From almost the first year of Obama’s tenure in office, conservative pundits have been wondering speculating that Barack Obama doesn’t really like being president. Sure, he likes the perks, but he doesn’t seem to care about the responsibilities of the office he worked so hard in 2007 & 2008 to attain.
With the release last month of Bob Woodward’s book, The Price of Politics, a non-conservative added his voice to this conservative consensus, with the one-time Washington Post reporter noting the incumbent’s virtual indifference to his executive obligations. Today, yet another liberal who cut his teeth at the Post scores Obama for his absence of passion and empathy. Richard Cohen does see in Obama’s face the “shock and indignation,” the “sorrow and sympathy” he saw in Robert F. Kennedy when that idealist Democrat toured Appalachia and Mississippi:
Instead, I see a failure to embrace all sorts of people, even members of Congress and the business community. I see diffidence, a reluctance to close. I see a president for whom Afghanistan is not just a war but a metaphor for his approach to politics: He approved a surge but also an exit date. Heads I win, tails you lose.
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The crowd adored Obama, although not as much as I think he adored himself.
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Obama never espoused a cause bigger than his own political survival. This is the gravamen of the indictment from the left, particularly certain African Americans. They are right. Young black men fill the jails and the morgues, yet Obama says nothing. Bobby Kennedy showed his anger, his impatience, his stunned incredulity at the state of black America. Obama shows nothing.
Read the whole thing. And yet all too often, Mr. Cohen’s colleagues in the media have been billing Mr. Obama as more empathetic than Mitt Romney. Cohen still plans on voting for Mr. Obama, but “with regret.” If a liberal pundit is less than lukewarm in his support for Mr. Obama, how must centrist voters feel about the man they decided to back in 2008 because of his “post-partisan” appeal?