Readers of this blog are well aware of the high regard in which I hold Peggy Noonan, having dubbed her the Athena of punditry in 2005. She lost a lot of favor with conservatives at the tail-end of the 2008 presidential campaign when she commented favorably on the Democratic nominee for president and his campaign.
Her hope for ability to unite the nation and transform its politics has changed. She has long since soured on the Democrat, having castigated him earlier this year for (and again on Friday) for his policies mandating “that agencies of the Catholic Church would have to provide birth-control services the church finds morally repugnant.”
In that same piece, she questioned whether the president has a relationship with the American people:
A president only gets a year or two to forge real bonds with the American people. In that time a crucial thing he must establish is that what is on his mind is what is on their mind. This is especially true during a crisis.
From the day Mr. Obama was sworn in, what was on the mind of the American people was financial calamity—unemployment, declining home values, foreclosures.
As the American people were thinking about such things, the Democrat’s mind was elsewhere: “on health care.”
Read the whole thing and note especially the “entirely abstract sense of America” held by what she dubs the incumbent’s “hermetically sealed inner circle”.
And she offers the defining irony (perhaps) the president’s most intense reelection campaign: Obama “is said by all who know him to be deeply competitive, but . . . doesn’t seem to like his job that much.” He wants to win for the sake of winning — and not for the job that comes with the laurels*. No wonder he’s been holding so many fundraisers. (And still has “has less cash on hand in his re-election bid than [did] his predecessor.)
*Well, perhaps for the title and some of its perks.