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The Unknown President

My often favorite liberal columnist, the WaPost's Richard Cohen, neatly knocks down the Obama-Reagan parallels popular on the left (and keep in mind that Cohen hated Reagan back in the day).  This is worth an extended sample:

The comparison to Reagan may give Obama cheer, but it is not really apt. For even in Reagan's darkest days when, according to Gallup, six out of 10 Americans reported that they did not like the job he was doing, an astounding six in 10 nevertheless said they liked the man himself. He was, of course, phenomenally charming, authentic and schooled at countless soundstages in appearing that way. Just as important, the public had faith in the consistency of his principles, agree or not. This was the Reagan Paradox and it helped lift his presidency.

 No one is accusing Obama of being likable. He is not unlikable, but he lacks Reagan's (or Bill Clinton's) warmth. What's more, his career has been brief. He led no movement, was spokesman for no ideology and campaigned like a Nike sneaker -- change instead of swoosh. He seems distant. No Irish jokes from him. For the average voter, he casts no shadow.

Reagan, by contrast, had been around forever. He was not defined solely by gauzy campaign ads but by countless speeches, two contentious and highly controversial terms as California governor, and a previous race for the presidency. There was never a question about who Reagan was and what he stood for. Not so Obama. About all he shares with Reagan at this point are low ratings.

What has come to be called the Obama Paradox is not a paradox at all. Voters lack faith in him making the right economic decisions because, as far as they're concerned, he hasn't. He went for health-care reform, not jobs. He supported the public option, then he didn't. He's been cold to Israel's Binyamin Netanyahu and then all over him like a cheap suit. Americans know Obama is smart. But we still don't know him. Before Americans can give him credit for what he's done, they have to know who he is. We're waiting.

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Discussions - 6 Comments

I had this figured out long before the 2008 election so this is nothing new to me. There are two people in the United States sitting in their rocking chairs laughing their heads off. George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter.

Obama Worst President. Ever.

Jimmy Carter isn't laughing. He's incapable of humor.

Although judging Obama at this point in his term is sort of like predicting the outcome of a baseball game after 4 and a half innings, I can see some trends emerging:

Trend Up: Experience
Trend Down: Visionaries

Up: History of Results
Down: Platitudes like 'Hope', 'Change'

Up: State Governors
Down: US Senators

Up: Christie, Brewer, Perry, Daniels, Jindal
Down: Most anybody who ran for President in 2008

I'm sick of these "independent" voter, the down-the-middle folks who keep doing this to us. Who is their right mind believed "hope and change" for a nano-second?

Our elections are being determined by dumb-asses. I'm sorry, but it's the truth. If these people haven't learned that the Left can't be trusted after all these years, well, what can be said about them? When's the last time any intelligent person was enlightened by either a political campaign or a Presidential debate in this country? Talk about lowest-common-denominator rhetoric!

The state of politics in this country is woeful.

P.S. Forgive me, I haven't had enough coffee yet this morning.

This is about the 10th article on how we don't know Obama yet and the real Obama remains a mystery and Obama's beliefs remain ambiguous, etc, etc. He's a boring, empty suit with no experience outside the world of the cultural elites in academia and leftist activism. (BTW, as a community organizer, how many Habitat for Humanity projects did he take part in or how many mission trips to third world countries or impoverished areas of America did he go on?)

He's a boring academic who won't speak his mind in public because he knows the hoi palloi don't agree with his vision of how things should be.

Agreed, the man is an empty suit. He does have views, but they are simply derivative of his communist parents and the Che-loving pseudo-intellectuals he used to pal around with. He's not afraid of what the "hoi palloi" would say, but about what the American people would say. I think he understands that he is several standard deviations to the Left of the American people. He's about smoke and mirrors.

Can't you just smell that frog boiling??

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