Cohen Gives Up on Obama

We’ve noted many times before that the liberal Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen has frequently departed from the liberal reservation, and has often expressed a skeptical view of Obama, but nothing quite so bracing as the last sentence of his first paragraph about Obama today:

The presidency has changed Barack Obama. His hair has gone gray, which is to be expected, and he looks older, which is also to be expected, but his eloquence has been replaced by petulance and he has lost the power to persuade, which is something of a surprise. You can speculate that if the Obama of today and not Winston Churchill had led Britain in World War II, the Old Vic Theatre Company would now be doing “Hamlet” in German. (Emphasis added.)

It’s not that Obama has lost his gift of eloquence. His problem is he often has nothing to say. . . Obama’s self-inflicted predicament was apparent in the statement he issued following the Paris terrorist attacks. He spoke coldly, by rote — saying all the right things in the manner of a minister presiding at the funeral of a perfect stranger.

He is out of words because he is out of ideas. Consequently, he ought to listen to others. They’re not the ones who are popping off. He is.