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Obama rises and falls on his oratory

Barack Obama rose to national prominence and to the White House on a reputation for oratory. Yet his administration has turned out to be one notable for empty words, misstatements, politically motivated misleading claims and the 2013 “lie of the year.”

The latest example of words coming back to haunt the president: In 2009 Obama told a veterans’ group, “We’re going to fund the best ideas and put them in action. All with a simple mission: cut those backlogs, slash those wait times, deliver your benefits soon.” Now ugly headlines tell not only of long waits for medical treatment at Veterans’ Administration medical centers but of bureaucrats maintaining secret lists to hide the delays. As many as 40 vets may have died while waiting for care.

During a 2014 Super Bowl interview with Fox News, Obama said the Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservatives was the result of “bone headed decisions out of a local office” in Cincinnati.

A newly revealed email, disclosed only because the watchdog group Judicial Watch sued, shows the handling of the tax exempt status of tea party and other conservative groups had to be done “in coordination” with the IRS Washington headquarters. No one has answered why the former IRS executive at the center of the scandal, Lois Lerner, had to take the Fifth Amendment if only “bone headed decisions” were in question.