September 7, 2012

THE CLOTHES HAVE NO EMPEROR:

Obama fails in Charlotte, revealingly (Michael Gerson, September 7, 2012, Washington Post)

Obama made almost no mention of the continuing jobs crisis. He offered nothing new or creative on a fiscal and debt crisis that undermines economic confidence. Much of Obama's agenda -- lowering tuition costs, recruiting math and science teachers, "long-lasting batteries" -- sounded like a seventh-year State of the Union address, a collection of policy leavings and leftovers. One of Obama's more ardent defenders called this a "return to normalcy after a long period of emergency." And so Obama has gone in four years from being compared to Abraham Lincoln to carrying forward the legacy of Warren Harding.

The president's convention speech was defiantly complacent. He assumes that Americans already recognize and trust his good judgment -- why argue for the obvious? And aren't his opponents just unreasonable extremists anyway? All Americans need now is a little hope, a little faith. But hope and faith in what?

Perhaps the most revealing moment of Obama's speech came toward the end. "The times have changed, and so have I," he said. "I'm no longer just a candidate. I'm the president." His policies may be humble, but his ultimate appeal is not. Obamaism has never primarily been a plan; it is a man.

In 2012, however, the times have changed. The man has a record he must somehow explain.

Posted by at September 7, 2012 9:22 PM
  

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