Excellent analysis of the problem that is Obama from Maureen Dowd

Sometimes she’s catty, and sometimes her cattiness gets in the way of an important message. This time, the NYT’s Maureen Dowd hit a home run.

So while the country has grown ever more scared, miserable, broke and broken, the president has too often been absent, quiet, ambivalent, impenetrable and inscrutable.

The master of his own narrative in print let the Republicans define the narrative in politics. And Obama likes to come in late, after the other players have staked out positions. It’s a strangely risk-averse tact, given the fact that he took two of the boldest risks in history — jumping into the presidential race in the first place and giving the kill order on Bin Laden on sketchy intelligence.

He always must be chided and cajoled before he gets re-engaged. Among other times, it happened during his campaign, when key donors went public with their displeasure at his laconic attitude.

When the president stays insulated with his little circle that doesn’t know how to push his messages, and he lets the nihilist Republicans go unchallenged in their crazy claims to be saving the country they’re hurting, he sets the stage for Rick Perry.

It’s still impossible to sum up what Obama’s presidency is about right now, except saving his own job.

I especially appreciate her mentioning, and am impressed that she remembered, the fact that the President’s risk-averse approach was becoming a rather large liability during the campaign (especially around August of 2008). For all the talk from Team Obama about how we shouldn’t second guess them now because they did so well all on their own on the campaign trail, in fact it was our second-guessing that helped shake risk-averse Obama out of his doldrums during the campaign.

This piece is an excellent distillation of the critique that many of us – left, right and middle – have of the President.  It’s also, I think, the reason he may lose the election next year unless he has a serious personal epiphany some time soon.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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