President of the United States Barack Obama

Is Barack Obama already wimping out in his second term?

The news yesterday that Susan Rice was withdrawing her name for consideration as Secretary of State and the apparently inspired leak that former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel will be Secretary of Defence indicates so.

Whatever else Democrats have come to know, it is certain that Barack Obama is not someone you want to be in a foxhole with.

By turning his back on Susan Rice, an African American woman, and refusing to fight for her, he has sent a signal of clear weakness despite his handsome election victory.

By apparently anointing Chuck Hagel, who voted 78 per cent with his party as Secretary of Defense, Obama is playing roll over and having his tummy tickled by the good ol’ boys of the GOP.

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Republicans will be laughing all the way to the bank with this one. Their nightmare scenario was opposing a black woman so soon after losing the black and minority vote by record levels in the election.

Not only will they not face that but they will also have one of their own ensconced in the key Department of Defense.

They will even have the milk and water,hopelessly defeated, presidential candidate John Kerry to kick around in the State Department. Joe Lieberman Mark Two anyone?

When it comes to fighting for his friends and those who delivered the White House to him, Barack Obama is already missing in action.

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Hagel voted 78 per cent with the Republican Party, that is hardly the voting record of a moderate GOP member who could make a difference to this administration.

Obama has just once again reached out to calm the right wing opposition to him and ignored his own base who got him elected.

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He is in deep danger of going down in history as Jimmy Carter-like in how wimpish he has become in office.

Instead of confronting his foes he wants to embrace them. They are far too clever for that, but  they are perfectly willing to wait him out knowing that sooner or later he will capitulate as he did with Susan Rice.

This is not a promising start for this administration.