“He Could Be President Now If He Wanted To Be”

I am not a particular fan of Peggy Noonan, for a lot of reasons. But every now and then she makes a point in a way so simple and insightful that its truth is overpowering. That was the case in her Wall Street Journal column today, on Wisconsin and its aftermath. Much of what she said was true but familiar. But then we have this:

President Obama’s problem now isn’t what Wisconsin did, it’s how he looks each day—careening around, always in flight, a superfluous figure. No one even looks to him for leadership now. He doesn’t go to Wisconsin, where the fight is. He goes to Sarah Jessica Parker’s place, where the money is.

There is, now, a house-of-cards feel about this administration. …

Any president will, in a presidential election year, be political. But there is a startling sense with Mr. Obama that that’s all he is now, that he and his people are all politics, all the time, undeviatingly, on every issue. He isn’t even trying to lead, he’s just trying to win.

Most ominously, there are the national-security leaks that are becoming a national scandal—the “avalanche of leaks,” according to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, that are somehow and for some reason coming out of the administration. A terrorist “kill list,” reports of U.S. spies infiltrating Al Qaeda in Yemen, stories about Osama bin Laden’s DNA and how America got it, and U.S. involvement in the Stuxnet computer virus, used against Iranian nuclear facilities. These leaks, say the California Democrat, put “American lives in jeopardy,” put “our nation’s security in jeopardy.”

This isn’t the usual—this is something different. A special counsel may be appointed.

And where is the president in all this? On his way to Anna Wintour’s house. He’s busy. He’s running for president.

But why? He could be president now if he wanted to be.

Those last lines are brilliant. They pretty much say it all.

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