April 17, 2011

IT'S NOT THE VELOCITY HE HATES...:

Obama Seems Out of Sync with Events (David Shribman, 4/17/11, RCP)

The man who knew just when to say exactly the right thing -- to make the precisely correct gesture -- is repeatedly days, weeks, sometimes even months behind, so much so that it almost seems he is out of sync with the new rhythms of American politics.

Obama may hate the velocity of events -- a common complaint for older politicians, but not for people his age -- yet for all his powers as president he cannot slow them. Even Princeton basketball has abandoned the slowdown offense that Pete Carril pioneered and used to take the Tigers to the NCAA tournament 11 times and to upend UCLA in 1996. Today they play the same game everyone else does.

Moreover, the man who knew when to do the audacious thing has traded that in for a new trademark: caution. I know the perils of this sort of metric, but the words "cautious" and "Obama" appear together more than 13 million times on the Internet. That's more than five times as often as the pairing "audacious" and "Obama."

There is great virtue in caution and in its first cousin, prudence, a favorite word of former President George H.W. Bush. Presidents should be cautious when sending Americans into danger or tinkering with the economy.

Yet there are increasing signs that the president is paralyzed by caution.


...it's the fact that there are events. He's just not equipped to deal with them, entirely typical of someone who was a legislator rather than an executive.


Posted by at April 17, 2011 10:31 AM
  

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