I’m starting to wonder if Obama is any good at politics at all. Not campaigning; we know he can do that—at least so long as he’s got a teleprompter in tow. But today’s press conference may well be the worst since Nixon’s “I am not a crook” and “let others wallow in Watergate” press debacles 40 years ago. His petulant parting shot at the media today— “The things that go right, you guys aren’t going to write about”—could stand with “You won’t have Dick Nixon to kick around any more.”
Jonah Goldberg was all over this problem two years ago:
Where’s the proof that Obama is a master of public policy? To be sure there’s ample proof that he’s a master at talking about public policy, describing the problems, summarizing the current thinking, regurgitating all of the reigning clichés and platitudes. But where’s the evidence that he’s actually good at public policy?
I think the proof is in, and the answer is that he stinks at it.
In other Great Minds Dept., Noemie Emery filed a similar story the day after Jonah:
Did the prince (assuming he was one) turn into a frog? Did he use all his luck up in winning his office? Did he, once in power, see his governing skills fade away? The answers to these things are no, yes, and no. The record suggests that he was never a prince (merely a fantasy); that his luck went away once his free ride had ended; and that he had few political, that is, governing, skills to begin with, a fact that is now more than clear. . .
Good politicians are in sync with their times, understand them, and deal with their challenges. But Obama is at odds, and often at war, with his own.
I’m still expecting a “Malaise” speech any day now.