of the problem. Politicians are very good at pointing the finger at anybody but themselves. It is a damn shame that the myopic goal of defeating Obama at any cost has taken its toll upon this country. The Politicians with their eyes solely on that goal are the ones "whistling past the graveyard" of what has become of the American public and this is truly troubling.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  74. Martha Brooks

    Non-existent. Obama goes to Afghanistan and makes a speech,which sounded like one that could have been made more than four decades ago by LBJ from Saigon. We never seem to learn. One major reason we are in deep doo-doo financially is because of the tremendous costs of these wars, and it now appears will go on ad nauseum. Obama didn't start this war, but he doesn't seem inclined to stop it any time soon. Leadership? Obama or Romney...truth is, you can barely slip a piece of paper between them on the major issues. It's sad.

    Martha, Rew, PA

    May 2, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  75. Kevin in CA

    Leadership went the way of the "Greatest Generation" – going ... going ... gone.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  76. David Gerstenfeld

    In today's political enviornment those that could & should lead will never be elected unless they can finance themselves. They won't have to be controled by corporations, democrats, republicans, tea partiers, liberals, conservatives, evangelicals, & every other special interest that wants someone who believes what they do. We need someone who ONLY believes in what is best for America not their political party,religious belief, or corporate greed. So Jack, who would that be ???
    David, Las vegas

    May 2, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  77. Mark from New Jersey

    Where's the leadership? Maybe W. can look for it under his desk. It's not in right- wing fanatics who ape the Taliban trying to subjugate women in the name of god. Its not in most of Congress OR the Supreme Court who could change their name to "the pay for play institute". Time to vote money out of politics and vote for anyone who will work for the people rather than corporate interests. As for Obama,to paraphrase an old saying, in the land of the blind, the man with one eye is president.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  78. Wolverine 1 Sterling Hts, Mi.

    President Obama tried for a grand bargain last fall. He thought he had a deal until the tea party spanked Speaker Boehner and sent him to his room.without his supper. Perhaps the voters will return sanity to the asylum known as the House of Representatives in 2012.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  79. Agi

    which side are you mr?quit blaming the President..your premise is wrong that POTUS only cares about reelection.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  80. g

    Jack ,
    We have not had leadership in this country for the last ten years. Just greed,corupt government and foolish politics.
    "it's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine"...

    May 2, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  81. Ray in Knoxville

    Jack, the moment President Obama was elected, Republicans announced for all to hear that they would not work with him. They did so very louldy, as a matter of fact. From Rush Limbaugh to the Tea Party, the far right has repeatedly stated that they wanted America to fail. Meanwhile, our president has calmy tried to keep this country afloat. Where is the leadership? It's certainly not coming from the right.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  82. DeDe in NC

    Out to lunch... with their mistress or a lobbyist or their next big campaign donor!

    May 2, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  83. TJ

    Jack, the true leaders are in the past. Like him or not, Bill Clinton was a leader, and like him or not, George Bush was a leader. This president has failed to show any leadership initiative other than a healthcare policy that is destroying the economy and offering substandard healthcare to America's masses.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  84. Name*papa githiomi

    I think president Obama is showing great leadership but he cant do much in congress the party of NO is not interested in fixing things they want to make his presidency a failure but in essence they are hurting the country and only makes president Obama the best choice to keep the momentum going.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  85. Dan G

    It's an election year, more time is being spent on campaigning than on leading as with any other president. This shouldn't be a surprise.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  86. BUNNY GROSS

    How can we get the politicians to work together. I believe Obama has accomplished a great deal and it was done with zero help from the Republicans. Can you imagine how much could have been accomplished if they would have agreed to negotiate. But all they did was say NO.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  87. Barbara

    First, you act like Pres. Obama is God. Where is the leadership? The leadership is for the USA to trust in the
    Lord Jesus the Christ. But USA have some Christians but USA is not a christian country.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  88. christine

    Hey Jack? Where is Romney's plan or leadership? If you truly care for everything you mentioned, do you really think that Romney is a good leader? The guy can't even face the media without his wife next to him. You are a joke, Jack.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  89. diogeron

    What's the point of Obama going after "big" items, when the GOP blocks him at every turn? When the Ds tried to bring Simpson-Bowles to the floor, the Repubs all voted "no" in committee. As long as the whack job Rs run the House, nothing will get done to help the country, because the Rs are afraid it will help Obama politically.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  90. Douglas in IL

    You want Obama to shop leadership with a Congress that is dismissive? To lead there must be followers, and the Congress is anything but following what American's want. Congress has it's fingers in their ears so they would never hear what Obama has to say.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  91. Nancy from Iowa

    Come on Jack, you are blind if you cannot see what a fantastic job President Obama has done in leading our country from the edge of disaster in 2009 with people everywhere scared, two wars, etc. to where we are today! I wish you would explain some facts as to why you dislike him so much. Leaders must choose whom they are going to lead and not try to please everyone like Romney. President Obama has done a magnificent job in the wake of horrible attacks by the far right that are often racist. He is a true leader I highly respect!

    May 2, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  92. Denise from Phoenixville

    Thank you Jack, for yet another opportunity to criticize the President unnecessarily. You, I and the whole world knows that there is not much that can be done by the President given the current state-of-mind of both houses of congress, and we all know that the kinds of problems you conveniently rail about today are much to great to be solved in short order. But, helping hundreds of thousands of student, of which I am one, dodge the bullet of doubling interest rates, is something on which both sides can agree. I applaud Mr. Obama for getting this done, and shake my head at Congress for saddling it with heinous, anti-woman limitations. You, Jack, I do not applaud. This was a sideways attack on the President and unworthy of you. Bet you won't read this!

    May 2, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  93. Darius Fields

    I believe that neither candidates are focusing on the important topics because right now no one has a plan to solve today's problems.They have ideas but ideas are ideas not plans. Plans produce results.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  94. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Leadership is at the bottom of the dung pile and that pile keeps getting bigger and bigger.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  95. Josh in Oregon

    Check the history books, no one by that name has been here for a long time.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  96. Hank - Jacksonville, NC

    Jack, I blame cable news for the polarization of America. People listen to cable news programs and, instead of getting the news, they get highly partisan and skewed news and opinion that sometimes sounds like a militia blog. The American people are at fault for what they have, but they often rely on cable news to help them make their decisions.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  97. Nick D. Neighbour. Pasadena. CA.

    Buried Jack! Under the MOUNTAINS of CASH, accumulated to keep the INCOMPETANT LACKIES of the Special Interests, in Power!!

    May 2, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  98. Scott R. Smith

    The problem with this type of question is that it assumes that leadership means that the President should be able to force the opposition to follow him or her. This is America, not a military dictatorship state – if the opposition refuses to follow the President, that is not the President's fault. In the big picture, President Obama has actually demonstrated excellent, intelligent, calm, and cool-headed leadership in this complicated modern world with his vision that looks forward to a more equitable and environmental-friendly America where everybody has a fair chance for life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  99. Linda, Redding

    You ask where the leadership is.....It is politicing for his second term, the same thing that's been going on for the past three and a half years. We haven't had leadership for three and a half years.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  100. Dennis in Oregon City, OR

    The leadership in this country is long gone, and it will not return until we have serious campaign reform at both the national and local levels. Our political system has become like a game of "Monopoly". The guy who is left with the most money and property at the end of the game always wins. True leadership will never surface until we find a way to make the playing feild level again.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  101. Robert

    Jack, you act like it is Obama's fault. It is not. He is doing what he can do in this environment. Our only hope is sanity will prevail and there will be a landslide for the democrats in November, since they are, for the most part, the only grown ups in the room lately, and even then only barely. If Obama can't even get obvious things in like the Buffet rule in this situation, then there is no hope for the truly hard decisions. The only way out of this mess is a combination of program cuts and substantial tax increases. The republicans won't even consider the later, and tend to only want to cut programs that they themselves don't ideologically agree with. Heck Mit Romney has yet to put any substantial serious plan on the table... I, myself, wonder if the default changes scheduled at the end of the year aren't the best we can hope for, since the alternative is probably just more procrastination...

    May 2, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  102. Paul Obeng

    Why should the President waste our time on issues that would not pass anyway? Leadership involves congress also. There are a bunch of hard headed elected officials whose primary aim is NOT to approve anything initiated by Obama. Thre is an old African proverb that goes " the goat wanted to mess up his master's new painted fence without realizing that it was drawing blood on his own skin"

    May 2, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  103. Wayne in East Point GA

    It's ridiculous to suggest that the American people are caught in the middle of the leadership vacuum. The American people created the vacuum by their votes – or lack of votes. We have the government we deserve. That's what voters do – set priorities by voting – or not voting. If the middle wants something different, they should start participating in the process before November.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  104. Newport Pagnell

    China?...remember when they were all riding bicyles. Now they are buying up every Porsche,Ferrari and Lamborghini that can be made. Now we'll all be pedaling to work. What happened Jack?

    Sarasota,Fl

    May 2, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  105. Esor BenSorek

    With this lame excuse for a President, America should have another Boston Tea Party, beg the Canadians to annex the USA and apply for membership in the British Commonwealth. This is the lowest period in America's history. No leadership. No compassion. No universal health care. No employment. No America-first. Why do we invest so much in other nations' welfare and security while neglecting our own? We should be lending money to other nations, not giving it away. Is America for sale?

    May 2, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  106. Darren

    The leadership is in the ballot box. This deficit in Washington will be fixed very soon.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  107. shmpublishing

    Who says, other than you, Jack, that the President is ignoring big issues? He may not be talking about what Republicans want to hear, but he's definitely put forth a vision for the nation. He sees us growing from the middle class outwards, he sees everyone paying a fair share of taxes, he sees a gradual end to overspending without cutting the flesh and bone of our social services safety net. Maybe you've been smelling too much of your own perfume to notice.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  108. Kevin in CA

    It's in the dictionary between lame and lemmings.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  109. CYA in Hawaii

    The problem doesn't lie with Obama not being a leader, it lies with the republicans who have been determined from the very start to prevent Obama from getting anything done. Even when Pres. Obama does what the republicans want, they still find fault with the president. This 'just say no' attitude of the republicans has forced President Obama to adapt to get anything pass the republicans. Jack, instead of blaming President Obama, try taking the republicans to task.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  110. Dale N.M.

    Where is the leadership at New York and Chicago exchanges, they better wake up and wake up their Washington DC puppets.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  111. David

    It's time, time to rid ourselves of the career politicians who serve special interest, lobbyist, Washington insiders.etc.
    How, a grass roots movement for a constitutional amendment calling for term limits. All congressmen serving 4 years with a 2 term limit. How can we be any worse off? Where is Abe when we need him, a government for the people, by the people......

    May 2, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  112. paulcy from PA

    Jack, blame it on the intransigence of the Tea Partyers on the Hill. As I recall their goal is to impeach the administration from doing anything that could be perceived as progress.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  113. Jeraine

    The country is legislation is in mutiny against the commander in chief. The supports of the president are fighting to keep him in leadership. Because they know he will lead us in the ought direction. He just needs to fight off the mutineers with the one weapon he has. And that's a record of proven leadership.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  114. Danny Los Angeles ca.

    Jack,this is our country's and the worlds biggest problem,you mentioned on the horizon I totally agree republicans are stuck with this idea of trickle down economics and are not willing use their vision to see that for years now corporations have downsized the small business community so much that the only way to trickle down economics is to pressure corporations to hire more of the people they have displaced.while democrats past have made them appear to many Americans to be the tax and spend party.jack I'm convinced that bad domestic and global leadership are holding us back from a life we all dream about in my opinion I haven't seen any real change in my life that's positive and I'm 52.the answers are all here the will to change not.and sorry jack but you guys in the press also need to push for more real change and investigate why this is such a problem to progress.the world is counting on all of you to just do your jobs at the best of your ability like you as shareholders always ask of Americans and the people of the world.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  115. shawn jackson

    Certainly, Obama is the best leader under the circumstances...clear thinking and rational thought...which is more than I can say about the Republican leaders peeing into the wind and smiling.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  116. S. Coleman

    The President has shown leadership time and time again, Yet never getting credit for anything. How can you say the student loan is a minor issue, clearly you must not have anyone in college or nearing the college age.Nor is the Buffet Rule a minor issue. You must be in the 1% because if you was really interested in the deficit, you would be all in for the 1% to pay their share of taxes. History will be our judge for what a great President we have NOW!!

    May 2, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  117. Xavier Johnson

    Jack, of late I think you have been very unfair in your assessments of President Obama's motives, efforts, and accomplishments. Where;s the leadership? Be reminded that during the debt ceiling talks the President offered 10 to 1 spending cuts to tax increases to the Republicans and put Medicare and Social Security on the table. They rejected that offer and have obstructed him at every turn. Dave Draper's great book makes it clear that the Republicans have pledged themselves to making the President a failed leader. It's not easy for any leader to succeed if the very people he needs as partners to get things done are setting booby traps and snake pits for him at every turn.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  118. Mark from Long Island

    Leadership is the only way we will avoid the cliff Jack! Politicians are not able to communicate a good idea nor are they able to sell it to Americans. Leaders set a goal, look people in the eye, listen and execute. I know leadership Jack, and I do not see anyone in Washington that can lead us away from the cliff. Where is George Washington when you need him?

    May 2, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  119. Larry IN Houston

    What do you mean, Where ? We've got no real leadership, Jack. We're sunk. Just wait til the end of Romney's term, we'll be around 18 Trillion in the hole. Maybe the Senate is waiting on the next mid-terms "hoping" that the Congress will end up going mostly Democrat. And IF Congress ingnores Bernanke, then Ron Paul will get his wish, he's been calling for the end of the Fed anyway. Obama has been ignoring the big issues, because he doesn't have enough experience to know what decision to make. The thing I see wrong is that Axelrod & Plouffe wants to put Obama on the late nite talk shows, to get the younger voters, butthat isn't going to work, because most of them are under 30 or 35 years old, and that crowd doesn't care if they vote or not, because IF they are working, their Jobs will be there the next day, next week, next month & etc. So why should they Vote ?

    May 2, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  120. WILL

    The leadership is in the white house now President Obama you didn't no that Jack. The President is strong President but when you have a group of people who is will to do anything to make the President fail or a one term President. You do the best you can under the circumstance. What you should be asking is how we can get the group out who want the President.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  121. Bob Melbourne, FL

    Jack I'm afraid, very afraid. It's so scary how bitterly devided we have become as Americans. The President is more responsiblethan anyone else. He came into office blaming and deviding A real leader would bring the nation together and lead by example. Thats some sorely missing today.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  122. adamfrypierce

    Jack,

    We live in a world of short-term thinkers. Both in the private and public sectors, the majority of decision-makers seem to ignore the long term consequences of their actions.

    This school of thought can be applied to the question you posed. Our congress reflects the actions of short-term planners. When you combine this with the systemic issues that arise in a democratic party system (i.e. party polarity), gaps start to manifest.

    Gaps between the political parties themselves, as well as the expanding divides in our country's social classes.

    The world NEEDS long term thinkers to survive. If our government can't set an example for our corporate leaders and job-creators, then we are to blame for not taking action as citizens.

    If we demand comprehensive responsibility from our government, then we need to vote smarter, or reevaluate our government's structure.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  123. Patty

    I really love your questions–most of the time the anwer is a 'given', however-shift happens–and I myself have been wondering! where the leadership is!!! For the past 60 or so years, I was told by my teachers and the news media, that CONGRESS were the 'leaders' when it came to passing law–they wrote the laws, they collected their bribes to write in the 'special' pages, and then the POTUS signed the results of the Congressional vote–or kicked it back for a facelift.

    NOW I find out that Norquist–is the 'lawmaker', instead! My guess is that the congressional majority is probably in his office right now-after all it IS happy hour!!! And they ARE on yet ANOTHER vacation!

    May 2, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  124. Gigi Oregon

    The leadership is right where it needs to be in the hands of President Obama. I didn't vote for him so maybe my view is a little more stable. In spite of the faithfulness of the Tea Party and the republicans right wing to make him a one term president, he keeps on working for the safety and welfare of "we the people". It has been a long time coming... He manage to get bin Laden, in one single blow with one command to the Navy Seals. He went by night to sign a deal with Afghanistan, in a cooperation of respect, a reducton of troops etc. He smiled through all the rhetoric of the "Wolves in sheep's clothing " a passed health care plan for every one in the United States and not just for the elite. He's fighting day and night the quarrelsome republican wolves (sitting on their hands doing nothing but collecting their pay and benifits) hungry for his office. Impatiently waiting to devourer what's left of the middle class. And last but not least Bomb Iran.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  125. Carl

    The leadership is in the White House, as always. The Problem is a leader needs cooperative followers. When a faction within a government refuses to cooperate with an elected leader, the government ceases to function. What the American people must decide is was the republican resistance to the policies of the leader they elected justified.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  126. Bob

    Practically everyone in Washington and most State governments these days has a ring through their nose with a lead chain. The "leadership" is the tugging of those chains by those holding the other end in one hand, and bags of campaign funds in the other.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  127. Bobby

    Leadership can't be found in Washington anymore, gone are the days when men or women voted for the better of their districts or states and now they cast their ballots for who really got them elected.Those individuals with the largest wallets have bought Washington, now your senator or congressmen is nothing more than a talking puppet and willing to do what ever the money says to be re-elected.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  128. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Mr. Cafferty:

    To be "current" I'll byte, where is the leadership? I forget the author of the statement but but: Never have so many been led( into catastrophe) by so few little people, or is it small people, or are they even people ?

    May 2, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  129. Mark in Houston

    I've probably said this before on here...It's all about power and money. Doing the right thing is no longer policy. Elected officials, more than ever before, joined by an inflammatory rhetoric from some of the media say anything to sway the uneducated, easily influenced to join their side and attack the other.

    Unity in cause is no longer possible in this country. Leadership is impossible in our current political environment.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  130. Terry Austin,Tx

    Leadership went out the door many years ago. The left had the house and didnt do anything and you have them saying you have to pass the bill so you can see whats in it.. Now the right has the house and they are stalling and want to know what a USA natural born person is. Its like watching two old men tell each other how to milk a cow. Doesnt matter who's in the White House. Politics will stay the same. Its a dog eat dog world now. Its all about me me me these days.
    Gov. is way to big these days and its tough on the small business owner. He is the back bone of the country. When he gets squeezed with rules and regulations by the likes of the EPA small business loses. Less Gov. and getting the housing market back will do wonders for everybody.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  131. Danny Los Angeles ca.

    Where's the technology,they allow corporations and other rich industry's to keep from the people of the world that will make our live better I think that would make a great news series.they all owe us a better life particularly since they have made it so hard to earn a good living.its a wonder more people around the world aren't up in arms about this most are just worried about their next meal.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  132. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Mr. Cafferty:

    I know the big news is mostly in Washington and inside the beltway but things are very strange now in the US of A. In fact, we got troubles right here in "River City" america, yet the pool hall is still open !

    May 2, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  133. Mary

    Jack; you, Mitt Roney and the majority of Congress are so eager to accuse President Oboma of not having leadership abilities instead of giving him his props for having accomplished a lot during his 3 yrs. 5 mos in office. If you want to know where the leadership is just look back at the leadership this country has been under since slavery and even since the enactment of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. President Oboma is the onlly one black man who has ever been in office as President. In short, since white people have always been the dominat power and majority leading this country and drafted all these laws that were in place when Pres. Oboma took office; would'nt you have to agree that the leadership lye with the white people who have always ran this country. Using one black man in officeas Pres. is an easy scape goat to blamesomeone for all this country's failure that existed before Pres. Oboma; isn't it?

    May 2, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  134. Brian Samuels (Chicago)

    Doing everything the far right-wing Republicans want, is not leadership. So, John Boehnor and the Republican leaders are not showing leadership. The Conservative majority in the Sepreme Court allowed Citizen's United ruin or electoral process. So, there is no leadership there. Taking every position possible depending who's in front of you is not leadership. So, Romney is not showing Leadership. Obama and the Democrats in Congress don't have a leadership problem

    May 2, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  135. Karen, Idaho

    Right now the only effective leadership is the Occupy Wall Street crowd who are better organized and active than either Political Party. There will be no leadership or action in Washington DC until both houses of Congress and the President are from the same political party and can agree to get something done.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  136. Eugene Myers Flat, CA

    Howdy Jack,

    Leadership to President Obama means following the teachings of his ultra-liber mentor Saul Alinsky's book, Rules For Radicals, to destroy America. Alinsky called for violence in the streets and economic chaos. Obama admitted he has a coil of rage against the caucasion race. Wake up and smell the treason America.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  137. Isaac from New York, NY

    Funny how a leader like Bashar al-Assad is considered a dictator because he rules without any real opposition, but president Obama is considered "too soft" because our democratic system allows anyone to question his decisions. John Boehner and his colleagues are doing everything they can to take some of that executive power away from the White House then turn around and blame Obama for lack of leadership. I think leadership in this country right now, sadly lies in equal share between Congressional Republicans and the White House. Maybe we should elect someone that's used to not being opposed and fire people when they do, then would we know where leadership is.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:54 pm |