President Obama — The MisOVERestimated President

David Paul Kuhn has a perceptive column up today at Real Clear Politics.  Kuhn starts with the preconceptions regarding President Obama that were formed in the heady days of the 2008 campaign, when reporters and opinionists were falling over themselves to gush about candidate Obama.  He then examines the evidence and concludes that Obama is not all that he was cracked up to be:

It’s not that Obama is bad at the trade. He simply falls far short of the hype. This is not a man “misunderestimated,” to use his predecessor’s term. And that is partly Obama’s own fault.

This is the same man who, on the cusp of his national address at the 2004 Democratic convention, told a reporter “I’m LeBron, baby.” This is the president who reportedly told Democratic lawmakers “the big difference here and in ’94, was you’ve got me.”

“I’m pretty good at politicking,” Obama recently said at a fundraiser.

To borrow from Golda Meir, there’s no need to be so humble.

I actually think Obama is pretty bad at the trade of politics. 

Obama has only been in one real contested election.  It just happened to be for President.  And to his credit, Obama ran a pretty good campaign.   But even in a really bad year to run for President as a Republican, even with the press covering his back and practically campaigning for him, and even with a fairly flawed opponent in John McCain, who could only rally lukewarm Republican support, it wasn’t exactly a blow-out.

Since then, Obama has never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. 

He has pursued bad policies badly, such as the wasteful, poorly targeted, and mismanaged stimulus spending, and the monstrous health care takeover almost no one wanted. 

He has made serial unforced errors, such as the apology tours and speeches, bowing to foreign leaders, and now his incomprehensible position(s) regarding Ground Zero Mosque. 

He has been ungracious and unpresidential, such as any time he mentions his predecessor, Republicans, or those who “bitterly cling” to guns and religion.

He has been condescending, such as by trying to turn his own leap to uninformed judgment into a teachable moment for the rest of us during the “beer summit” fiasco, or trying to settle the Rev. Wright controversy by giving a speech about respectful race relations to the millions who have never spent an afternoon with such a racial bombthrower, much less twenty years listening to one sermonize.

He has been indecisive, such as by spending months to develop a “new” Afghanistan policy that looks a lot like Bush’s Iraq policy, and waffling on whether to try terrorists, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, in New York.

He has made rash and stupid decisions, such as announcing the closure of the Guantanamo Detention Center without a plan for what to do with the terrorists imprisoned there.

And he has been decidedly un-serious during difficult times that call for the utmost seriousness, such as by spending more time at celebrity parties, White House fantasy basketball camps, golf outings, vacations, and nights on the town with the First Lady than is seemly when unemployment persists at well above 9% and the DJIA hovers at just above 10,000.

President Obama is a man who most reporters, pundits, and politicians, along with a majority of voters, misOVERestimated.  Even worse, however, is the fact that Obama continually misoverestimates himself.

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Published in: on August 23, 2010 at 12:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

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