Another day, another Maureen Dowd column attacking Barack Obama as an ineffective president.
This time, Dowd lets author Jonathan Alter do most of the talking. From her Wednesday New York Times op-ed:
Obama is not a needy person, but he needs to think of himself as purer than this town.
He wanted to be, Alter writes, “nontransactional, above the petty deals, ‘donor maintenance,’ and phony friendships of Washington. Here his self-awareness again failed him. In truth, he was all transactional in his work life.”
As Alter observes, “His failure to use the trappings of the presidency more often left him with one less tool in his toolbox.”
Obama did not understand why his stinginess with expressions of gratitude and phone calls could sting, or fathom the thrill of letters from the president.
“He fundamentally doesn’t relate to their impact because he wouldn’t particularly care if he got one,” the Obama adviser Pete Rouse explained to Alter.
It’s the same sentiment Dowd expressed in late April and early May: Obama is asleep at the wheel. This from the woman who dubbed former Vice President Dick Cheney “Darth Vader.”
Robert Gibbs, former press secretary in the Obama administration, responded to Dowd’s last column on MSNBC two weeks ago, saying he doesn’t read it anymore. ““[I]t’s sort of largely the same column for the last, like, eight years,” he said.