Gore Vidal on President Obama: “He’s Incompetent”

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Celebrated author and iconic intellectual, Gore Vidal, in a lengthy interview appearing Wednesday in The Independent, had much to say about President Obama.

Calling Mr. Obama “incompetent,” Vidal predicted he will lose his bid for reelection bid amid an election “madhouse” that has become characteristic of modern politics.

As for the president’s political opposition, Mr. Vidal said Republicans are no longer a party, having morphed into a “mindset,” full of hate “like Hitler youth.”

On the election of President Obama, Mr. Vidal said he was initially optimistic, but after witnessing the administration at work he’s relegated himself to despair.

“[Obama’s] incompetent. He will be defeated for re-election. It’s a pity because he’s the first intellectual president we’ve had in many years, but he can’t hack it. He’s not up to it. He’s overwhelmed.”

Mr. Vidal continued.

“[Obama] wants to be liked by everybody, and he thought all he had to do was talk reason. But remember the Republican Party is not a political party. It’s a mindset, like Hitler Youth. It’s full of hatred. You’re not going to get them aboard. Don’t even try. The only way to handle them is to terrify them. He’s too delicate for that.”

On a positive note, Gore Vidal further predicted that “Afghanistan will be terminal for the American empire.” Let’s hope he’s correct.

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13 Responses to Gore Vidal on President Obama: “He’s Incompetent”

  1. Mets Fan says:

    Gore Vidal is a wise man.

    He’s seen the ugly belly of politics first-hand and he knows what he’s talking about. I think his take is much like mine. At first, I thought Obama might equal, if not John F. Kennedy, at least Bill Clinton is scope of his agenda and accomplishments.

    But instead, he got a continuation of George W. Bush.

  2. Ben Hoffman says:

    Your title could have equally been “Gore Vidal on Republican Party: not a political party. It’s a mindset, like Hitler Youth.”

  3. Bungy says:

    On the whole, I think Vidal is pretty accurate. The sad thing is that no one has yet emerged that could offer a serious alternative. I don’t really see Hilary Clinton as much better, although she is likely the next up for the Dems. I don’t see anyone on the (viable) Left with the backbone to stand up to the increasing hysteria from the Right.

    I am hoping (against hope, really) for a transformation of Obama post a disastrous midterm election. Hey, it worked for Bill Clinton post 1994. But that is gonna have to be SOME transformation!

  4. Rachel says:

    Vidal nailed it. Obama is very needy and he must be liked by everyone. I’ve read a similar analysis on this blog. I think it originates in being half Black and being raised by a single mother. Society treated him poorly and the only validation Obama received was for his sharp intellect. Too bad he can’t let this go and toughen up now that he’s president.

  5. Estacada says:

    Obama’s biggest problem is his arrogance.

    His ego is as big as Mt. Kilimanjaro and he actually thinks he’s omnipotent. This psychological construct may be effective in corporate America but not when you’re trying to lead a nation of 310 million in decline.

  6. DMason says:

    2012 can’t get here soon enough for me. I was duped and I bought the “Change, You Can Believe In” crap and look where we are? DADT: Fail. DOMA: Fail. ENDA: Fail. Afghanistan: Alive and well. Jobs: Where?

  7. Randy Arroyo says:

    I always liked Gore Vidal. He’s a brilliant writer and a brutal wit.

  8. Shayne K. says:

    “[Obama’s] incompetent. He will be defeated for re-election. It’s a pity because he’s the first intellectual president we’ve had in many years, but he can’t hack it. He’s not up to it. He’s overwhelmed.”

    Ouch! I guess Gore won’t be invited to the White House Christmas party this year.🙂

  9. WorldOJeff says:

    He’s definately off the Christmas list. Maybe he can sneak in with Tareq and Michaele Salahi.

  10. Rem says:

    I agree with Vidal: Obama wants everyone to love him.

    Trying to get the Republicans to like him, he has sacrificed his progressive. Now both ends detest him.

    Since the DADT appeal, he is now President Douche-bag to me.

  11. Beverly Joyce Stephens Hubbell Mendoza says:

    Grateful for this man, Gore Vidal and his warning about the republican mindset. I hope that our country will not elect this party that continues to alienate the world.

  12. Oliver says:

    Gore Vidal: thankfully as wrong about Obama as he was about Timothy McVeigh!

    Too bad I don’t believe in Hell, because Vidal’s sheer hubris earns him a place there, where all manner of naughty things can be done to him by his best buddy Timmy.

  13. a567and8 says:

    Well, he was wrong wasn’t he! Obama was certainly smart enough to get a good supportive group around him that knew how to win an election! And he got the first step towards the kind of national healthcare that Roosevelt wanted to include in New Deal legislation. He has also kept us out of new wars, even as he retreats—yes, retreats—from the commitments to international violence of his predecessors. Incompetent! Yes, in a way. He’s not a died-in-the-wool politician crook! One thing we can be sure of in the so-called United States is this: When an American of noticeable African descent is promoted to the head of an enterprise it means the enterprise is on its last, wobbly legs, and is ready to go under. It means we are already living in a wilderness comparable to, say, Detroit, where the city has for all intents and purposes become a kind of wilderness where anything goes. The Hitler Youth Repubes have taken advantage of his election to complete their physical and intellectual destruction of republican democracy. That is the network beneath the trappings which have brought Obamas’ programs and appointments to a halt. Obama is their ticket to ride into the Apocalypse. I have always wished that Vidal had taken up the Southern influence on American life and the great harm it has done to the fabric of the country. BUT, as he himself said, “I’m a Southerner.” He’s not rabid though. He did try to help James Baldwin get “Go Tell It On The Mountain” published but the friend/publisher to whom he submitted it, rejected it with, “You know I am from the South.” This is a story Vidal told which I have no reason to doubt. I have never quite understood whey he doesn’t go into the destruction of Indigenous Peoples and the enslavement by the millions of Africans which forged the understructure of American society and is the foundation that underlies US’s imperial designs.

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