Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Trouble with Obama

He only seemed to be all things to all people.
by Noemie Emery

For a talented man who ran a textbook campaign and was declared a great president before he even took office, Barack Obama has been having a rather hard time. The Midas Touch of 2008 has seemed to desert him. The famed oratory has not made a difference. The uniting president has turned into the ultra-divider. The music has died.

It's less that McCain voters oppose his proposals than that his own voters are turning against him: His approval ratings, above 70 percent when he first took office, now are near or less than 50 percent as independents, who gave him his win last November, give him negative ratings, and are dropping away. Presidents tend to drift down to earth as good will is ground down in the process of governing, but Obama's decline has been sudden and swift. Democrats predictably blame this on race, as if the strain of feigning enlightenment had become too much all at once for millions of people, but this seems unlikely in the case of a figure who only a few months ago was so widely adored.

In fact, he may have been adored rather too widely, by too many people wanting incompatible things. As disillusion sets in, it becomes more and more clear that he and his country misread one another. People embraced him for opposite reasons, while he held mistaken ideas about them; lies were not told, but conclusions were drawn that were not wholly accurate. He is what he seemed, only not that completely. And here are just five of the ways. the rest


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