January 27, 2010

A PRESIDENT CAN AFFORD TO HAVE PEOPLE HATE HIM...:

Hope, Change and Regret in Omaha: Obama Peeled Away a Red-State Electoral Vote by Winning Here in 2008, but Some Locals Say Their Enthusiasm Is Waning (DOUGLAS BELKIN, 1/27/10, WSJ)


A few hours before President Barack Obama was set to deliver his first State of the Union address, Chris Pflaum, a 31-year-old liquor salesman here, sheepishly said he voted for Mr. Obama in 2008 "because I got caught up in all that change business."

Looking back, he said, "It was a lot of hype. He's not what I thought he would be."

Mr. Pflaum is among many voters here who spoke of a creeping unease with Mr. Obama that has supplanted the enthusiasm they once felt.


...Nixon, Reagan, Clinton and Bush were all well hated. But a president can't afford to give people the creeps. That sense that he's unknown and unknowable can cross party lines.

The specific problem for Mr. Obama is that he isn't anyone. Where the genius of the campaign was that he could be all things to all people because of that lack of a core persona, it now means that any attempt to define a self will be at odds with the imaginary Obama that each voter was allowed to construct in his/her imagination.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 27, 2010 9:02 PM
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