President Barack Obama has squandered the promise of his historic election in 2008, says Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan
The fundamental problem: “he had the confidence without the full capability,” she writes.
“And he gathered around him friends and associates who adored him, who were themselves talented but maybe not quite big enough for the game they were in. They understood the Democratic Party, its facts and assumptions. But they weren't America-sized. They didn't get the country so well.”
Everything looked good at the beginning. But first came the stimulus program, which was full of pork. “And it would not receive a single Republican vote in the House (three in the Senate), which was bad for Washington,” Noonan says. “It was a catastrophic victory.”
Then came Obama’s obsession with healthcare when he should have been focusing on jobs. “And so began the resistance, the tea party movement and the town-hall protests,” Noonan writes. Republicans, independents, and older Democrats joined in opposition to Obamacare.
“Why did the president make such mistakes?” she asks. “Because he had so much confidence, he thought whatever he did would work.” Unlike President Bill Clinton in 1994, Obama hasn’t learned from his mistakes.
That doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll lose the election, Noonan says. But, “whatever happens, Mr. Obama will not own the room again as once he did,” she maintains. “If he wins, we will see a different presidency — even more stasis, and political struggle — but not a different president.”
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