I feel bad for President Barack Obama. Here is a decent, intelligent, articulate man who had all the qualities to be a brilliant candidate but somehow ended up in the wrong job. As I see him running out the clock on his second term, gamely trying to appear in control but clearly in over his head, I think back to the days when my then-8-year-old daughter fell in love with Candidate Obama.
It was my daughter’s fascination with Obama that fed my own. We would sit together at night and watch his speeches, moved by his ability to inspire us.
Because his delivery and persona were so mesmerizing, we couldn’t help but absorb his message. And what a grand message it was: Unity. Opportunity. Hope. Renewal. Optimism. A more perfect union. A more perfect world.
At a time when America was feeling down on itself, Obama came along to boost our morale, to remind us that there’s nothing we can’t do — a message he himself embodied through his remarkable rise.
But while fate dealt Obama a perfect storm of circumstances to help him shoot to the top, it also dealt him a perfect mess of crises that greeted him as soon as he walked into the Oval Office.
The magnificent candidate inherited a trifecta of disasters: Two of the dumbest wars in U.S. history in Iraq and Afghanistan (my definition of a stupid war: squandering trillions of dollars and thousands of lives on a country that doesn’t say thank you), combined with an economic and fiscal crisis the likes of which we hadn’t seen in decades.
On top of those disasters came a problem of his own making: He made us expect too much. This is the side effect of being a transcendent candidate. You make people dream. You get carried away with your promises. You don’t manage expectations.
Eventually, crummy hand or not, Obama had to own up to his record. For a while, his eloquence and self-confidence made many of us overlook his failings. But as the problems and scandals piled up, as the “jobless recovery” became the new normal and as the Obamacare launch turned into an infamous mess, the Obama magic waned.
His words were still strong and upbeat, but they could no longer cover up the failures...That people like this writer invested so much into a man with such a thin resumé says a lot more about them--their hopes, and, I'm sorry to say, their delusions--than it does about a man who, realistically speaking, could never deliver on his "grand" (and grandiose) message.
Update: What could "a better job" possibly be? I know--he could become the Secretary General of the United Nations and, at the time of Putin on the move, Iran on the cusp of nuclear capability and an ongoing bloodbath in Syria, waggle his forefinger at us re our failure to lick global warming.
That sounds like a fun (and easy peasy) job, doesn't it?
Update: Now that Dave's retiring, how about Late Night With Barack Obama (instead of, not in addition to, being POTUS)?