One of the Washington Post’s
most liberal columnists slammed President Barack Obama Wednesday, describing him as disconnected, oblivious to details and so disengaged from policy that he’s created a “Where’s Waldo” presidency.
“For a man who won office talking about change we can believe in, Barack Obama can be a strangely passive president,” Ruth Marcus wrote. “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.”
Marcus then went on to critique the president’s lack of engagement with several of the momentous events of his presidency thus far:
- Healthcare: “He didn't want to get mired in legislative details during the health care debate for fear of repeating the Clinton administration's prescriptive, take-ours-or-leave-it approach. “
- Welfare Reform: “He doesn't want to go first on proposing entitlement reform because history teaches that this is not the best route to a deal. “
- Libya: “He didn't want to say anything too tough about Libya for fear of endangering Americans trapped there.
- Unions: He didn't want to weigh in on the labor battle in Wisconsin because, well, it's a swing state.”
The result is a “’Where's Waldo?’ presidency, Marcus writes: “You frequently have to squint to find the White House amid the larger landscape.”
Marcus points out that she is as easily liberal as the president. But she simply believes that after articulating big picture, ambitious messages, he both fails to grasp policy details or simply ignores the ensuing fight.
“Where's Obama? No matter how hard you look, sometimes he's impossible to find,” she concludes.
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