August 19, 2012
WHICH IS TO FLATTER OURSELVES:
Even After 4 Years, Obama Remains a Mystery (David Shribman, August 19, 2012, RCP)
George W. Bush was not an enigma. He had no hidden parts. His father was not mysterious. George H.W. Bush's life was dedicated to achievement and service. Even Bill Clinton wasn't unfathomable. Nothing in his presidency -- the brilliant highs, the shocking lows -- was a substantial, unpredictable departure from his past.Barack Obama, though, is the most enigmatic president since Jimmy Carter, the most mysterious since Lyndon Johnson, the most unfathomable since Franklin Roosevelt. Political professionals sometimes say of public figures that what you see is what you get, more or less. But with Mr. Obama, what you see is both more and less than what you get. [...]The gravest warning sign in Mr. Obama's background wasn't his spare record in the U.S. Senate (Johnson often ridiculed John F. Kennedy for having accomplished almost nothing in the Capitol), nor his limited experience in electoral office (Lincoln had but one term in the House). Instead, the most troubling aspect of Mr. Obama's past were the 129 abstentions in his Illinois Senate career. They suggested that Mr. Obama was more interested in getting elected than in doing the work he had been elected to perform.
Having elected such an empty suit, we have a great need to believe that there is more to him than we've gotten. But our need does not create substance. Mr. Obama is a classic social climber who believes in nothing but his own advancement.
Posted by Orrin Judd at August 19, 2012 9:40 AM