THE BRITS TELL IT - AT 10:47 A.M. ET: We've said before that British journalists have written the most perceptive pieces on the Obama administration, much to the chagrin of the White House.
Today, The Times of London's Tim Reid dissects the Obama mess, and describes it for what it is:
There has been a growing narrative taking hold about Barack Obama’s presidency in recent weeks: that he is loved by many, but feared by none; that he is full of lofty vision, but is actually achieving nothing with his grandiloquence.
A number of Americas seem to be coming to that same conclusion.
Chicago’s dismal showing yesterday, after Mr Obama’s personal, impassioned last-minute pitch, is a stunning humiliation for this President. It cannot be emphasized enough how this will feed the perception that on the world stage he looks good — but carries no heft.
Compare please with one George W. Bush - not Mr. Popularity, but with plenty of heft, and, at least in his first term, feared in all the right places.
Mr Obama was greeted — as usual — like a rock star by the IOC delegates in Copenhagen — then humiliated by them. Perception is reality. A narrow defeat for Chicago would have been acceptable — but the sheer scale of the defeat was a bombshell, and is a major blow for Mr Obama at a time when questions are being asked about his style of governance.
A style more appropriate to a student government...at a small school.
Abroad, Mr Obama promised in his Inauguration address to engage America’s enemies, and he has done just that. He has very little to show for it.
And no one seems to take his "firm stands" seriously.
Meanwhile, America and its allies are being forced to witness a very public agonizing by Mr Obama and his advisers over his Afghan strategy — six months after he announced that strategy.
This has all added to the perception that Mr Obama’s soaring rhetoric — which captured the imagination during last year’s election — is simply not enough when it comes to confronting the myriad challenges of the presidency. His spectacular Olympic failure will only add to that.
COMMENT: Reid has Obama's number. The issue is whether this president, with his supreme ego, is capable of change we can believe in. If he isn't, we're in for some very tough, and dangerous times.
October 3, 2009