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September 29, 2009

Liberals Are Starting To Notice That Obama Isn't All That

It's becoming clear to some liberals that President Obama isn't quite as dreamy as candidate (or President Elect) Obama was.

First Richard Cohen in today's Washington Post.

Sooner or later it is going to occur to Barack Obama that he is the president of the United States. As of yet, though, he does not act that way, appearing promiscuously on television and granting interviews like the presidential candidate he no longer is. The election has been held, but the campaign goes on and on. The candidate has yet to become commander in chief.

The trouble with Obama is that he gets into the moment and means what he says for that moment only. He meant what he said when he called Afghanistan a "war of necessity" -- and now is not necessarily so sure. He meant what he said about the public option in his health-care plan -- and then again maybe not. He would not prosecute CIA agents for getting rough with detainees -- and then again maybe he would.

Most tellingly, he gave Congress an August deadline for passage of health-care legislation -- "Now, if there are no deadlines, nothing gets done in this town . . . " -- and then let it pass. It seemed not to occur to Obama that a deadline comes with a consequence -- meet it or else.

Obama lost credibility with his deadline-that-never-was, and now he threatens to lose some more with his posturing toward Iran.

Second, Howard Fineman in Newsweek and frequent yes man on Keith Olbermann's show.

The president's problem isn't that he is too visible; it's the lack of content in what he says when he keeps showing up on the tube. Obama can seem a mite too impressed with his own aura, as if his presence on the stage is the Answer. There is, at times, a self-referential (even self-reverential) tone in his big speeches. They are heavily salted with the words "I" and "my." (He used the former 11 times in the first few paragraphs of his address to the U.N. last week.) Obama is a historic figure, but that is the beginning, not the end, of the story.

There is only so much political mileage that can still be had by his reminding the world that he is not George W. Bush. It was the winning theme of the 2008 campaign, but that race ended nearly a year ago. The ex-president is now more ex than ever, yet the current president, who vowed to look forward, is still reaching back to Bush as bogeyman.

He did it again in that U.N. speech. The delegates wanted to know what the president was going to do about Israel and the Palestinian territories. He answered by telling them what his predecessor had failed to do. This was effective for his first month or two. Now it is starting to sound more like an excuse than an explanation.


To be sure this is just two data points but there are more out there. Watch Olbermann or Madow, if you dare. Even they are getting impatient with Obama, especially over his refusal to propose a single payer health care system and they are livid over his willingness to forgo even a robust Government Option.

I love that this is coming from the same types of folks who defended Obama's lack of executive experience by saying he ran a successful campaign. That retort sort of proved the point...running a good campaign means, you are good at running a campaign. It's not 'experience' that is transferable to being a competent chief executive.

Being President is hard and you don't get to vote Present.

One of the annoying things about the media from a conservative perspective is the herd mentality of Big Media. This is one case where it might help us. If it starts to become okay or even the Conventional Wisdom that Obama is damaged goods, then it will spread and be hard to stop.

Is the media ever going to after Obama the way they go after Sarah Palin? Of course not. They will still do their best drag his sorry ass along for a few years but once it becomes clear that he is hurting more than helping their cause (liberalism) they will cut him loose and pretend to never have heard of the guy. The fact that it's starting 8 months into his term is not good news for Obama.

Rara avis ain't what it used to be. On the upside, his pants are still perfectly creased so all hope isn't lost quite yet.


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posted by DrewM. at 10:44 AM

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