Skip to main content

Newsweek Uses Same Excuse for Obama as Carter: Presidency Too Big for One Man

Kyle Drennen's picture

In the November 22 issue of Newsweek magazine, Daniel Stone defended the Obama administration by blaming the institution of the presidency for failures rather than the chief executive himself: "The issue is not Obama, it’s the office....Can any single person fully meet the demands of the 21st-century presidency?" The same argument was used to excuse an overwhelmed Jimmy Carter 30 years earlier.

The sub-headline for the piece read: "The presidency has grown, and grown and grown, into the most powerful, most impossible job in the world." At one point, Stone explained: "Among a handful of presidential historians Newsweek contacted for this story, there was a general consensus that the modern presidency may have become too bloated." A January 13, 1980 Washington Post article made a similar conclusion about the beleaguered Carter administration: "Voters have lowered their expectations of what any president can accomplish; they have accepted the notion that this country may never again have heroic, larger-than-life leadership in the White House."

Post writer Walter Shapiro went on to describe how, "Some voters have entirely discarded textbook notions about presidential greatness and believe that Carter is doing as good a job as anyone could in facing new and difficult problems and in coping with an independent and restive Congress." He actually lamented the fact that "a sizable segment of the electorate...still applies traditional standards in assessing Carter's performance in office."

Later that same year, in a Christian Science Monitor story entitled "Carter and the Eroding Presidency," writer Richard J. Cattani cited Stephen Wayne of George Washington University, who claimed: "There's something institutional about the decline." Cattani noted how "Wayne and others...see a weakening of the presidency since Vietnam and Watergate that makes it difficult for officeholders to fulfill expectations."

In a July 7, 1986 cover story for Time magazine, Hugh Sidey largely dismissed the notion of the unwieldy presidency as he assessed the success of the Reagan administration: "Reagan has reasserted the force of individual leadership. Americans heard for years that the presidency had grown too complex for one person to manage, that the office had been crippled. Reagan seems to slide through a presidential day with ease....It may be that his principal accomplishment has been to restore the prestige and plausibility of his office."

In 2010, Newsweek argues that the White House bureaucracy has grown far beyond the ability of one executive to manage it all. Stone cites the post-9/11 era under George W. Bush as "the most striking expansion of the office in recent years" and notes that despite President Obama's campaign rhetoric of making government more efficient, various new departments have been added or proposed. However, the piece never goes so far as to embrace conservative calls for limited government as a solution to the supposedly "most impossible job in the world."


#1 Newsweek's "loser" anthem...

When the Dems/libs find themselves with a completely incompetent, clueless fool in the WH, they pull out the "Well, the office is just too big for one man" crap...What these yutzes don't seem to either know or want to face is that the problem is not the office...The problem is the current occupant of the office. Obama is such a failure, that the brainiacs at Newsweek just can't bring themselves to face it...So, they drag out the same old tired bs that they used to try to explain away the disaster that was Carter and his presidency...Nice try Newsweek, but we ain't buyin it...It isn't the presidency...It's Obama, so deal with it.

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction...It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them (our children) to do the same." ~President Ronald Reagan 

#2 Would you say that because W

Would you say that because W handled the office in the most trying of times with relative public ease that they are calling O a poorer president the W? 

#3 "O" would be a poorer president than...

Mickey Mouse...Obama would be a worse president when compared with just about any of our previous presidents, including Carter, which is truly saying something. The fact is that Obama is the least prepared, least equipped person to ever be president of this country. This is not about the office of the president being too big for the man...This is about this man being too small for the office. 

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction...It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them (our children) to do the same." ~President Ronald Reagan 

#4 Tee time

The Presidency is so big it's affecting Obama's tee time.

#5 What?!?!

Being a "Community Organizer" didn't properly prepare him for his well deserved promotion to POTUS?!?!

Stunned Am I...

#6 I would argue one man/child

I would argue one man/child in Obama's case. A juvenile delinquent grifter was Bill Clinton's claim to shame. Jimmy Carter always was, and still is to this day a whiny, sniveling, midget of a man. Then there is Jack Kennedy, the pill popping ( bad back ), mafia connected, whore of a man.

Compare these stains on the American Presidency to the Republicans G.W. Bush, G.H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and  Richard Nixon and there isn't a democrat in the pack that even comes close.

Kennedy and Clinton hold a special place in the hearts of the degenerate progressives of today simply because they were cool enough ( in some sick bastards mind ) to sexually abuse young girls ( just because they could ) while each was the sitting president of the United States of America.

Dems sure are a peculiar bunch if you ask me.........truth be told...even if you don't, they are.


#7 Its a pretty simple job if

Its a pretty simple job if you remember one thing, and that is that your primary job is to work for the people of the USA and to make sure America is the best Damn country in the world.  After that most of it just falls in place.  Make no mistake it is the worst/best job in the world and you will most likely work like a mule 24/7; but you also wanted the job so act like it.

Nuke em til they glow; then shoot em in the dark

#8 Of course the job's too big for Obama

He's got more important things to focus on.

"But my advice to you can be summed up in two words: Thicker skin." - Jer

#9 I wasn't aware that Obama was

I wasn't aware that Obama was "going it alone".  Doesn't he have a Cabinet, an AG, Secretary of State, etc? 

On another note, are they now admitting he's not God?  Because plenty of us could have given them that news before the election in 2008.

Proud member of the 53%!

#10 Too Big for That Man

The Presidency is not to big for one man, it is just too big for That Man (BHO).

#11 Spot on!

The job isn't too big for A MAN (or woman), but it is way too big for this lousy excuse for a man.

Obama couldn't mow my lawn!  Rat bastard Fascist SOB!

Comrade Bubba

#12 Does your yard have those

Does your yard have those pink flamingos, or maybe a 'negro' lantern know the ones we used to see  - back in the day?? Can you imagine how Boy Blunder would react to seeing one of those???

I heard a story of when he was playing basket ball at MY alma mater - Punahou School in Honolulu. He was on the team, but NOT any kind of starter. I guess the coach put him in , with some specific instructions, and when he didn't follow the coaches orders, the coach yanked him. Boy Barry evidently called the coach out on 'racial reasons'............but the coach told him that he was outta there because he wasn't doing the job right!!!!

Kinda like now?????? Oh..............and he STILL doesn't get it!!!!!

#13 Prsidency too big for one man

BHO knows this.  That's why we pay 30-some Czars and thier staffs.  Also, why wasn't it it too big for Nixon, Regan and the Bushes?

#14 Z


Facts are like kryptonite to the liberal.

#15 If Zippy ain't man enough for

If Zippy ain't man enough for the job of POTUS, which we all know he isn't, he can always quit and go play golf.


Facts are like kryptonite to the liberal.

#16 This office isn't too big,

This office isn't too big, it's just that the man is too small to occupy it. This is what happens when a "community organizer" is carried into office by a press too busy adoring him than to vet him fairly and honestly. There's that tangible negative consequence of media bias again...

Let's make the 2012 campaign: "The War on Error"

#17 The vain Husseins' head is way to big for the job

He wants to be the leader of the world...America is just good enough to drop by for a change of underwear... change I can believe in.

#18 Perhaps they're right!

They could be right about this, the office is too big for just one Democrat, they can't handle it.  Perhaps we should force the Democrats to run with a Republican co-president, one who actually makes the decisions and policies.  IF the Democrat wins, they can keep his name on the top of the ticket, he can do the news conferences, etc.  but just can't make the decisions, sort of like what's going on now with Obama and David Axelrod. 

Vote Republican - Then you'll only be called a racist one more time.


The office isn't to big.  The problem is that the man is to small.

#20 You beat me too it.

I was thinking it was too big a job for a small man.


"You lie!"  Rep. Joe Wilson R-(SC)

#21 You all have it backwards

Running/defending a free country requires delegation.  LOTS of delegation.  It's not the presidency that's too big for one man, it's being King(more accurately Dictator) of this country that's too big for one man and that's how he's been trying to play it.  Rad hit the nail on the head about the cabinet and etc in the post above this one.

How many times have some liberal media pundits called for him to bypass the usual methods of getting things done and just issue executive orders(or in their minds "decrees" or "deems")?  They keep wanting him to act like some King/Ruler/Tin-Plated Dictator.  Look at the calls by Joe and Contessa and so on wanting more gov't intervention and other stupid things.

You idiot liberals pull your heads out!  Being president of the US is NOT about one person.  Never has been, never will be.


#22 Maybe they should put some phone books in Obama's chair

Just sayin.'



Vote for the American in November

#23 Typical excuse for being

Typical excuse for being incompetent...

#24 What does that say?

About the other 40 something men who were able to do the job better? They were even able to do it during war times.

But then they also did not spend all their time on vacation or playing golf.


'How are we able to secure the borders in Iraq and Afghanistan, and not secure our own as a government?'


#25 The excuse is valid

"Newsweek Uses Same Excuse for Obama as Carter: Presidency Too Big for One Man."

The excuse is valid in the case of Carter and Obama.

"The presidency has grown, and grown and grown, into the most powerful, most impossible job in the world."

Gosh, is Newsweek able to admit that Obama just might have something to do with presidential elephantiasis?  Obama's influence on the national debt and deficit is a cautionary tale for oh so much.


- Looking forward to the self-annihilation of the Manipulated Stories Machine.

#26 I have been saying this since

I have been saying this since Obamalamadingdong got elected.  The presidency is too big for that man.  He doesn't have the chops, never did, never will.  Neither did Carter. 

“To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical.” - Thomas Jefferson

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.