The Corner

Obama to Get This Presidency Thing Right Eventually

POTUS on Today:

During an interview that aired Monday on NBC’s “Today” show, President Obama said that he gets “better as time goes on” at his job and that he believes the grassroots movement that propelled him to victory in 2008 will help him win a second term.

“What’s frustrated people is that I’ve not been able to implement every aspect of what I said in 2008. Well, it turns out our Founders designed a system that makes it more difficult to bring about change than I would like sometimes. But what we have been able to do is move in the right direction,” Obama said.

“And you know what? One of the things about being president is you get better as time goes on,” he added.

The laugh line is POTUS saying he’s “get[ting] better” at the presidency “as time goes on.” Hey, at this rate he’ll be Lincoln by the end of his fifth term! But the real head-scratcher is the highlighted bit about Obama’s dissatisfaction with our institutional order, which he appears to view as a hindrance to the implementation of hopeychangism. It seems like Obama has been saying things like this at a regular frequency for three years, and besides getting the requisite knock by the likes of us, hasn’t really been asked to account for it.

I don’t think his comments betray the president as a secret Red or anything, but the plain meaning of them is that there are things about the separation of powers, and maybe other parts of the Constitutional order, that he would change. I’d like to see him asked to clarify at one of the debates in the general. Mr. President, if you could tweak the Founders vision anyway you wanted, what would you do?

Daniel FosterDaniel Foster is a former news editor of National Review Online.

Most Popular


What Do Republican Voters Want?

The latest entry in the post-Trump conservatism sweepstakes was Marco Rubio’s speech at the Catholic University of America in early November. The Florida senator made the case for a “common-good capitalism” that looks on markets in the light of Catholic social thought. “We must remember that our nation ... Read More
White House

Impeachment Woes and DACA Throes

This excerpt is from episode 176 of The Editors. Charlie: Yesterday was the day on which the rain stopped and the sun hid behind the clouds and the eyes of the nation turned in unison toward Capitol Hill for the first day of public hearings in the impeachment of Donald Trump. The results of that first day were ... Read More

The Houellebecqian Moment

We are living in the imagination of Michel Houellebecq. The bête noire of French literature has spent decades deploring the erosion of Western mores that he believes resulted from the sexual revolution of the 1960s. His last novel, Submission, revolved around the election of a theocratic Muslim to the French ... Read More

‘Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself’

It was just one more segment to fill out the hour, and thereby fill the long 24 hours of Saturday’s cable news on November 2. Or so it seemed. Navy SEAL Mike Ritland was on the Fox News program Watters World to talk to Jesse Watters about trained German shepherds like the one used in the raid that found ... Read More