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Gore Vidal: Obama 'Dreadful' as President

5 years ago
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Gore Vidal, American literary giant and Democrat insider, is publicly declaring he made a mistake in switching his support during the 2008 Democratic presidential campaign from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama.

"I was hopeful," Vidal says of an Obama presidency. "He was the most intelligent person we've had in that position for a long time." Now, Vidal says in an interview published in the British paper, The Times, he was wrong and Obama is performing "dreadfully" as president.

Vidal says criticisms of Obama are mostly about his Afghanistan policies, which he says show the president is "inexperienced." He says Obama "has a total inability to understand military matters. He's acting as if Afghanistan is the magic talisman: solve that and you solve terrorism."

In his view, the United States should retreat from Afghanistan, and he believes Obama is getting bad military advice because "he believes the generals. Even Bush knew the way to win a general was to give him another star."


In contrast, he thinks Hillary Clinton would handle military matters better because she is a woman. "Hillary knows more about the world and what to do with the generals," Vidal
tells The Times. "History has proven when the girls get involved, they're good at it."

Vidal says terrorism is a government-created fraud.
The "war on terror" was "made up," he says. "The whole thing was PR, just like 'weapons of mass destruction.'"

Citing his father Gene Vidal, who founded TWA Airlines, he says of the war on terror: "It has wrecked the airline business, which my father founded in the 1930s. He'd be cutting his wrists. Now when you fly you're both scared to death and bored to death, a most disagreeable combination."

On health care reform, Vidal says that Obama mishandled the issue. "I don't know how, because the country wanted it. We'll never see it happen."

Vidal tells The Times he regrets moving back to Hollywood, after years of living in Italy. He says the United States has "no intellectual class" and is "rotting away at a funereal pace. We'll have a military dictatorship fairly soon, on the basis that nobody else can hold everything together."

In general, he thinks that the White House is failing because "Obama would have been better off focusing on educating the American people. His problem is being over-educated. He doesn't realize how dim-witted and ignorant his audience is.
"

He says that another of Obama's mistakes is that he "believes the Republican Party is a party when in fact it's a mindset, like Hitler Youth, based on hatred -- religious hatred, racial hatred. When you foreigners hear the word 'conservative,' you think of kindly old men hunting foxes. They're not -- they're fascists."

In giving advice to President Obama, Vidal cites President Lincoln, who "wrote to one of his generals in the South after the Civil War" 'I am President of the United States. I have full overall power and never forget it, because I will exercise it.' That's what Obama needs -- a bit of Lincoln's
chill."

At 83 and in a wheelchair, Vidal's bitterness seems to stem from his own unfulfilled political ambitions. "I would have liked to have been president, but I never had the money. I was a friend of the throne. The only time I envied Jack [Kennedy] was when Joe [Kennedy, his father] was buying him his Senate seat, then the presidency. He didn't know how lucky he was."

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Logan

Why would you try to smear this man by SPECULATING about your suspicion that he might be "bitter?" You obviously know absolutely nothing about the man. He has said many times that he felt he would be more effective as a writer, and that writers should tell the truth.(something you and your ilk don't know much about) He didn't want to be a career politician because of all the corruption, lies, and back room deals going on. He knows what he is talking about. He has spent time on the senate floor ever since he was a young boy.

He was in fact offered a comfortable Senate seat but turned it down. His poll numbers showed he would have won.

Vidal's cynicism comes from the fact that American media is nothing but a tool for corporate America. You have shirked your duty to bring the people the truth. Because of crappy, pointless articles like this one here, Americans are full of nothing but useless facts and corporate propaganda.

Although I voted for Obama, I admit that he is wrong on the issues discussed in this article. He was weak on healthcare, and totally caved to the Repubs on that. Went back on his word to pull out of Afghanistan.

Vidal is a great historian and one who tells the truth about this country. He not only knows our history, he lived through it and knows all the behind the scenes dealings that went on in our govt.

He deserves much more respect than to have some bimbo smear him by insinuating that he is "bitter."

He has spoken many times about JFK being bought the seat by his father. Momentary envy in the 60's does not translate to bitter in 2011. He has had a great life and career and can be proud of that. He knows 1000 times more about history than most anyone in today's American media. He doesn't need a little mosquito like you buzzing around him trying to grab some fame.

March 23 2011 at 2:43 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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