August 24, 2010


The Cipher in Chief: Unlike prior presidents, Obama remains an enigma to the public. (Rich Lowry, 8/24/10, National Review)

Obama’s candidacy always had the sense about it of a supremely artful marketing campaign. His bio video during the Denver convention made him sound like a corn-fed product of the American heartland. There was barely a hint of the father from Kenya and the boyhood in Indonesia and Hawaii — in short, what made him so biographically alluring to worshipful journalists.

He was the blank canvas upon which people could paint their visions of grandeur. One moment Obama was the loyal parishioner of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who converted him to Christianity and was the fount of preacherly wisdom from whom Obama ripped off his most famous rhetorical riff, “the audacity of hope.” The next, he’d hardly heard of the good reverend.

An element of the Obama-is-a-Muslim opinion is perfervid critics wanting to believe the worst of him, but not all. According to Pew, the number of Americans who identify him as Christian has declined from 51 percent in October 2008 to just 34 percent. The more we see of him, the less we know of him. Only 46 percent of Democrats and 43 percent of blacks think Obama is a Christian. His faith simply hasn’t made an impression on the public.

Compared with his predecessors, Obama is as transparent as a billiard ball. You knew George W. Bush was an unapologetically pro-business, freedom-spreadin’ Texas evangelical. You knew Bill Clinton was a flawed but brilliant Southern operator, part of whose charm was the ability to lie with impressive fluidity. Who is Obama?

Forget all the gay Indonesian Muslim Socialist stuff; the most disturbing possibility is that Mr. Obama is exactly what he appears to be: a null set.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 24, 2010 6:18 AM
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