The Corner

Re: Leadership

Yuval: Even the mainstream media is starting to notice. The White House surely has to be wincing at Ruth Marcus’s Washington Post column headline today: “Obama’s ‘Where’s Waldo’ Presidency.” It would be nice if someone asked Carney at today’s press gaggle about passages like this:

For a man who won office talking about change we can believe in, Barack Obama can be a strangely passive president. There are a startling number of occasions in which the president has been missing in action – unwilling, reluctant or late to weigh in on the issue of the moment. He is, too often, more reactive than inspirational, more cautious than forceful.

Instapundit Glenn Reynolds has been writing since early in Obama’s tenure that a repeat of Jimmy Carter may turn out to be the best-case scenario. I do have the feeling that Obama may be building up to a Carter-like blowout moment like the one that preceded the infamous “malaise” speech in 1979, when Carter essentially went into the fetal position for about ten days. It was the moment that caused The New Republic to give up on Carter completely, with Ken Bode writing in August 1979:

The past two weeks will be remembered as the period when President Carter packed it in, put the finishing touches on a failed presidency. . . It’s over for Jimmy Carter. He needed a new image, so he took the advice of his pollster, his ad man, and his wife and wound up immobilizing his own government, imperiling the American dollar on the international market, and looking more than ever like a crude, erratic, unstable amateur. . . The Carter administration has simply imploded, collapsed inwardly under the weight of its own incompetence.

I’m open to nominations for what will prove to be Obama’s tipping point.

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