"If you go back and you read speeches I made when I was running for the US Senate in 2003, or if you go back further and you look at statements I made when I was on the Harvard Law Review, my worldview is pretty consistent.”
In essence, there's simply not a lesson learned or different view over eight years. In fact, there's no real lessons learned or different views in life since he was in his mid-twenties.
What's this say?
If I started counting lessons learned, common sense developed, and how I'd changed.....since the summer of 1977 when I left for the "big world"....it'd consist of a book of about 2,500 pages. I admit that 500 pages would be dealing with finance, law, legal responsibilities, taxes, and business dealings.
At least 100 pages would involve how to deal with drunks, stupid people, doped up characters and nutcases.
Around 500 pages would involve international situations, politics, customs in foreign countries, and things that could get you into trouble if you said the wrong thing to the wrong guy.
Around 6 pages would offer wisdom and advice on the purchase of used cars.
Around 3 pages would deal with the choice of wine, beer or cocktails at ceremonies, fests, parties, or bar-b-q's.
Around 100 pages would involve advice on women. If you were single, this advice might be helpful. But on the other hand, it might cause to second-guess relationships and swear off all possible marriage ideas.
Around 2 pages would involve advice on both the Atlanta and Nashville airports. There's probably some critical comments and harsh criticism on those two pages.
Around 40 pages would offer advice and wisdom over living in the shadow of Washington D.C. and how to avoid getting mugged on Metro, assaulted by thugs on the 'Green Line", and recommendations for the better greasy breakfast options in Arlington.
When I look at this comment that the President made, I just sit and shake my head. He's basically saying that he was mostly an empty-suit when he started on the job of President, and will end as a empty-suit. I hate to suggest this, but he leaves you very few options.
You get the impression that he often felt of himself as always being the smartest guy in the room, and he'd suggest something which the "yes-people" would immediately let him know that was brilliant and they'd jump all over that idea. It's a sad display of executive skills but then.....we didn't really care if he had such skills to start with.
Just about every single job or action I ever took in life....always led onto lessons learned. In the Air Force, I learned how to deal with stupid people who beg for a chance to repeat past mistakes and never go through a lessons learned moment. As a manager, you realize after a while that such people need constant supervision and plans laid out to the ninth-degree....which force the stupid idiots to only do what was in the plan.
The curious thing about the President's admission is that after eight years....he says this without any hesitation. Normally, it'd be something that you might not want to share. But obviously in his case....he wanted to share this. The Republicans sitting there in 2009 and grasping how things weren't arranged in such a way that a two-way discussion were possible....would say today that he never realized the impact of his narrow executive skills. Without any lessons learned.....nothing ever got better...it just stayed the same.
In essence, this is a guy who is attached to a 50,000 pound lead weight. He can't move forward. He can't move backward. He's stuck to the point where he is. Historians will debate for the next forty years what exactly happen over this eight-year period, and probably leave the public with a marginal list of accomplishments. It is what it is.....we asked for it and got it.