The Campaign Spot

Obama Works in Mysterious Ways

Moe Lane is exasperated by the latest version of the argument that Obama only looks wrong and naive and foolish to outsiders; that obviously, a man as smart as the president has some secret plan in the works that we can’t see.

Slate’s John Dickerson declares, “Obama’s spending plan is so timid, he must be working on a smarter plan we don’t know about.”

In Newsweek last summer, Michael Hirsh declared, “Since he first came from nowhere to outmaneuver Hillary Clinton in the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama has been deemed brilliant at political chess. Like any grandmaster, Obama can think several moves ahead, and he knows when to concede a tactical setback.”

Shortly after Obama took office, when the nomination of Tom Daschle blew up in the president’s face, Bob Herbert of the New York Times declared, “Mr. Obama is like a championship chess player, always several moves ahead of friend and foe alike.”

Get it? He’s always ahead of you. Don’t even bother trying.

I’m fairly certain I recall Eugene Robinson making the same point during what looked like an early stumble by Obama. He only appeared to be flailing. He really was playing a bigger game; there is always a vast Obama plan in motion.

I suppose Obama works in mysterious ways.


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