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December 5th, 2008
04:55 PM ET

Pres.-Elect Obama assertive with financial crisis, auto industry?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/05/art.obama2.gi.jpg caption=" The President-Elect insists there's only one President at a time."]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President-Elect Barack Obama isn't even in office yet and already members of his own party are whining. You'd think after the last eight years they would be so happy to have him on his way to the oval office that they would keep their mouths shut, but no.

Some Democrats, including House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank of Massachusetts, are complaining that they want a more assertive Barack Obama.

The President-Elect insists there's only one President at a time, although some say his numerous press conferences and public image suggest he's more presidential than the president.

Doesn't matter, members of his own party say he's not being aggressive enough when it comes to critical economic issues facing the country like the potential collapse of the auto industry and the mortgage meltdown.

President-Elect Obama called for an extension of unemployment benefits, which passed and has talked about a stimulus package before he takes office. He has also said he wants to help the auto industry. But apparently that's not enough for the whiners.

Here’s my question to you: Is President-Elect Obama being assertive enough when it comes to issues like the auto industry and the financial crisis?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Kim from Dodge City, Kansas writes:
The Congress is the one that needs to be assertive at this point. They each do their 5 minutes of grand standing at these hearings instead of actually formulating a plan or accounting for the money they have already handed out. Obama is playing by the rules, and that sets a better example than the Congress does.

Tom from Dubuque, Iowa writes:
No, we have a president in office; if that's what you want to call him. The GOP and the right wing pundits will "scream bloody murder" if he tries to interject his will at this point. If he does anything; he should tell Barney Frank to "shut up".

Donna from Kingston, Jamaica writes:
If he was any more assertive, Pres. Bush would have to be moved to an undisclosed location. Barney Frank and Chris Dodd can't handle change. Instead of the Dems in Congress doing their job and pressing Pres. Bush, they want Obama to baby sit them through passing the rescue of the auto makers and financial crisis.

Annie from Naples, Florida writes:
What do people expect? Eight years of unregulated favoritism for the rich and corporate entities. Frank should take a hike. He is a loudmouth blowhard like the rest of these come lately incompetents who sat silent and did nothing for the past 8 years either. I have to laugh. Obama has accomplished more in the past few weeks than Congress did in the last 2 years.

Jay from Brownwood, Texas writes:
President-elect Obama should just continue to state publicly what he will do when he takes office. He has plenty of work to do in getting things ready for that day without worrying about Barney Frank and others in Congress whining

Liz from Towson, Maryland writes:
How would his being assertive be effective? It's not like he can actually DO anything for 46 more days (but who's counting?). Just let the man select his Cabinet and THEN get to work.


Filed under: Barack Obama
soundoff (322 Responses)
  1. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    this is a balancing act for the incoming president. He must show that he is doing something, since this President is not. But he must also show that he is not trying to show up this President. President Bush could do the Country a great service if he worked with President Elect Obama to get things rolling and not wait.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:31 pm |
  2. Daniel Ambrose

    Jack,
    President-Elect Obama is not the president and only the current president should be dealing with this as he is still the commander in chief, but believe me he is monitoring everything and has his plan to go into action the day he gets sworn it. Either way it's a damn if he do and damn if he don't. I think he is handling things according to protocol.

    Daniel Ambrose,
    Atlanta, GA

    December 5, 2008 at 1:32 pm |
  3. Jenny Rome Ga

    Jack,
    The man is not a Senator. The man has not yet been sworn in as President. Just what is he supposed to do? Right now he is "between jobs" so to speak. We can only have one President at a time and until January 20th Bush II is it.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
  4. Katty OR

    NO! This is a much more serious problem associated with the demise of the Auto Industry – just think people, it will trickle down to the shop on the corner and we will all suffer.
    I have every expectation Obama will do what is needed but at the moment I am worried.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:36 pm |
  5. Scott - Kansas

    I think the key words there are "President-Elect"

    It isn't his job yet, he should stay out of it until next month.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:36 pm |
  6. Molly B

    Molly – Ia.
    I think he is doing every thing he can. I don't like the prospect of
    giving billions to the auto makers as I think they have done a
    terrible job of running the companies. I don't like the "influence"
    of the labor unions. But I think it is absolutely vital to the nations
    economy to LOAN them the "bailout funds".

    December 5, 2008 at 1:36 pm |
  7. Lori, Cincinatti, OH

    He is not President yet....How Assertive can he be?

    December 5, 2008 at 1:37 pm |
  8. Pat_Pinehurst NC

    Absolutely! He is getting his crew together faster than anyone in modern history, but he is being his usual respectful self by not stepping on the toes of the current administration. Just as he had secret meetings with potential staff members months before the election, he is no doubt having non-publicized meetings and phone calls now to express his views to current decision makers. It would be nice if the media would just trust him to do his job and go cover other world events instead of fighting for crumbs of gotcha points.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:39 pm |
  9. John in Arizona

    Jack, as Obama has repeatedly said we have only one president at a time. And based on Obama's transition activity, and Bush's lame-duck inactivity, that one president is now Barack Obama. He has made his views clear on helping the auto industry, and we can safely assume he is quietly being very proactive behind closed doors.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:39 pm |
  10. Geezer

    Yes
    He is president elect not president yet
    As he said one president at a time.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  11. NANCY M.- Colorado

    He is being smart and intelligent. Makes me wonder about the people who can't seem to see the big picture. I, too, wish that he was already in office, but he isn't. He has shown great patience, now how about the rest of us? There is no magic wand. It will take much long term thinking and planning – he is doing more than people know towards that end.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  12. Doug - Dallas, TX

    Unfortunately, the person who needs to assertive in this situation just bought a house in Dallas. It's too bad that Congress can't pass a "special law" so Obama could be sworn in now. At least then we would have a president who was involved and cared about what was going on rather than what kind of furniture he is going to buy.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  13. V.K. Raman

    President Elect is more concerned about unemployment that will be caused if the autoindustry goes down than auto industry itself. Everyone in the auto industry must pay the price for this and share the brunt of bridge loan if Congress arranges it. My thoughts go to the employees of Enron/Pan Am/Eastern Airlines and several such organizations when Congress did Zilch.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  14. chuck in cda

    Jack, through this method is the only way Iran's nukes will be destroyed.Israel has the power and capabilities to find and destroy all the sites. America should stop holding back Israel and let them do the job.It's imperative to disarm Iran and bring some peace to the middle east.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:45 pm |
  15. Independent, Vero Beach, Florida

    How can Mr. Obama be assertive? He is not yet the president of the United States. It is up to the legislature. Chrysler came back with no plan to change only for a handout to delay the inevitable. The legislature should let it go now not pass the buck to the president elect.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  16. Jenna Wade

    Is President-Elect Obama being assertive enough when it comes to issues like the auto industry and the financial crisis?

    Since there is only one president at a time, Obama is doing what he can until he takes the oath..

    I just wish that GW would step up and be a leader but I guess that is asking too much..

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    December 5, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  17. David, Tampa, Fl

    For right now all Mr. Obama can do is talk and posture. On Jan. 22, 2009 he will be in office and have to start dealing with the realities of the financial crisis this country is in. He will also have to deal with 535 bozos in congress and 9 clowns on the Supreme Court bent on imposing their own "vision" of what needs to be done. Hopefully, something constructive will come out of all this Chaos.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  18. Greg in Cabot AR

    Sorry to say, Obama has to wait for the lame-ducks to stop quacking before he can get HIS show on the road. The Republicans that screwed up these past 8 years still have one last chance to make amends before the new democrat majority in the Senate and the House take Obama’s ideas and turn them into law.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  19. Jim/NC

    There is only one president at a time...haven't heard him definitively say much.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  20. Laurie in Lawrence, KS

    Obama is walking a fine line. He isn't the president yet. The current president, while the lamest of lame ducks, is still the president. Maybe what we should be considering is how to speed up this inauguration.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  21. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    Yes, Jack

    Until Bush is impeached or quits, there is nothing Obama can do but prepare for the day is is in a position to do something.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  22. Bodo, Ann Arbor

    President-Elect Obama was correct when he stated that there is only ONE President at the present time.

    And Rep. Barney Franck was correct in saying that Obama overstated the number of Presidents.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  23. Rich McKinney, Texas

    We only have one president at a time and Obama is not president yet. He is doing exactly what any good politician should do. Voice his opinion and then wait until he is in a position to truly do something about the situation. We can arm chair quarterback this issue till the cows come home but it won't change a damn thing. We will have 4 years to blame or applaud Obama. lets wait until those 4 years start.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  24. Tiffani (Atlanta)

    If he starts weighing in on things the GOP would revolt, the President would stop being "friendly" for the rest of the transition and he'll upset the electorate and he might end of sharing ownership for the debacle to come. Obama has it right, stay out of it. His turn is coming soon enough!

    December 5, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  25. Constance - Seattle

    We need someone to steer the ship!!. W. has been MIA for a long time now. You all know the rest. Go Obama, we can and will.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  26. Charlie in Belen, New Mexico

    I'm not at all certain just how "assertive" he can be given that, while he is the President-Elect, he has already resigned his senate seat, And as such is, at this point, very much a "private citizen". (Although, the legal department would have a better view on his "status")... To be truthful, as a "private citizen", the only pressure that he can apply is "behind the scenes" with out seeming to usurp the president's office prior to Janurary 20th.. Granted, the present office holder is showing a remarkable absence of leadership on these issues, but the best course for the President-Elect would be to let his desires be known to the Congressional leadership and hope that they can step in to fill the leadership vacuum between now and Janurary 20th.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  27. Larry C. Houston, Texas

    Jack –

    I totally agree with Jenny, in Rome Ga..... & with Daniel Ambrose, in Atlanta Ga.

    Larry C.
    Houston Texas

    December 5, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  28. Marie

    Please Jack, Obama has to deal with the economic crisis, the Iraq war, the Afghan war, the escalasting India-Pakistan tensions, and new warnings about potential biological attacks. That is a lot to tackle while you are still assembling your staff.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  29. Cori from Colorado

    Obama and his team can be assertive with their advice if they want, but he can't take action yet. He's not going to be President until Jan. 20th. Talk about feeling powerless when you're going to be the most powerful man in the world.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  30. Vivian Fauntleroy

    Jack, the more apt question is why haven't the weak-kneed and weak-willed Congress and the American people insisted - no! demanded - that PRESIDENT Bush fulfill his presidential obligations and uphold our Constitution as he swore he would on January 20, 2004? Good Lord, the least Congress could do is to enact a law forbidding "Hail to the Chief" from being played before shortly after noon January 20, 2009.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  31. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Every Pres.-Elect has what they call a honeymoon period with Congress when first entering office. If he becomes too assertive before he is even sworn in he might not have a honeymoon at all. Then we have business as usual in Washington would name calling and pointing fingers and nothing being done. I think while he is still Pres.-Elect he should be assertive to the point of not looking like is already in office

    December 5, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  32. Ed

    One of them needs to get the ball rolling. With a multi- billion dollar bailout and the slogan " Buy American You Already Paid For It " we can turn this country around. Unless they do like the banks did and keep the money for themselves. The auto makers could just fire everybody anyway, close shop in America and keep the money.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  33. Mila

    Well, he does show awareness of the problem, but to be honest I wouldn't blame him from keeping a low profile until January 20th...I bet his first words after the election result were...May the lord have mercy

    December 5, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  34. devildog

    NOT MUCH HE Can do till he in office

    December 5, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  35. Annie, Atlanta

    Sadly Obama has a line he can't cross because, unfortunately, we still have Bush. Wouldn't it be nice if he would just hand over the reins now? Then he could busy himself playing "let's re-write history" on his farewell tour while the grown ups clean up his mess.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  36. Bill

    The auto industry has been screwing people for a long time, and they've been making a killing all along. If they are in financial trouble it is there own fault. They've never made any effort to aid struggling customers, why would the US bail them out? While they most likely will get some help from the gov't, they certainly shouldn't and dont deserve it. All we are doing is throwing good money after bad money.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  37. Liberal in Los Angeles, CA

    He's doing exactly what's expected, and that's being Pres-elect. He'll have his turn to tackle this problem when he gets into office.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  38. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Obama can only give promissory notes right now to those who currently have the power, and we do not know how this is being played.
    Therefore your question is rhetorical at best.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  39. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    Jack, I feel badly for President Elect Obama at this point. He is watching the country go down the tubes while a do-nothing president twiddles his thumbs and runs the clock out on his own Presidency. P.E. Obama cannot be assertive or he will be perceived as pompous. Yet, he sits back and he is seen as lax. Sometimes, I guess patience the virtue is patience the curse.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  40. Mertis

    Jack,

    It's not like he's an incoming CEO or something. We have protocol for the transition of power in the US and he is following it. I'm as worried for the auto industry as the next person but he can't get in the middle of this right now. I hope they can hang on. Come on Jan. 20th.

    Mertis in Atlanta

    December 5, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  41. Esther M. Akron Ohio

    did you see this mess coming when bush was president i did i saw all of it in a bad dream i had when he took the presidency away from bush this is the result of all of the bad things for over the last 37 years and there is more too come wait we will be third world before its all over

    December 5, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  42. Jim

    Jack,

    I think Obama's doing it right. He knows he's not the president yet and is being careful not to step on Dubya's toes. At the same time, he's planning, gearing up, forming his teams in a dignified and public way that is building early confidence in him and his administration. He is offering advice and opinions without trying to elbow Bush to the sidelines. He'll hit the ground running and everyone will already know where he's headed. He's doing it right.

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    December 5, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  43. JD in NH

    Unfortunately, the United States is in a holding pattern between gross incompetency and the prospect of intelligent policies, economic and otherwise. Until January 20, Mr. Obama is just that: Mister. He is not a currently serving elected official because he has yet to take his oath. If you look back to previous transitions, many of the individuals waiting for January 20 spent much of the interim on vacation. Cut the President-Elect some slack since there is, legally, nothing he can do until his term in office begins.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  44. Larry in Florida

    Ask that question after he takes the oath of office Jack. Right now he is doing a balancing act. Has to watch how many toes he steps on before it's his turn to step on toes.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  45. carol in Oregon

    Why is the auto industry pushing an agreement before the first of the year? is it because they feel they could get a better deal with Bush. Since there can only be one President at a time. And Congress IS stalling. What is the real story. Obama is aggresive when he wants to be... Looks to me like the Auto industry is pushing and Congress and Obama are stalling.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  46. Simpliticus

    Having the good public relations, the media attention and so forth, the man is doing all that he can do! So much for Bush!

    December 5, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  47. Katiec Pekin, IL

    I would hope that Bush would be open to suggestions, ideas and
    steps in the right direction, but he hasn't for eight years so doubt
    it will change.
    As President Elect, Barack Obama's hands are tied, unfortunately,
    we have to rely on the same people who got us into this mess
    to try to make some positive moves, but will not hold my breath.
    They are too busy postering in front of the cameras, asking the
    same questions over and over to get down to any decision
    making.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  48. Mike S.,New Orleans

    President-elect Obama is acting perfectly and appropriately according to his current status. Anything past assertive would be aggressive and disrespectful to the President who created this mess.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  49. Paul H from Los Angeles, CA

    He's being as assertive as he can be without going over the line. As he's said over and over again, there is only one President at a time. If he were any more assertive, he'd be called "presumptive."

    December 5, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  50. Christine, Edmeston NY

    Why aren't you asking if President-Actual Bush is being assertive enough? It is still his job, and our desperate nation deserves his greatest attention, not his conspicuously fading presence. Being the lame duck is one thing, but hiding in a duck blind is another thing altogether.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  51. Tom in Desoto, TX

    Obama is in a lose-lose situation with January 20th weeks away, until then we are all in limbo. Bush as make it clear he will not be a part of any resolution. Obama is neither a Senator, nor President. If Obama attempts to do anything, he risks alienating some senators as if overreaching and acting as president. As of now, Obama has as much chance to come out looking good as a flipped coin will stand on it's edge.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  52. earle,woodstock,vt

    One thing I can tell you about PE Obama since his victory, he knows how to drive in reverse,this guy back-peddles faster than a "Road-Runner",....

    December 5, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  53. Lee in TN

    Right now,let him concentrate on getting his team together so they can be ready to at least start the clean up.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  54. Venia PA

    Obama has been more visual, vocal and proactive than any other president elect however there is only so much he can do right now. As he said, we cannot have two presidents at one time. However I believe the minute he takes office he will grab the auto industries by the you know what and tell them what he wants and how he wants it.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  55. Howard

    No, and politically speaking he has no legal authority to do anything but suggest to congress what to do and both Speaker of the House Pelosi and Senator Reed having their own plans, and with cant read a contact Senator Dodd, and do nothing about housing Senator Schumer and Representative Frank until it to late standing in his way. It is best if he waits until the authority of the executive branch is behind him to tell these uncompassionate people that their wallets do not matter but the American people do.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  56. wally Ruehmann las vegas nv

    ive never understood why a newly elected official has to wait to take office and make decisions the people elected him to make. until jan 20 , its bush that makes the decision's.no mater how we cringe at the thought. maybe this rule needs to be changed..

    December 5, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  57. Atlanta Charlie

    Jack, the real question should be why isn't Bush, the standing president, being more assertive with the financial crisis and auto industry? In fact, why hasn't he been more assertive with the oil industry for that matter!

    December 5, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  58. Steve of Hohenwald TN.

    He may not be president yet, but who are we supose to look to for leadership? Dubya? Yea right ! Obama needs to be very vocal, and influintal as possible, to assure the people that elected him, that they made the right choice. We are in limbo right now, and we need assertive leadership.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  59. David in San Diego

    Yes. Although we now have apparently no president, we "have only one president at a time." He should go to Hawaii for the family vacation and let the world turn as it will. It is not yet his problem.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  60. Pat,Lexington, Ky.

    Yes he is. He's got to be pretty careful at this point, although I don't know why. Dubya's not doin' anything. Wouldn't it be cool if Congress or somebody could just throw Bush out of office today and usher Obama right in??!

    December 5, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  61. Tina (Texas)

    Jack he is not the head of the oval office yet and he, unfortunatley has to wait till the problem has left office before he can assert his authority and get his team to let us know the secrets.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  62. Christian Jones Newellton, LA

    President-Elect Obama is being as assertive as he can be with all the issues facing our nation. America needs to get off of his back and give him a chance to lead this country. Running a country takes a great deal of work and time, I think he's doing great to seeing as he has not taken office.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  63. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    President-elect Obama is being as assertive as he can possibly be now,since he is not President and has said repeatedly that we only have one President at a time. He is although, letting the auto industry know that when he becomes President help will be on the way. He promised them during the campaign and now he has to make good on that promise.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  64. Lisa

    President Obama knows exactly what he's going to do. But until Mr. G.W Bush is rendered powerless, he'll hold his cards close to his chest. It reminds me of my all time favorite novel : Stephen King's THE STAND.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  65. Rhonda from Detroit

    He is not president yet....But why do I feel like we don't have a president at all right now? George could do something but we are talking about W.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  66. JIM

    Obama is not acting as a president elect who campaigned for change. He resigned his senate seat in order not to reveal his true positions. He should be making plans for what he will do if the Bridge Loan is not given to the Big 3. He should be trying to solve the problem. After all, the jobs lost with the Big 3 goign under will affect middle class. I beleive he was supposed to help them. So much for Change!!!

    December 5, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  67. Rich Smyrnios

    The Prez-Elect. is wielding his power the way it should be wielded...quietly, behind the scenes.
    We have had too many loud mouthed, photo-oped, leaders far too long.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  68. hugh ~ tracy, california

    Jack,
    Current President Bush should be the assertive one, but we know he's more interested in leaving the whitehouse than leading in the whitehouse. This whole financial crisis happened on his watch, and we know he won't do anything to correct it.
    If Bush and Obama both want to "bailout" The Big Three, they could meet together and make their case to the American people. This is one policy the two can agree upon, and explaining it to the nation, instead of Nancy Pelosi would be a good place to start.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  69. John, Fort Collins, CO

    Given he is no longer a senator and not yet president, Barack Obama is likely dealing with the day-to-day financial crisis issues behind closed doors; pressing for solutions that best match his post inauguration agenda. I'm sure he is deeply involved with all that is going on, but at the same time standing back to help maintain the illusion that George Bush is still a functioning president.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  70. Jeffrey from LA, California

    People may not think so, but in reality he is. I am more then positive that he is talking to many congressional leaders about the situation of the auto industry and they are working on arriving to a pragmatic solution.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  71. NANCY , Grand Ledge MI

    It's hard for us to know how much he is doing behind the scenes! I would like it if he would step up and act as if he was already the President. No one else is, and we need one desperately right now!!

    December 5, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  72. Frank from Peterborough

    Right now Dubbya is sound asleep so it is probably in the Country's best interest to leave him in that state until January 20th because there is still a lot more harm George could do before then.

    The best way to keep Dubbya in this harmless state is to let him keep dreaming about how great his past 8 have been for America and the world. Too much noise from Obama just might wake the moron up.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  73. PoliticoMike

    I wonder if the situation is as serious as being played out. I mean the real president is just chilling and relaxing, yes Jack I said Chilling & Relaxing.. Till his time to move out. So if Bush doesn't seam fazed and he's the current Pres, do we really have an issue? I think we should leave Obama alone. He's done way more that any president in waiting has done, to hit the ground running. Let's start criticizing him when he is sworn in.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  74. Marge, MI

    There is only one president at a time, Jack. Therefore there is only so
    much he can do. However, the congress seems to think that it is
    optional whether or not to save an American institution.

    All I know is that Henry Ford must be turning flips in his grave. Such
    an American institution as the auto industry and we are wondering
    IF we should rescue it? Its a prime example of our grandparents
    turning something over to us and we don’t take care of it. I can hear
    Henry now: “Boy, If anything were to happen to me I don’t know what will
    become of you young whipper snappers”.

    Well Henry, we have arrived.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  75. Craig, Ocala FL

    The president elect is doing all that the law allows at this time. Jack my hunch is I will get to see the great depression that my 77 year old father keeps telling me about.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  76. Joe from DE

    Heis not in charge, being too assertive at this time would be counter-productive,

    December 5, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  77. lynnej from lattimore, nc

    He is President-Elect, not President. He can't go but so far. He can only give his opinion to the matter and leave it be. There is only one sitting President at a time.

    The pimple that is in there now is the one that needs to step up and fix this mess before he leaves office. But he isn't. He's just going to wait around spend more of the taxpayers monies on lavish holiday parties and treats and bide his time in order to hand over the mess the he and his cronies made to the President-Elect Obama.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  78. Deb (Bow, NH)

    I think he is – after all,doesn't he really have to wait until the lame duck limps back to Dallas?

    December 5, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  79. Patsy

    I don't know what he could do. He is accused of not being
    assertuve enough, even though he is NOT YET President.
    If he tried to do more, he would be accused of stepping on
    the toes of our current, however inactive, President. So, he
    needs to do what he is doing, and damn the critics.
    George Bush is willing to stride out, say a few words, then
    stride back in the White House. Disgusting as it is, this is
    what we have until January 20.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  80. Joe from DE

    He is not in charge, being too assertive is counter-productive.

    His supporters need to be concerned that he seems to be drifting away fron campaign promises. Hasn't mention making it more advantageous to keep jobs here than to ship yhem overseas. He has picked a lot od advisors that favor Bush type Trade Agreeents that arekilling are economy – Richardson the latest.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  81. Bruce Coleman

    All I hear on the news is about blaming the mortgage crisis as the largest if not the only factor in this economic debacle. What was the effect of the ridiculus rise in the price

    December 5, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  82. martin fagin

    Jack It is obvious that the American automakers and the union that work with them have led themselves down this dreary path they are on.Still I think it is more than wise to help them get out of this situation with caution,reforms and restraint.I believe that if allowd to fail not only will millions of people and companies suffer more than they are now,but if allowed to fail in the case of a god forbid world war, who will make our tanks,Humvies etc.We need manufacturing in the USA and cant look on ebay to purchase these things if needed.
    Regards
    Marty

    December 5, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  83. Vinnie Vino

    Jack,

    Why should Obama rush to deal with the messy legacy of President Bush. Unfortunately he will inherit the economic mess sooner then he wishes...

    C.I., New York

    December 5, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  84. Karen - Nashville TN

    What do you expect him to do? Ask security to escort President Bush out of the White House? His time will come.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  85. Nancy from Michigan

    Yes, I think he's doing all he can under the circumstances. Surely he understands what will happen if the auto workers and all the related jobs are eliminated from the economy. He's smart enough to know that this would throw the country into a serious depression. I'll bet he is cringing at Pelosi, Reed and the others who seem to want to dictate what Americans can buy and think they are qualified to run a manufacturing company. I'll bet he has even wondered how they dare to criticize manufacturing companies when they are themselves sitting on an 11 TRILLION debt, flying in chartered planes and expecting big pensions. He may even be asking himself if they should be working for $1 a year. I'm hoping he's as smart as I think he is and will rein these divisive nut jobs.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  86. Bruce Coleman

    Our economic problems should not be shouldered by the financial system alone. Do any of these political geniuses consider the raping of the national economy

    December 5, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  87. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    He's doing too much by saying that he'll bail out the auto industry when he takes office. I'm surprised that the auto people aren't gald that they could go into Chapter 11 then they could get rid of the unions and start making money and hopefully reliable cars.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  88. Ann from S.C.

    Barak Obama just isn't as yet on sure footing about the financial crisis and the auto bailout. I think he is watching, listening and analyzing until such time as a viable plan opens up.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  89. Liz in Towson, MD

    How would his being assertive be effective? It's not like he can actually DO anything for 46 more days (but who's counting?). Just let the man select his Cabinet and THEN get to work.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  90. Lynne, Boise, Idaho

    Yes, he is doing all he can considering he isn't even the President yet. I wish I could say the same about the guy who is President right now.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  91. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    He's doing everything he can at this point. He is letting his intentions be known and is preparing detailed plans to be implemented as soon as he takes office. I don't know what else he can do until Bush actually hits the trail out of Washington. By the way, since Bush is buying a home in North Dallas now........who's gonna clear all that brush out in Crawford?

    December 5, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  92. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    The Congress is the one that needs to be assertive at this point. They each do their 5 minutes of grand standing at these hearings instead of actually formulating a plan or accounting for the money they have already handed out. Obama is playing by the rules, and that sets a better example than the Congress does.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  93. Brian in Denver

    He is going to have a very busy first day in office. Could be an all-nighter.

    Until then, I believe he is postulating his strategy. ( I hope he has one)

    December 5, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  94. Brian, Buffalo, NY

    President-elect Obama has already displayed his eminence in the role of future President, future being the operative word, by managing so far a Transition Period more efficiently than any other President Elect in history. Constitutionally, he is unable to make any demands or impose policy until January 20. Until then he is a citizen and any suggestion of trying to influence Congress could be seen as a direct attempt at usurping his Commander-in-Chief, George W. Bush. He has made clear his stance on the economic bailout and Auto Industry appeals for financial assistance. Beyond that we must wait until January 20 for him and his team of experts to sort out the whole sorry mess.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  95. Bob D, Morristown, NJ

    Yes. By taking a more publicly active role in this mess Obama could only sacrifice the credibility he will need when he does have the authority and responsibility to deal with it. He cannot appear to "up-stage" our current president no matter how incompetent the latter is.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  96. Bruce Coleman

    Does anyone give a thought to the crazy rise in the cost of oil and the resulting trickle down effect on the economy. I mean why talk about mortgages and cars when americans can not afford the buy the gas
    to get to the job they had before they got laid off.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  97. Karl from SF, CA

    Yes he is but we can only have one President at a time and though President Lame Duck isn't doing anything about anything anymore, the President-elect can only be so assertive. When it becomes his job, he will have the plan of action laid out and will implement it. He’s watching from the front row, but he’s not on stage yet.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  98. Kris Koliwad

    Jack,
    He is as assertive as he can be. He is not yet the president. In fact, he should be vacationing in the Bahama after the grueling campaign as previous president-elects did. Yet he should be more tough with Nancy "Off the table" Pelosi and Jack "smelly visitors" Reid who gave Poulson a check for $700B with no strings attached. He in turn gave that money to Bankers whoborought out this crisis. This is the duo who now want the auto industries to present a plan? President Bush and Poulson is still do not grasp the seriousness of the crisis and President-elect has to bite his tongue and wait in the wing.

    Kris

    December 5, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  99. Lynn, CA

    Obama doesn't have a magic wand – he is not President yet, he is no longer a Senator so what the heck can we expect until Jan. from the President ELECT other than his opinion, which he has given.
    Keep the responsibility on the people that caused this fiasco – G.W. Bush and his Administration with the help of a 24 years of a Republican controlled Congress – Lynn, San Diego County

    December 5, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  100. Linda in Florida

    I am sure Barack is being his cool, calm and collected self and doing what he can behind the scenes. I know we can only have one President at a time. However, personally I wish the moving van could have been at the White House bright and early on Nov. 5 to move Dubya out!

    December 5, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  101. doug gravue

    jack, i'm not certain. however when i here from brook park ford plant workers that are my customers over the years that, they sleep in the tool room ,have placed empty coke bottles inside fenders and generally "brag about" loafing and getting paid way more than they should while they admit they "know" they build an inferior product?

    i don't feel sorry for them. i own a 325i. until the big three can build a vehicle that after two yrs. still doesn't rattle, chirp, squeek and generally fall apart, i'll keep buying "so called" foreign cars. it handles better, runs better gets 34mpg @65mph and has 4yrs free service. i make less than $40k/yr and have to do a very good job to EARN that !
    let 'em go away...

    thanks, doug

    December 5, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  102. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    In the wake of our economic crisis, when called upon, Obama has said many times there is "one president at a time". If that isn't assertive enough without asking George W. Bush to step up or step down, I don't know what else to call it.

    December 5, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  103. chris south bend Indiana

    Jack from what I have seen of President elect he is confident enough I feel, he will be able to work something out unlike the Chicken hawks in office now

    December 5, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  104. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    Isn't this Congress's job, I thought they were the ones holding the purse strings. Or is this all just a puppet show? Someone needs to remind them that simply because they haven't done anything doesn't mean they don't have the power to do anything.

    December 5, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  105. Tina

    Obama is not president yet. What else can he do but work 'behind the sceen.' I've got a better question: why doesn't George Bush do the RIGHT thing by getting out of the way? He's irrelevant. He's got a new home that he can decorate, and he needs to let Barack get started before this economy completly crumbles.

    December 5, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  106. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: We can only have one President at a time; and the mistakes of the Bush Administration will be Obama's portal to discovery. I would say that Obama is "looking" before he "leaps," something the current Administration hasn't done for the last eight years.

    December 5, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  107. Chris - Savannah GA

    Contact your representative! Contact your Senators! They represent YOU! In turn, Congress should vote the will of their constituents on these issues. The people have the power here to make decisions. Not the President-Elect!

    December 5, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  108. Bill From MI

    Assertive enough. I think it would be bad for him to get into a floor fight with 49 morons before he takes office. 50 morons, I forgot about the one now in the White House.

    December 5, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  109. Pugas-AZ

    Obama might be "stompin-at-the-bit" but he must wait his turn to lead the country. The best thing he can do now is to meet with his advisers and establish stratagies that will work down the road. He must build consenus within his organization so he can hit the floor running next year.

    December 5, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  110. Susanne, Paris

    Yes, he's being as assertive as he can while having to respect a super-lame (duck) president who should never have been in the Oval Office in the first place. Obama is leaving the current mess to the person who did the messing up, and rightly so, as painful as it is to have to wait. That said, it would be ideal for an emergency law to be passed to sweep W. right into his new Dallas home so we can get the ball rolling on the massive cleanup job ahead.

    December 5, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  111. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    I believe he has been as assertive as he can under the circumstances, after all, he is not the president yet. As frustrating as all of this is for many Americans, we have to remember, unless we yank Bush out of the white house by his collar, and try him and his cronies for war crimes, he is still the president until January 20. I imagine Obama is experiencing the same frustration behind the scenes.

    December 5, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  112. Frank from Peterborough

    Obama is doing about all anyone in his position could be expected to do at this point in time. He has already stated the auto industry has to be assisted so it's up to Congress to come up with some positive initiatives in this direction.

    It's all about the hourly work force in this industry and supporting industries as well as all the small business people who depend on them having an income to buy their goods and services.

    If Congress wants the hourly-rated people to take pay cuts I would suggest they walk the walk and agree to take the same percentage of pay cuts in their salaries as it is all relative.

    December 5, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  113. Tripp Mechanicsburg, PA

    Obama is doing all that he should. Barney Frank and the other whiners need to read our Constitution and complain to someone who is empowered to act, namely him, the other whiners and the Bush administration.

    December 5, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  114. s buczak

    obama has not been sworn in yet. he is not our president at this time. he is 100% right not to be too assertive at this time.....this is a democracy and we have laws and a constitution...obama is correct.. It is just very frustrating because so much needs to be done, and obviously pres. bush has no clout.......BUY AMERICAN... mattituck, ny.........marine mom

    December 5, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  115. Mike in St. Pete Beach, Florida

    Shouldn't the question be is President Bush being assertive with financial crisis, auto industry?

    December 5, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  116. Connie from "BLUE" Indiana

    Jack, I think all of Congress needs to keep their big mouths shut and wait like all of us for what Obama is going to do. After all the congress is just as much of the problem as the Bush/Cheney administration. If Barney and the rest of them want to help let them work for a dollar a year and give up all their perks. LOL

    December 5, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  117. william fitzwater

    What can obama do right now ? His term does not start until jan 20th. FDR had the same problem. He could only assure America's they would recieve care. When FDR became president he then acted. . I am compleatly sure Obama will act but he will temper those actions with good judgement.
    I am so far very impresesed with his picks. I am more concerned does he have the will to handle such strong personalities ?

    December 5, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  118. George

    I don't have any idea what is wrong with you guys, but He is not the President of the U.S. yet. He didn't start the mess, so why don't you ask the same question from George W. Bush, he is the culprit of all this garbage going on now. When it is Obama's time, he will take care of us, I am sure.

    December 5, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  119. Donna Stewart, Kingston Jamaica

    If he was any more assertive, Pres Bush would have to be moved to an undisclosed location.

    Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, can't handle CHANGE.Instead of the Dems in Congress doing their job and pressing Pres Bush, they want Obama having calmed the markets and indicated that we save the auto industry but not give them a blank check, fast tracked his transition cabinet picks to unprecedented levels ,turn around now and baby sit them through passing the rescue of the auto makers and financial crisis.

    One change I know come Jan 21, is that Congress better shape up or shut up!

    December 5, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  120. Robert

    Why not let the citizens finance the auto industry with at least 5% return guaranteed by the Feds. Savings and CD's are not a good investment since all the Fed can do is to cut rates. Looks like a win win to me.

    December 5, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  121. Mike, Syracuse NY

    What a surprise. If you look up 'Democrat' in the dictionary, there's a picture of someone whining. The Democratic Congress shares a big part of the blame for what has happened in the last 2 years. They after all pushed lending institutions into giving mortgage loans to people who didn't qualify. Nothing is forcing Congress to wait until Obama takes office to pass legislation to help. They need to stop whining and step up.

    December 5, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  122. D.A.Zivkovich

    He's being as assertive as he can be - there IS only one president at a time - and Barney Frank should be careful about setting any precedents he'll regret in 8 (12?) years.

    Monaca,PA

    December 5, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  123. Beartrack

    I find it interesting that all these Dem. congressmen are whining for Obama to step in and save their butts. This is a case of playing the cards you've been dealt. Frank, Dodd,Pelosi, Reid, and the rest dealt themselves these cards by their lack of oversight and not watching the dealer's hands. It's your game boys, play it out. Obama will be in at the right time with a clean deck.

    December 5, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  124. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    Are these the same members of Congress who allowed Bush and Paulson to fork our money to the banks with zero oversight or accountability? Time for them to show that they are ready to be apart of this movement, or get out of the way.

    December 5, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  125. Deb in Texas

    Jack, no one needs to be assertive about the auto industry but Ford, Chrysler and GM. They need to be assertive and free the American people of the poorly built vehicles they have been making all of our lives and let us continue to buy Toyota's, you know the cars that run and run and maybe you have to change your breaks every now and then – the ones you can drive for 15 years – the ones you get tired of looking at, Oh, that 's Toyota for you!

    December 5, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  126. me46

    Obama is deliberate, focused, and pragmatic. He is all he can be at this point in time.

    Tom
    Vegas

    December 5, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  127. Michael watching from Canada

    Jack,

    All that Barack can do at this time is buy a hybrid vehicle and put signage on it that says, "Change will come on January 20th, 2008. So will new jobs."

    December 5, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  128. Paul H from Los Angeles, CA

    He’s being as assertive as he can be without going over the line. As he’s said over and over again, there is only one President at a time. If he were any more assertive, he’d be called “presumptive" by the Republicans. Then you'd have both Democrats AND Republicans complaining... Who wants that?

    December 5, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  129. Bryan from Colorado Springs, CO

    Jack,

    President elect Obama understands why the current congress has
    such a low approval rating. Every time an old liberal democrat talks into a microphone weather he knows its on or not keeps reminding
    us why they have such a low approval rating. President elect Obama will take office on Jan. 20th. at which time he will start bailing out the American people not the Corporate exexutives. I am a tax payer and
    I approve this message.

    December 5, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  130. bob, oshawa, ontario

    Jack, yes, he is being as assertive as he can without actually being president. He will have a tough time to clean up the economic mess that a deregulated free market brought on all by itself even when he assumes office. I think Obama will bring with him a practical, common sense approach to problem solving plus a degree of sound judgment and moral integrity that is totally lacking in many Wall Street manipulators and the dilettante economic pundits who like to give everyone the impression they know what they are talking about. When asked to give solutions they are all over the the dance floor with vague, obtuse theories that betray their grasp of reality.

    December 5, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  131. Tom, Bradenton

    I am convinced Obama is doing everything he can but one man can not stop a tsunami. We are in the midst of one and afterwards we will never be the same again. The auto mafia needs to go. They are incompetent and arrogant.

    December 5, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  132. MARCUS123 Flanders

    Israel is at the verge of starting another no win war;The USA should not back them;

    December 5, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  133. Ken in Seattle

    Democrats need to take a very deep breath and quit their carping. Obama is damned if he is too forceful and starts acting like he is already in office. He is apparently equally damned if he acknowledges that he is not yet the President, but only President-Elect, and works behind the scenes to influence events without behaving as if he had already taken the oath of office. People are fed up with the Bush Administration's responses to the messes they've created and impatient for a change in leadership, or more likely impatient for some kind of leadership at all. In my opinion Obama continues exhibit wisdom and sound judgment.

    December 5, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  134. Angelique

    I think that president elect obama is doing exactly what he needs to do. Like he says, there is only one president at a time. But I definitly can't wait untill that one president is not Bush!

    December 5, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  135. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    What is the problem? Obama is not yet President but both democrats and republicans are blaming him for everything. Bush is,allegedly,still in charge,go see him. If Obama is as smart as I think he is,he would resign immediately. The aggravation is not worth it.

    December 5, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  136. D. R. Texas

    Yes

    December 5, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  137. Terry in Hanover County

    At the moment, Obama is an unemployed former Senator waiting to assume is new post in late January. He can make plans but he can affect nothing because Bush is still President. It's unfair to expect Obama to do anything at this time because his hands are tied. Of course, it would be nice if President Bush would do something constructive to help the economy and leaving Paulson in charge of the sinking ship isn't the correct answer. If Bush is no longer interested in being President, then he should return his salary to the taxpayers.

    December 5, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  138. Ralph Nelson

    No. The whinners are right. He needs to kick butt and the butt he needs to kick is George W. Bush. To listen to Bush you'd think there was not economic crisis. Time counts or suddenly it will be 1929. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    December 5, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  139. Jay in Texas

    President-elect Obama should just continue to state publicly what he will do when he takes office. He has plenty of work to do in getting things ready for that day without worrying about Barney Frank and others in Congress whining about wanting more multi-billion-dollar handouts to the super-rich.
    Brownwood, Texas

    December 5, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  140. Thom Richer

    It is a no-win situation for Obama. He is not yet president and supposedly we have a president in charge for another 2 months. If Obama grabs hold of the reins now, he will be criticized for stepping on Bush's toes and regarded as arrogant and grand standing. If he does nothing, like the present president, he will be crucified as a non-leader with no plan.

    Obama is not the "President of the United States" until he is sworn in and the man in the White House is rounded up and moved out.

    It is Bush's responsibility and his administration's responsibility to take charge of our country's economic, social, and military issues. However, we know and so does the Republican Party, that will never happen. It has been eight years and not one issue that has plagued us has been resolved or dealt with. Eight long years of promises, spin and excuses and more promises, spin and excuses. It won't change now. By the way, where the hell is the vice-president? Has anyone seen or heard from him since 2000?

    No, I think it best for Obama to make plans and be ready to put them into play when he is "officially" the president in charge. Nothing will change between now and January 20, anyway. Let Bush and his people finally do something before they go their wealthy way.

    Thom
    Negaunee, MI

    December 5, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  141. B. D. in Saugerties, NY

    There is an old saying that goes, "you do your job and I'll do mine." If I remember right, Barney Frank and the rest of Congress have a job to do. They should do it and stop worrying about what other people are doing. Last I looked, Obama was doing his job just fine.

    December 5, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  142. Mike

    Hey it time for congress to step it up . Obama has it right there is one president at a time period!!

    December 5, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  143. Edly in San Jose, CA

    Wow. In the past, the "first 100 days" began with the inauguration. Now it begins the day after the election. In this case the President Elect could do a few things as a Senator, but that is still pretty limited. Cut him some slack!

    December 5, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  144. Ray in Nashville

    Jack,

    President-elect Obama is right, there can only be one president at a time. Those Democrats that are whining are part of the problem and they should go back and read the rules. Bush is president until January 20. Meanwhile, they should just shut up and work on helping this country.

    December 5, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  145. romnak,corbin,KY

    Cosidering the mess we are involved in, I think Bush should take an early quit, hand over to Obama and let's get on with business. Whatever public money that would be spent on inagrual galas should be put back into the fund. But then, I've always been a dreamer.

    December 5, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  146. Richard of Enoch, Utah

    I think that he could be more assertive if he moved George W. out of the White House and moved in now and started leading the country. But, we only have one president at a time, don't we.

    December 5, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  147. Bryan from Colorado Springs, CO

    President elect Obama understands why the current congress has
    such a low approval rating. Every time an old liberal democrat talks into a microphone weather he knows its on or not keeps reminding
    us why they have such a low approval rating. President elect Obama will take office on Jan. 20th. at which time he will start bailing out the American people not the Corporate exexutives. I am a tax payer and
    I approve this message.

    December 5, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  148. Jeff

    Being that Obama has only been president-elect for 31 days, and has already come up with several solutions to right the ship that George has run aground; coupled with the fact that George seems to have thrown his hands in the air and resigned himself to just kick back and let his time run out, I'd have to say Barak is on top of the situation(s) as much as he can be given his current executive position. If members of Congress have a problem with this situation, they should voice their collective opinions towards the only person who can take corrective action at the present time. Just dial 43 on the red phone, and ask him to either do something, or step aside.
    Jeff,
    Ashburnham, Massachusetts

    December 5, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  149. Michael from Greenfield, Wi.

    Yes. What can he do. He is not the President yet. All he can do right now is to appeal to those in authority to do the right thing for the nation. When he takes over, executive orders will undo some of the damage that will be done between now and then.

    December 5, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  150. Mike out West

    For a country with only one president, there sure are a lot of pictures, video clips, and press conferences with someone that is not in office.

    December 5, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  151. Gigi in Alabama

    He is being as assertive as he can be considering that we will be saddled with George Bush until January 20th. I suppose he can ask the "whiners" to be more assertive and pass the legislation that needs to be passed, but other than that his hands are tied. They should get off their collective duffs and do what they were sent to Washington to do.

    December 5, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  152. David

    Jack,
    I'm a Dem and I can't wait but if I'm Obama I'm taking my time and resting up because it looks like he's not going to get much sleep in the next 4 years. W. isn't passing on the office like he found it.

    December 5, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  153. L. Mccullough

    It is not up to President-elect Obama to do anything about the situation until he takes office. We STILL have a President who remains in office even if he does nothing. It is President Bush's responsibility until he leaves in January.

    December 5, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  154. Tom V.

    Obama is doing everything he can at this point. I think he's being significantly more public about it than most incoming presidents at this moment in the process, which I'm sure is designed to help calm fears.

    Bailout for the auto makers still leaves no one with money to buy a car,....how does that help ?

    The money earmarked for the auto industry and any other entities should be given to the general public. They can spend it and the companies can get their bailout in that manner. Isn't that the way it's supposed to work......manufacturer's manufacture and consumers consume,.........

    December 5, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  155. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    Obama has already done more than any other president-elect has done, in record time. He has announced names of people he wants in his cabinet, has answered more questions from reporters than the current president has all year, and has met with ALL of the governors at HIS request, ensuring all that he will work with them. Barney Frank needs to do his OWN job and stop bad-mouthing the no-longer-Senator, not-yet-President. Maybe he's angry he wasn't offered a cabinet position.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  156. Jennifer, Minnesota

    What do the Democrats want the President Elect to say? Something to the effect of, "President Bush, please leave the keys under the mat and take possession of your mansion in Dallas." As much as the majority of Americans would love to see this happen, it won't. The President Elect is working hard behind the scenes and building a strong team. The real question is, what is our current President doing right now? Looking at wallpaper samples?

    December 5, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  157. Sherrol in Canada

    What exactly are they looking for? He can't sign or veto anything and I'm sure if he starts grandstanding, they'd say he was being invasive, as he has not yet been sworn in.

    Catch 22, Jack!!

    December 5, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  158. David Koepke

    I think he is being a realist. The reason the bailout of the financial markets is not working and the auto bailout will not work is the consumer is BROKE! They have lost the equity in their homes, the value of any investments they may own is down over 40%, unemployment is near 7% and forecasted to go higher, and their credit cards are at their limits. The cannot buy anything on credit and won't be able to for a years.

    Barack Obama is an intelligent man and does not want any of blame for the problems this Congress is creating to tarnish his record before he even takes office.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  159. brownie lofton Altadena, Calif

    What needs to be done is just bail out the whole entire united states of america all who is in need and bring mister Bush to justice for failure and War Crimes

    December 5, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  160. jack

    Barney Frank must have forgotten that Nov. 4 is only the day your elected, not sworn in as President. Psssst, Barney, that day is Jan 20th. The only reason your pushing Obama to do something is that you know that the man sitting in the Oval Office is not doing anything (but fishing in the fountain out front) until he leaves office.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  161. Les Oklahoma

    Obama is not the acting President at the present time and what can he do. Barne Franks and some of the Democratic don't want to act on their own with out cover of Obama what that mean to me is no wonder congress approval rating is so low. Its time that some of our Democratic congressmen find some courage and do something for a change. The thing that we must understand we are going to have to be bold and try new things. And as far as the Republicans go they better get the hell out of the way the voters in this country have long memories.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  162. Debbie / Indiana

    Jack,
    He's doing everything he can and more. It really is up to the current President to do a little for crying out loud. Make Bush accountable at least.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  163. Blaine

    Nope.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  164. Steve

    I'll let you know on 20 Jan,
    when his responsibility begins

    December 5, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  165. Tanya, NJ

    Jack,

    He is doing all he can do. He is not president yet and can only express his goals for the future until January 20th.

    Tanya, NJ

    December 5, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  166. William Ortenberg

    Of course Obama should have done more by now. He's already -46 days into his presidency.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  167. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Yes

    December 5, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  168. Sam

    Jack,

    Barack Obama is not the president yet, but still holds a certain amount of clout. Democrats in congress should do everything they can to prepare for his arrival, and do what they can in the mean time and work with the "Still President" George W. Bush.

    Sam L.
    Janesville, WI

    December 5, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  169. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    What does Barney Frank want–that Obama should strangle or shoot Bush, Cheney and the rest and then take over? I'm sure alot of them are just as frustrated as we are, but complaining won't help the situation at all.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  170. Diane Ghil

    Yes, president-elect Obama, is doing what he can to help the automakers. I agree that Barnie Frank and the other whinning democrats are crazy. Obama cannot do more – he is not yet the president and does not have his congress in place. If Barnie Frank had done more during the last 2 years we might not have gotten to this point.
    Diane Ghil – Alabama.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  171. Chris (Bartlesville, OK)

    What part of President-ELECT don't people understand. For the next month and a half all he has at his disposal are words. He has been using his words carefully and assertively, but for now they are still just words.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  172. Nikki

    I'm so happy we have Rahmbo to handle Barney Frank & far left whiners! I knew Barney Frank & Pelosi were going to pull a fast one, I just didn't expect it so soon. How and Why does Barney Frank keep getting elected? We need to consider term limits for congress.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  173. NK, RI

    Dear Jack;
    It's hard to be assertive when the world economy is melting down, and it wasn't his fault (i.e. Bush).
    He can be assertive by getting rid of Barney Frank and others that have allowed this mess to happen! That's my idea of change!
    ES

    December 5, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  174. Jordan

    Well G ...
    How many presidents do you want?
    Obama is right, there is only ONE President at a time.
    Bush is still the president, whine to him!

    December 5, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  175. Jon Gill,philadelphia

    Obama is in an impossible position. We are all begging for leadership which is not coming from the White House, Treasury or for that matter anywhere from the Bush administration.
    He legally can't do anymore. And he can't butt in when he is not yet the president.
    The whiners should just hold firm and do something the are not used to doing, their best ,and hold on till 1./09/2009.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  176. Jesse Nelson

    Normally I would agree that there is "only one president at a time," but with Bush being MIA it is time for Obama to step into the executive branch void and provide some much-needed leadership.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  177. Big Rob

    People in Congress have no idea what they are saying. They are supposed to be our leaders but they have not done so over the past 8 years. Perhaps its time for the people criticizing Obama to keep their big mouths shut and let Obama do his job, after all he won the election by a landslide.

    Hewlett, NY

    December 5, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  178. Teena

    Jack, the people of this country have needed someone to lead for a very long time. Barack Obama is a once-in-a-lifetime leader. He is doing all he can given the fact he has not been inaugurated yet. Now is not the time for negativity. We have enough of that.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  179. Janet from Ohio

    Jack,

    He is doing exactly what he should be doing. He is putting together a first rate team to deal with our problems when he is President.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  180. Otto

    The President Elect is not yet the President. What else can the guy do?? The people complaining are complaining about the wrong guy!!!

    December 5, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  181. Bob

    I agree with President Elect Obama...Like it or not, George Bush is still the President. Until he hands over the keys to Mr. Obama, George is still driving this bus.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  182. Linda in Bisbee, AZ

    Absolutely, he is doing all he can do. Barney Frank and Chris Dodd should quit bleating their carping little whines. There is such a thing as the Constitution, you know. What is President-elect Obama supposed to do, stage a coup?

    December 5, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  183. BARBARA FROM WESTERVILLE OHIO

    I say shut up and be patient....

    December 5, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  184. Flash

    I think the real question is whether or not our current president is being assertive enough. The President Elect is doing exactly what he needs to do, plan for Jan 20th. What is Bush doing?

    December 5, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  185. Karol

    Mr. Obama is doing exactly what is appropriate to do. The rest of us should stay out of it until he takes office January 20.

    Karol
    Scottsdale, AZ

    December 5, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  186. Hamilton

    I really don't see what the problem is. He (President Elect Obama) is 100% right there's only one president at a time. He's doing exactly what he needs to be at this time to make sure when he takes office his team will be able to deal with these issues much more effectively than the current administration.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  187. Kristoff

    Too many politicians make decisions too quickly in order to pass themselves off as a capable leader. Obama is a smart man, he will not make a decision until he has the necessary information to make the right decision. Then he will be assertive.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  188. John in NY

    Barack Obama is not the president yet (period). You can criticize him as early as January 21 for not being assertive enough, but that is more than a month and a half away. For the moment, it is up to George Bush and the present congress to deal with these problems. Hopefully it will be a reminder to those who voted for George Bush that they have no business making a decision as important as who should govern our country.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  189. MLW from New Jersey

    Obama should continue to keep his distance, he has alway stated that he wants to help the auto industry. The dems should keep quiet and support the incoming pres. Barney Frank should just shut up.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  190. Rolan

    I think President-elect Obama has done as much as could be expected given that the world knows he will be President in January but is not President today. Those who want more from him now should instead be looking to President Bush.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  191. harry bohms

    Yes, President-ELECT Obama is doing all he can NOW! The 'whiners' clearly do not understand our system of government! And truly 'telling' is that THEY WORK in government.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  192. Himanshu Kalkar

    All that he did so far is even before he took the oval office. Doesn't tell you that he assertive and determined to tackle the current economic crisis. We need to give him a break, he is taking over a situation which is already deteriorated.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  193. Sarah O

    Whiners!!!! I voted for Obama and I agree that there is only "one President at a time". What else do they want him to do? Demand his appointment now? What they need to do is work together and stop sniping like a bunch of kids.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  194. Ryan J.

    Yes, Jack. He has absolutely no "real" power right now besides throwing in his ideas. The people complaining about him need to take a look at Bush, who hasn't made half as many press conferences as Obama. To me, it seems that Obama is more in command than Bush without having any power, and to go after him before than man with the responsibility first is just plain ridiculous.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  195. Mark in Buffalo Grove

    Things are bad, Obama stays in the bunker...If tomorrow the Dow rebounded 4,000 pts., the Big 3 refused bailout assistance and we declared victory in Irag, I guarantee he would schedule hourly press conferences....

    December 5, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  196. Jim McLellan

    Obama is busy DOING not out spitting and spewing platitudes. Leave him alone. Give him a chance. He isn't even President yet and he's already working harder than the current administration has since it came into office. Geeeze!

    December 5, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  197. Polly

    Dear Mr. Cafferty:

    I am a lifelong Democrat, so I am obviously happy that President Elect Obama soon will be sworn in, BUT let me remind those in Congress – HE IS NOT PRESIDENT yet and they are the ones in a position of leadership. So, they need to quit whining and deal with this situation. That is why they are in office.

    I am sick and tired of the finger pointing, and I venture to suggest most Americans are as well. We are all being forced to deal with the reality of this economic crisis in one way or another. We expect them to be leaders. Get to work!

    December 5, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  198. Lori from Sacramento

    Jack,
    It's like a child who sees the gifts under the tree on Christmas morning but mom and dad won't let little Johnny unwrap the gifts until his bed is made and he brushes his teeth. The anticipation is overwhelming and unfair. Barack Obama is doing all he can behind the scenes and will steer this ship in the right direction when he is sworn in. Everyone just needs to chill-out!

    December 5, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  199. COlson - New York

    Mr. Obama is doing a strong assertive job in organizing his team, evaluating goals and no doubt establishing a rules of engagement protocol for his nominated team. In fact, he has organized a strong group of leaders and is acting as presidential as possible, without the job. Mr. Frank should stop stirring things up for now - the news is dire enough and the team incoming should not be forced to rush out unvetted solutions to our economic mess. It isn't Mr. Obama's fault that decisions are due "now" - they have been needed for a long time.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  200. Kamal

    Obama is doing a great job. I believe he is being presidential but not a president which is what anyone should be expecting of him. The economic crisis is so unprecedented that we just expect more from him which in itself is not correct. In short time he has brought such high hopes for everyone that no matter how correct he is, it will probably fall short.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  201. Tim

    Our economic ship is sinking. Every job lost is a new hole in the boat, and the bailing out efforts are just barely keeping the boat afloat. Captain Bush is off buying a house in Dallas and Captain Obama isn't allowed on-board yet. Congress needs to patch that huge rotton part of the hull that we call the auto industry before it blows wide open Otherwise we'll all be swimming with the fishes before our new captain has a chance to overhaul the boat.
    Tim in Texas

    December 5, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  202. Malone

    Jack,
    No fair, shooting a Barack Obama.... It's Lame Duck Season!

    Brooklyn, NY
    (on vacation abroad)

    December 5, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  203. christopher

    has everyone forgotten that he isn't in office yet? there's only so much he can do at this point. give the man a break.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  204. Charles H Smith Billings Montana

    Jack: I agree with you on this one, The man said There is only one president at a time, unfortunatly he is right!

    December 5, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  205. Jason

    He has not even in office yet,let's wait until he has been sworn in. The issue is on the current Presidents shoulders.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  206. Nick

    This is politics as usual. The people who messed things up are whimpering and trying to make it look like someone else is demonstrating incompetence. The government has given corporations bailouts and now congress is trying to give themselves a bailout by blaming somebody else. At least this time it does not cost us anything.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  207. Kiyaki

    Like Pres-elect Obama said there is only on president at a time. He is getting ready to come running on Jan. 21st. Until they just have to wait and focus on the 3 auto makers. President Obama will come with full force in due time.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  208. Manny

    I don't believe President Elect Obama should have had to be as involved as he has been. President Bush should have been more involved all along but hasn't. Its unfortunate that President Elect Obama could not have entered office November 5. We need leadership NOW!

    December 5, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  209. Vincent Stokely

    It is silly to think that Obama has the power to do anything. I think Obama is doing a remarkable job with putting people in place, and staying on top of what is currently going on. To think that he can do anything right now is crazy. I hope these Democrats who are saying this don't expect Obama to solve all the problems in the country. If that were the case, then why did we elect them????

    December 5, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  210. Cindy

    Obama has been more assertive than any President-Elect that I can remember. He does not have the authority or power to do any more than he already has until he goes into office. This man has a horrific job ahead of him and I truly believe he will hit the ground running. People need to have patience, his time is coming in January.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  211. Michael Keys

    President-Elect Obama is in a no-win situation: If he takes the lead on the auto industry bailout, he will be percieved as overstepping his authority. If he takes the path that there IS only one president at a time, he's perceived as not being hands on by some in his own party. Barney Frank and others who feel that way should keep their opinions to themselves and support the leader of your party. I believe our way of government can only have one president at a time. Kudos, Mr President Elect!

    December 5, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  212. Kal'el

    I think Obama is missing an oppurtunity here. Obama should give a huge speech/press conference saying that the government will buy the big 3 and retool them so that every new vehicle that comes off their assembly lines gets 50+mpg by 2012. This would be bold and it would really jumpstart a new green energy American economy. For once, it would be the Japanese that would be making the less fuel-efficient cars and the demand for these new American cars of the future would increase exponentially across the world. Looks like government is the solution that has to clean up the private sectors mess once again.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  213. ingrid, new york

    jack, he is doing exactly what he should be doing! we have had a bully and assertive president and vice-president for 8 years, do we really want another impulsive and "know it all" president? we know that model does not work, and thank goodness that we do not have a bully for a president elect, we actually have someone that is taking the time allotted between the election and the inauguration for deep reflection and planning!

    December 5, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  214. Cori from Colorado

    I have a question, why is it that members of Obama's party are whining that he's not doing enough, when they should be whining that our current president isn't doing anything at all?

    December 5, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  215. Tom

    I agree with you, Jack. President-elect Obama is definitely being assertive enough on the economy, much more so than FDR was in 1932. I wasn't there, but have read that Roosevelt didn't want to be tainted by association with Hoover's failures or his perceived failures. Obama is appropriately recognizing that the economy is Bush's responsibility until January 20, 2009 and he should not try to get any more involved than he already is. He needs to come into office next month with a "clean slate". Tom, Atlanta, Georgia

    December 5, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  216. john nolan, saskatchewan

    You're exactly right Jack. Barney Rubble and other Demrockers are so addicted to the whine because the last eight years they forget that the worst President in American History is still in the White House.
    (I was gonna say "in charge" but that would be a gross over-statement.) Bush still has time to make things WORSE than the Great Depression. Wait for it Barney Boy! And count your blessings.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  217. LEON G

    I think that some of these politicians should listen to themselve speak sometimes. Just like the big three execs that say the public should be incouraged to buy autos. Yeah right, buy a car when you don't have a job, and your ready to lose your house. Paleeze get real.

    Some of our democratic polticians should take a step back, and listen to what they are saying, or are they just talking to hear themselves speak?

    December 5, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  218. Carlos G.

    For the Democrats who apparently can't wait for Obama to take office the 20th (he can only do so much without having actual powers granted from the Constitution) I'd suggest a coup d'etat.

    He's doing as much as he can with the power he's got. You can whine the 21st of January to your heart's content.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  219. Barry Zepel

    Most of the time I appreciate comments from Rep. Barney Frank. But his comments regarding President-Elect Obama being "more assertive" are stupid and are anything but constructive. Obama has done everything he can do as a president in waiting, preparing for when he is sworn in Jan. 20. He is demonstrating that he will be prepared to take over once he is sworn in. But right now only George Bush - who I wish had already left office - is unfortunately still the president by law. Congressman Frank, please be shut-up on this subject. Wait until the "elect" is removed from Obama's current title.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  220. Ryan from Indiana

    I'm not sure how much more assertive Obama can possibly be at this point. While he yields certain power in his current position as president elect, he isn't in a position to start making these big decisions. Marblemouth Frank needs to be concerned about his current sketchy track record and let Obama move into his position gracefully. It's a shame that our current president has decided to check out already and not do something himself about the crises. If Bush is as concerned about his legacy as is rumored, maybe he would be interested in adding a silver lining to his eight year black cloud and fix it himself.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  221. Deshair

    There is a pretty profound difference between being the President and being the President-Elect. Obama is doing the right thing by remaining the behind the curtain. If he pokes his head out the curtain before his inevitable showtime, what is to say that his own party won't cut it off?

    December 5, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  222. will hall

    I wish he(Prez-elect) would be assertive and suggest that the auto industry get the money they want from the oil companies. If it wasn't for the poor gas milage from the auto industry they wouldn't have the record breaking profits they enjoy.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  223. Derrick from Gary, Indiana

    What are the Democracts thinking? The man is not president yet. Do you really think that George Bush is going to let Barack Obama tell him what to do! Come on Democracts, we just got back the White House, don't start acting stupid now!!

    December 5, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  224. tom

    No, he is more interested about himself.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  225. Al DeAugustine, Tucson Az.

    Yes , Jack– there is only one president at a time. The problem is if these whining Senators had been doing their job the last eight years and not given the present administration everything he wanted we would not be in all the trouble we are in today.

    Al DeAugustine
    Tucson, Az.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  226. Jim Fitch

    P. E. Obama is doing exactly what he should be doing. There will be plenty of inititives after January 20. Rep Barney Frank and Sen Chris Dodd, if we are to remember, were the ones pushing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to make housing available for everyone. The resulting No Doc loans were the cause of the housing crisis. For them (Frank & Dodd) to even be involved with any plans to fix our economy is ludicrous. Both should be drummed out of office ....

    Jim Fitch
    Independent Voter
    O'Fallon, MO

    December 5, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  227. Michael of Las Vegas, NV

    Well Jack it is extremely rare when I agree with you. Even though I can't
    stand Obama ( or Bush) , Obama is right only one president at a time.

    Bush is a lame duck president that can do nothing. Barney Frank & some Democrats have to realize Obama can do nothing until he is president.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  228. Leigh (Decatur, GA)

    I think President Elect Obama is doing fine considering the economic environment we're in currently. He "can't do right" with whatever he does. If he moves in too fast, Republicans will cry that he's being disrespectful to the current President and not honoring what he says regarding "one President at a time". If he stays the course with what he's doing now, Democrats will say he's too passive and not assertive a enough. I wish the Democrats (I would call myself, "Democratic-ish") would have demanded such urgency, with this amount of vigor over the last eight years and maybe we would not be facing an economical meltdown.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  229. Ellen (Tampa, FL)

    Because some of our lawmakers have not respected each other for so long,it doesn't surprise me that they are accusing the president-elect of not being assertive enough. The president-elect is acting appropriately when he says that there is only one president at a time.I think that the president-elect is showing respect for the sitting president as it shoud be. The two men are very different and their positions should be put in perspective. If president Bush wants president-elect to cross the line, then that is Mr. Bush's call. Come on people, the action by Mr. Obama is called RESPECT!!!!

    December 5, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  230. Al DeAugustine, Tucson Az.

    Yes , Jack– there is only one president at a time. The problem is if these whining Senators had been doing their job the last eight years and not given the present administration everything he wanted we would not be in all the trouble we are in today.

    Al DeAugustine
    Tucson, Az.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  231. Howard M. Bolingbrook IL

    In my opinion there is too much pressure being put on a person (Obama) who as of today has no official standing in our government. As of today, Obama is neither a Senator or President. W. is still the President of the US and he is responsible for the governments activities until 1/20/09.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  232. John J

    Actually, there seems to be legal constraints in place that would prevent him from being more assertive. I believe it's called the Constitution. The fact that anyone is complaining about how much he is or is not doing should make us realize that the blame lies with the current president, you know, that guy a what's his name, you know, the one from Crawford Texas. Oh my! His name is right there on the tip of my tongue.

    John J

    New Milford, NJ

    December 5, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  233. Rayne

    Yes I believe President elect Obama is being assertive enough, considering that he is not even the President of the United States yet.
    He has not been sworn in.
    He has to walk a tight rope here, because he cannot overshadow the current President who is actually in office.
    I am also concerned that there are too many people expecting too much from President Elect Obama right now, and this could negatively affect his term in office.
    He is being handed President Bush's leftovers, and is expected to fix them.
    Is this fair?
    Also isn't Congress handling the Big 3 crisis right now?

    December 5, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  234. Deirdre P. Crockett

    One other person might agree with Barney Frank......President George Bush. I love how proactive President Elect Obama has been in selecting his cabinet, but President Bush deserves the respect of restraint by the President Elect.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  235. Stavo

    I personally get the impression, that Barack Oboma is one of those people that can walk and talk softly, but if you look behind him, he has awfully big stick. As for Barny Franks and those other nay-sayers, when have you NOT heard them whine? You can bet your last dollar, it may very well be your last dollar....that Pres.-elect Obama will do more for the U.S. in the first six months of his term, that gw bush has done in 7+ years.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  236. Dick, Murphy, NC

    I think our prez to be, is playing it just right,

    December 5, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  237. Judith from Florida

    Jack,
    Aw it would be nice to have President-elect Obama come forth and do Bush's job what we the Americans have paid for but his hands are tied and everyone knows this.What can our President-elect do other than call Bush and tell him to get off his rump work for the American people and let Laura worry about their future home in Texas.It really is up to everyone in Congress and the Senate to get on Bush's tail and move him and let Obama alone for a few weeks.Bush along with ones that voted for what he wanted made the mess and they should be accountable and clean up the mess.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  238. Mike in Akron, Ohio

    He is obviously more assertive than the present President.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  239. Matt from Pasadena

    President-Elect Obama has done all he can do. It is important to be assertive at a time like this but then agian he is not the President yet.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  240. Liam

    So much is already expected from Obama that everone should cut him some slack with his assertiveness. At least wait until he takes office to complain about how assertive he is.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  241. Jason, Austin Tx

    No, I voted for Obama but now I have a feeling it will be a hopeless four years for our nation.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  242. Neil

    Patience is virtue!

    December 5, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  243. Anthony - Philadelphia

    Jack, the man is merely trying to preserve one of the fundamental laws of the land, that we have one president at a time – nothing more, nothing less. It's not that complicated and he is doing a good job.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  244. Himanshu Kalkar

    Along with a strong economic policy obama should comeup with an anti whiner policy too

    Raleigh, NC

    December 5, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  245. Luke

    Obama is doing exactly what he should as a leader, observe. He should not go in with his elbows out. Some in congress may be worried that their competence will be challenged and it is so easy for those types to point rather than assist with real solutions. The President and the American people need qualified and competent entities in congress that can put their arms around these problems and be that "WIse Council".

    December 5, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  246. Brandi Wilson

    President-Elect Obama is doing all that he can do at the moment. Like it or not, Bush is still our president and ALL of us need to stop the complaining and the whining and start looking for solutions. "Ask not what your county can do for you, but what you can do for your county." That's the attitude that is going to pull America out of this trench we are in and get us back on our feet. President-Elect Obama has spoken to the American people on the financial crisis many times since November 4th. He is intelligent and competent and he and the people he has surrounded himself with will get the job done.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  247. Cheryl in Alaska

    Why is everyone asking him to do something? He doesnt have the job yet! Plus, there are peolpe saying he isnt even a citizen! If I were him I would not do anything until Jan 20.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  248. deLeon

    Please, have they forgotten that Bush is still President of this country. Take a chill pill Congress complainers. Tell the whiners to buy themselves a pacifier and a bridge and get over it. Obama has to be respectful of the fact that Bush is still the President. He is doing an excellent job and can do no more.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  249. Clem Lundie

    Doesn't this Congressman understand how the transition process work? Hasn’t Congressman Franks had enough of “overly assertive” presidents? If not, there is still time. President Bush is still on the job. Meanwhile, give President-elect Obama a break.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  250. Matt - College Station, TX

    How can they say that Obama isn’t being assertive enough as President, when he simply doesn’t have the power of the President yet? It seems to me that this is an attempt to shift blame from the Senate to the President once again. All of our other elected officials are so eager to blame Bush and now Obama, because it takes any responsibility for our economic mess away from them. I’d like to see Senator Frank be a little more assertive in finding a way to figure out the current economic problems in our country, instead of whining to everyone else. Maybe if Congress would put half the effort that Obama is putting into trying to solve this problem, they could figure something out. That means all of them, Democrats and Republicans.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  251. Mike stanton

    Committee Chairman, Barney Frank, and his fellow dems have all the power to take immediate action, yet they flounder. Meanwhile, he has the gall to point a finger at Obama who has no legal power to anything until next month. Shame on Barney!

    December 5, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  252. Ben

    I thought Obama said several times in his cabinet announcements that he wants certainly to see things done in the economic arena and specifically for the auto industry.
    He is doing the right thing to let Bush execute since he is still the President (whether we all like it or not) and you do not want two people causing more confusion – and the same people will complain about it.
    Ben.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  253. Harry Lime

    If he's as smart as people think he is, he'll stay away from this mess. He wouldn't want to take the blame if it all goes South. Likewise he won't be able to claim the credit if it works.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  254. Gord from Mesquite

    Perhaps the U.S. government and the Canadian Government should buy new cars in lue of a hand out. Then the Government should sell the cars back to the dealers at a set price and have the dealers sell the vehiciles at a set price and have the dealers make their profit on the trade ins. Everybody wins.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  255. Pat C

    On your question: Is Mr. Obama-Elect being "pushy" or aggressive for this times and situations we address daily as refered by his party members? Yes he is and he is correct to go by protocol as being the President-Elect. Wow! What do people want Mr. Obama to do....start off breaking laws and procedures just because we are in times of diffuculty. We asked for change which means, starting off again upholding the laws of the lands...and Congress needs to do their jobs with worth and intergrity of the system. Or just do the job we elected them to do before we elected Mr. Obama. Or just quit...and let someone else try to do the job we need to get some of the situations resolved.
    We are a silly citizentry, some times.
    Dayton, Ohio

    December 5, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  256. alex bull

    Tell me Jack, what else can he do but remain focused on the enormity of the problems confronting the USA. Ombama is not the president and Barney should do his congressional job and/or be the cartoon character he is currently imitating.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  257. Jim Green, Seguin, TX, www.Inclusivism.org

    Jack.....It would be neat if Obama could just push Bush out of the way and implement his programs today.....but until he can do that.....if it foolish for Frank to be critical of Obama on matters in which has has no real authority....

    December 5, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  258. David Hathcock

    I think Obama knows it wouldn't be wise to run in with guns blazing. Obama is thoughtful and deliberate with regards to his decision making process. I think he knows his place and right now that involves his transition to power. We must get away from the Bush mentality of doing things ie running in with guns blazing to Iraq without thoughtful consideration or a stragtegy or even a legit reason of why. I applaud Obama for his patience and ability to discern the right time from the wrong time to take action. I for one trust he knows exactly what he will do or is attentively working on a plan for this dire situation.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  259. Eugene

    Jack
    Obama is doing a great job, he is not the president. He can not over rule the president and why did not the these smart democrats who are talking now do something the past two years. They seem to know everything now. It sounds like they are acting like a little brother. They don't know how to get out trouble so now they run to big brother (Obama) to get them out and hide behind him, and let him fight for them.
    This tells us what kind of support he has.
    Eugene
    Houston, Tx

    December 5, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  260. Pat-Arizona

    Why should Mr. Obama allow himself to become the scapegoat of the very people who got this country in the mess it's in? Until Mr. Obama is becomes the President on Jan. 20th he has no real power.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  261. Joe-Reno

    I favor an early inauguration. The best taxpayer protection we can buy would be to get George settled in Dallas sooner rather than later.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  262. j/NJ

    Is President-Elect Obama being assertive enough when it comes to issues like the auto industry and the financial crisis?

    Obama's assertivity whether high or low profile is arguably meaningless, he is merely the President-elect, in any event he has been assertive, nevertheless the time to take a pro active leadership position is after he is sworn in, he can do absolutely nothing for the nation until then...

    December 5, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  263. Mike, Albuquerque, NM

    Obama is in limbo. He resigned from the senate and he is not yet sworn in as President. Like any citizen he may speak his mind...and we would all like to hear what his opinion is about this auto maker crisis.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  264. Blind Man

    We must be careful here not to intrude on the President's responsibilities; no matter what the situation is. The President -elect can do so much; the best situation will be for all to give support to Secretary Baker's suggestion; the meeting of the two Presidents, the in-coming and the out-going.
    At this point, we're waiting on a co-ordinator to put the wheel in motion.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  265. I. B., Rocky Mount, North Carolina

    All the arm-chair-quarterbacks want to call the signals. There is only one President at a time. Let the current President and the President-Elect call their own signals. Let the cheerleaders in congress provide the check and balance.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  266. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    The infrastructure projects should not wait since it is a long projet that will create instant jobs that will make money flow it may reduce the impact of some of the mortgage bankruptcy and it takes time for people to make money to buy a car again!

    So let put people first since the financial system has been taken care of by now!

    December 5, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  267. Kim - Blair, NE

    Assertive will come when the time is right and not before. He is making certain that he doesn't just go off half-cocked like we have seen before. Iraq?

    December 5, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  268. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    I think The infrastructure projects should not wait since it is a long projet that will create instant jobs that will make money flow it may reduce the impact of some of the mortgage bankruptcy and it takes time for people to make money to buy a car again!

    So let put people first since the financial system has been taken care of by now!

    December 5, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  269. Tim, Riverside IL

    I have been listening to the hearings on the auto industry and believe that Barack Obama can lend a direction without appearing presidential. He can send Joe Biden to the Senate with this strategy.

    Compromise.

    Bush is not going to add anything more to the crisis in terms of help. And thank heavens for that! His efforts are debatable at best.

    The Congress should approve 1/4 of the loan needed now, and then after January 20th, the new Treasury Secretary can free up some of the paper printed for the financial bailout (that went so wonderfully) to finish off the auto industry bailout. At least that way, we can see our dollars at work instead of in some rich bankers pockets.

    Tim Riverside, IL

    December 5, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  270. Connie Goddard

    Jack, Obama is being assertive enough: he has done more to reassure citizens than our current president who got us into this economic mess. I would like to see the Republicans in this country rise up and pressure their president and congressional members to take responsibility and to be part of the solution. All of the Republicans, including President Bush, have been VERY ineffective in offering solutions to date. Obama's inauguration can't come soon enough for me.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  271. Mrs. Patricia Brito

    We only have one President at a time. However, that on he is doing his best to help the economy by shopping for a new home and planning for a festive Christmas holiday season. Unbelieveable! I guess this is akin to relieving someone on an essential position that has a 24-hour shift. The smart, effective and efficient come in early so the slackers can just go home. Barney Frank needs to do his job and stop trying to orchestrate President-Elect Obama performance before-the-fact.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  272. Roger in Ca.

    There is little he can do to make changes before 20 January, 2009. If he does much then he will be accused of trying to take over the office of the President before Bush leaves even though he is not there now.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  273. Robert, Bartlett, IL

    This should be about Bush - he is phoning it in these days - couldn't he call in Obama and ask him to work together on this problem?
    Bush would rather see the nation further slide downward than admit his abysmal failure and ask for the incoming president to help.
    How can Obama really step in when he is not president?

    December 5, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  274. jason

    I think he is being as assertive about it, and everything else we want and need as much as he can but we must remember that as of this very moment Bush is still the Commander and Chief of America and has been for 8 years two terms and we never questioned his assertiveness even after the first term and look at what we got. I think we should start asking these Questions of Obama after he is officially president of the United States. We obviously think he can do the job after all we did put him there. I like Bush but I think he would like change too.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  275. Len of Colfax, WI

    I agree with the statement of "One President". But, if his team has come up with some well thought out plans, it wouldn't hurt for him to make them known and try to push them through press conferences and personal contacts with members of congress.

    On there other side of this, his team needs the remaining time to be ready to "hit the ground running". I am not sure there has been time for them to come up with "well thought out plans".

    December 5, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  276. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    After he takes the oath of office and rolls up his sleeves we will see if he is assertive enough.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  277. Mark Anthony, TX

    President Elect Obama is doing well with staying outside of the argument and letting his new team massage the way todays politics mold into the way he wants things to be when he is in charge.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  278. J F Barr Jr

    Jack.
    The democrats that are whining that Obama isn;t assertive enough as President – Elect on these financial issues seem to forget that their is someone occupying that position. And if my memory serves me correctly the lease on this position expires 1/20/09.Obama can't play it any other way.When his time arrives the democrats will be expected to do more than whine, they will be expected to lead and support Obama,

    December 5, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  279. Andre R. Newcomb

    "The People" have every right to expect THE next President to impact legislation. What we are seeing is what we can expect from this person - in that when the People are on a course NOT to their benefit, this President withholds his counsel. Broken promises, ignoring troops overseas, and many "presents" suggests that collusion is present and has been present for some time. I think that Mr. Obama wants to be president. He appears to be avoiding the Electoral College considering his merits and integrity while perpetual fiscal irresponsibility persists.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  280. Tom Doyle

    Jack,

    He cannot be assertive enough. Someone has to drive message into the minds of our congressmen, senators and the media. Messages like the fact that the auto industry is not asking for a bailout as you like to call it. They are asking for a LOAN, you know, like when Chrysler almost went under years ago. Think, Chrysler, Lee Iococa and the fact that the LOAN was paid back with interest. What did Iococa do right and what did our government do right. So far Obama is the only one showing positive thinking. Thank you for at least listening.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  281. Alan, Buxton Maine

    Give the man a break! He has no official authority yet and is already acting more presidential than Bush ever has. He will hit the ground performing on Jan 20th and will address all the issues necessary at that time.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  282. PAT California

    Obama is Obama!!! Thank God! He will take charge and as he puts it, "hit the road running" on Jan 20! People have to be patient! I'm trying very hard with all 4 of my college grad kids losing their jobs and getting severe pay cuts and my pension going nowhere, unable to help.Change is coming!!!!! Hang in there!!!!!

    December 5, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  283. Lorna Abbott

    Obama should not be more assertive during this transition period.

    He is not the president and is without presidential authority..

    If congress wants Obama to be more assertive then his inaugral date must be changed. It would be foolish for Obama to became more involved with this administration.

    The Buish regime has bankrupted our country. Their financial policies allowed unprecided expenditures with as little oversight as possible.

    Obama should not be involved with thie Bush regime.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  284. Jean Surack

    The u.s. auto companies went to mexico,
    etc. to get cheaper labor and thus taking away american jobs.
    Now, the big 3 want American's tax payers money.
    Why don't they ask the countries where they
    built plants for cheaper labor to help
    bail them out.
    We ,american workers, and our
    hard earned money are being played
    for suckers.

    December 5, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  285. Mary-California

    Jack-Obama has his "hands tied". With Bush still the President until Obama is sworn in in January, Obama can only work quietly as best as he can. Assertive? Quiet minds can accomplish a lot, which is more than we are hearing from the whining, corruptive politicians in Washington that are do-nothings that hopefully will "get the boot" when Obama takes over!

    December 5, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  286. Rafal Valverde

    Jack,

    Any person with sufficient knowledge of economics would be assertive enough to make the right decision about the automakers' "bailout". Although Obama is a passionate man with the best of intentions, he is nevertheless a politician looking forward to the next election. It remains to be seem if Obama will do what is right or what is popular.

    December 5, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  287. David, Phoenix, AZ

    I don't know if he is being assertive enough. It seems the media will duke that one out for a while. I do have a suggestion for him to help the homeowners and buyers though. Too many homeowners are upside down for too many reasons to list. The Stock Market, well my tear ducts are on over-drive looking at those statements. I have an option to help jump start this economy by helping out homeowners and to spur home buying, while guaranteeing a rate of return better than 5%. Here it goes; most see their home as an investment, so why not invest in their homes. What I mean is, instead of losing money in 401(k) s and retirement accounts, how about allowing lets say 50% of the money going to retirement accounts to go toward principal reduction of one’s home. Your rate of return would be interest savings on principal reductions. This could potentially cut the life of one’s loan in half and more people would be willing to buy homes. Inevitably, the economic jump start will happen, because confidence will rise and people will spend and second and third mortgages will reign again.

    December 5, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  288. Terry Yonker

    Youngstown, NY

    They can throw all the money they want at the Big Three, but I stopped buying their products when they could not produce a car that got over 40 miles per gallon. I switched from Chrysler and GM products to buy a 2001 Toyota Prius. I plan to buy another. I would only support a massive federal government takeover of the industry with total restructuring from top management to product development.

    December 5, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  289. Kieth Wagner

    Not his job yet....only one president at a time

    December 5, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  290. Maureen Gasior

    Dear Jack,
    It is unbelievable that people are criticizing Barack Obama when his tenure as President has not even begun! President-elect Obama certainly has his work cut out for him! It just demonstrates that people are already turning to him for leadership, in this difficult time. He is already filling those shoes!!

    Maureen in Smithtown, New York

    December 5, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  291. Bill

    No Jack, he isn't assertive enough. Congress should act to give more authority to "The Office of the President Elect".

    December 5, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  292. Mike H in SD

    There is only one President at a time. President Elect Obama is doing all he can without overstepping his bounds...

    December 5, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  293. Republican in Virginia

    He is "President – Elect", so he can not do much right now, Bush is still in office. How hard is that to understand?

    December 5, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  294. fefe

    i think he's doing what's right if the people in his own party are whining maybe they're the ones who need assisiting to. Mr President -Elect is diong exactly what he supposed to be doing ,waiting

    December 5, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  295. Keith in Camp Hill, PA

    Obama did virtually nothing as a state legislator and not much more as U. S. senator. Why should we expect that that will change when he is president? We have zero presidents at a time.

    December 5, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  296. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    If people are mad it is because they are loosing jobs. The auto bailout has to be passed to keep people from not loosing their jobs since all other businesses connected to the auto industry will have a tsunami effect i the industry collapses....funny how I do not remember this much questioning about the financial bailout...that's what people should be angry about!

    December 5, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  297. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    If people are mad it is because they are loosing jobs. The auto bailout has to be passed to keep people from not loosing their jobs since all other businesses connected to the auto industry will have a tsunami effect in the industry collapses....funny how I do not remember this much questioning about the financial bailout...that's what people should be angry about!

    December 5, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  298. Lex, Arlington, VA

    It is not a time for assertion, by a president-elect. It is a time for thoughtful planning and deliberation, which is what he is doing.
    It's the beginning of December, and the man has virtually completed assembly of his cabinet. He is on-track and setting records in the process.

    Rather than dropping comments through the press, Congress should be meeting with him and talking face to face about what tney need.

    December 5, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  299. Scott, San Diego

    Quite simply he is what he voted for; an inexperienced leader. He shows that he is lost. We are in big trouble.

    December 5, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  300. Linda B, Ga.

    Barack isn't in the position "yet" to handle these things. Pres. Bush needs to do his part, before he leaves office. All of these "characters" that are tap dancing, as fast as they can better get their dancing done, before Barack arrives.

    Barack will be cleaning house, once he arrives...

    December 5, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  301. Michael

    The Obama economic team is unfortunately some of the same folks that got us into this mess thru their past involvement in setting policy under past administrations. Hopefully they learned from their past mistakes and know how to get us out of this death spiral. Even though their is only one President at a time, Obama needs to be more involved in pushing his current Democratic folks to action.

    December 5, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  302. Sylvia Schildt

    Without the actual power of the presidency he can do little in the open. I am sure that plans are quietly being made even as we speak. I fully expect he'll emerge after inauguration day:

    Undoing whatever Bush damage he can directly from the Oval Office.

    Taking advantage of Presidential privilege with carefully selected and vetted Executive Orders.

    Presenting proposed legislation to the new Congress who will already have been duly sworn in earlier in the month.

    Interacting with proposed legislation coming from Congress,

    and let's not forget

    Wielding the bully pulpit.

    We just need to survive until then.

    December 5, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  303. Becky

    He shouldn't be assertive yet, it isn't his place. Not that he has a clue what he's going to do when the time comes. God be with us all.

    December 5, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  304. Alex Downs, Long Beach, CA

    I think it is way early to tell how President ELECT Obama will handle the slop-bucket of issues being handed him by the outgoing Bush Administration. Will he boldly lead? Will his centrist cabinet picks reflect a cautiousness that will doom him? Will he be a pragmatic progressive? Will his administration melt under the withering expectations or will be rise and best them? We'll now the tenor and time by February 2009. Sorry to say, but that's all I give him. We can't get to work on this Bush mess fast enough.

    December 5, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  305. Lynn Brooks, Sioux Falls, SD

    As so many have already said: President-ELECT Obama is just that! He is NOT the President....not yet (unfortunately!!).

    So, he must be very careful about what he says and how much 'power' he tries to wield. Yes, this is a disasterous time in our country...more than anything we need a STRONG LEADER to stand up and tell us that even though things look bleak...when we all stand together and work together we can, and WILL, come out of this economic disaster better and stronger than we have ever been!!

    I feel certain that President-ELECT Obama and his team are working diligently behind the scenes to make sure that the minute he is sworn-in, there will be a flurry of creative and positive activity!!

    Mr. Obama chooses his words very carefully....there was a reason - a darned good reason - why he said those words: "In this country we only have 1 President at a time." Another example of how BRILLIANT this man is!!!

    December 5, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  306. Michael

    What about the current Office Holder? Doesn't he have a constitutional imperative? A moral obligation? Gimme a break and Barney Frank should get a life!

    December 5, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  307. S Callahan

    Will it really matter what he does at this point, especially before his is in his official capacity.
    My view is, We are headed for hard times and no matter what 'man' tries to do..it won't hold long term...this is a consequence of not putitng God first. Get the country straight in it's spiritual health and everything else will then fall in order.

    December 5, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  308. Mike M

    Bush should take an early retirement, and give Obama a key to the back door of the Oval Office.

    December 5, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  309. James Ravenell

    President-Elect Obama is doing all he can with the current financial crisis. Please keep in mind he is not the President until January 20th.

    December 5, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  310. Pam

    We have a president right now and it isn't Obama. As much as Bush may want to pretend he's not responsible for anything anymore, he's the president until Jan. 20th and he needs to deal with these things.

    December 5, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  311. david

    YES. I think if we can try to look at some good in life we will ALL be
    fine.......I think he is very intelligent man and is building a great staff.....so
    come on AMERICA let's stand behind our leaders and show the rest
    of the world what we"re really made of !!!!!!!!!!!

    December 5, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  312. Canada

    If by assertive you mean take control...he can't do that because he isn't in control. Nor should he be. The real question is why isn't THE PRESIDENT being assertive? Has he finally admitted to himself that everything he touches is doomed anyways? I mean really Mr Bush...your country needs action yet you seem to be missing in action! Seems like both the US and Canada are on auto-pilot right now with no real government running the show. Ahhh for the good old days...like 2007!

    December 5, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  313. david

    the president-elect has no legal right to do anything but what he is doing. perhaps if he had not resigned his senate seat he might have been able to have a say in congress. but, the way things are all he can do is give the idiots in congress a nudge from the sidelines

    December 5, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  314. Tari Torch Sweeney

    Let's remind Barney Frank and the boys/girls that they have the lowest Congressional rating ever! Let Obama do it his way. So far, every time he was told he wasn't assertive enough (the past two years) he just kept moving forward – he won, didn't he? (his way, I might add!) Seems to me he's doing something right. On the other hand, as Jack says, these guys just keep on whining. God – what will make them stop?

    December 5, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  315. EW, Chicago

    President-elect Obama has no authority therefore being more assertive would be useless.

    I think we will hear a lot more whining and complaining from the Dems because they won't have anyone to blame but themselves after January.

    December 5, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  316. Drew in Atlanta

    The question is not whether the President-Elect is assertive enough, it is whether the current PRESIDENT is doing his job. Oh wait, I forgot.... he has no idea on what to do and has been instrumental in getting us in this mess in the first place!

    December 5, 2008 at 5:54 pm |
  317. Sue from Modesto

    I think he is acting in an appropriate manner. He can't actually do anything until he formally takes office. I think the whiners should just sit down and shut up!

    December 5, 2008 at 5:55 pm |
  318. grapesofmichigan

    I am not a bus driver but if I'm a passenger and the driver
    is blacked out (Bush), I'm going to grab the wheel to keep from
    careening off the cliff

    Obama is acting as though he votes "present" on major issues—avoiding taking a strong stance. Scary sign of things to come?

    December 5, 2008 at 5:57 pm |
  319. Joe in MN

    With no formalized authority, what can he do but simply influence through public appearance and meet with people? ...which he has done.

    Sheesh.

    December 5, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  320. Beverly

    Since everyone agrees we can only hav e one President of the United States at a time, why doesn't someone ask the current commander-in-chief to be agressive. This level of expectation for performance (from President-elect Barack Obama) on matters that are not his own until January 20 is unprecedented. And if it coming from within his own party one can only wonder what political motive are behind such comments. President-elect Obama said he wanted to help auto industry and Reid said the votes aren't there. I think agression is needed but not from the President-elect

    December 5, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  321. Matthew Demien

    Barack is right! There is only one president at a time and right now he isn't the president. I voted for him, but I still see Bush as our president until January 20th. Then congress can get on him, but they just need to sit down and be quiet till then.

    December 5, 2008 at 6:00 pm |
  322. Naeem T., Ontario

    It's useless for Obama to be any more useless. He has next to no influence on the situation right now, and would be better off fine-tuning his plan for the next 46 days until he can actually begin implementation. The people would rather have a hush-hush plan which works, rather than constant promises which will have no bearing for at least a few months.

    December 5, 2008 at 6:05 pm |