Various articles in the past several days have challenged Obama’s leadership role on the economy. This one from Dana Milbank is just one of those, although there is a kind of consensus emerging:
Various reporters tried to elicit more information about Obama’s economic plans and deficit-reduction proposals, but Carney declined again to take the lead.
‘I don’t want to get too far ahead of the process,’ he explained to the Wall Street Journal’s Laura Meckler, adding that Obama ‘will be contributing to that process, not driving it or directing it.’
‘Why?’ inquired Politico’s Glenn Thrush. ‘He’s the leader of the free world. Why isn’t he leading this process?’
That is the enduring mystery of Obama’s presidency. He delivered his statement on the economy beneath a portrait of Abraham Lincoln, but that was as close as he came to forceful leadership. He looked grim and swallowed hard and frequently as he mixed fatalism (‘markets will rise and fall’) with vague, patriotic exhortations (‘this is the United States of America’).
‘There will always be economic factors that we can’t control,’ Obama said. Maybe. But it would be nice if the president gave it a try.
I’ve been an “Obot” for the past four years or so and can’t imagine voting for any of the nihilistic teabaggers running for president. And there are some real limits to what he or any president can achieve. Still, he’s not giving his supporters much to go on here. What happened to the “fierce urgency of ‘now’ “?