Friday, November 13, 2009

Has Obama "Peaked?"

Steven Stark says yes:

"To listen to some pundits, Barack Obama's public image began taking a serious beating when the off-year election returns came in a week ago. Or maybe it was the undeserved Nobel Prize, his approach to the war in Afghanistan, or when he revved up his pursuit of national health-care reform.

But the pundits, as usual, are wrong. In reality, Obama peaked the night he was elected.

"Obama still doesn't seem to grasp that the collective Election Night reverie is over, and that now we are waiting for him to lead us in real time. Sure, a little bit of hubris was probably inevitable, but it led Obama to conclude, despite what he said back then, that the historic election had been about him. When in the end, as always, it was about us."

"What Obama needs to do requires more of a psychological transformation than an intellectual one. The milestone-minded, transformative nature of his candidacy can never be replicated or matched - you can only be elected the first African-American once. He needs to come down from his mountaintop because, in this country, only the faithful appreciate a president who consistently makes us listen to him, rather than the other way around."

Left, right, center - everyone is now beginning to notice: Obama doesn't seem to know how to govern.  Those of us who had argued during the 2008 campaign that he had no executive experience - in fact very little experience of any kind except running for office - were on to something real and tangible. Experience really does matter.  Administrative and managerial on-the-job-training is too high a price for us to be paying when it comes to the US Presidency. Obama would be wise to call in a few trusted senior counselors from government, business, academia, etc. and lean on them for some top-notch, savvy, political and economic advice.  (A remedial course in Economics 101 wouldn't hurt either.)  And Obama must be willing to actually listen to their advice instead of relying upon his own presumed brilliance.

It's not yet too late to reverse this troubling aspect of Obama's Presidency.  But that hour soon approaches.

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