What with the crisis in Syria, the Internal Revenue Service’s political targeting scandal, and the ongoing investigation into the September 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya, maybe it’s time we step back and examine all that’s right with President Barack Obama, or so says Washington, D.C.-based political news site Politico.
Written by Vanity Fair National Editor Todd Purdum and Politico Editor-in-Chief John Harris, the article heaps praise on things such as the president’s “dazzling” smile and his supposed coolness in assessing delicate situations.
Now keep in mind Politico also published an article titled, “What’s wrong with President Obama?” So there is a certain degree of even-handedness here.
Still, the “what’s right” article presents readers with a positively glowing image of the 44th president of the Unites States.
Here are the top 5 things Purdum and Harris say that are right with President Obama:
5. He Has a Great Personality
No one will ever mistake Obama for warm and fuzzy. But when he tries even a bit, he can’t help being winning. His smile remains dazzling, even if he flashes it less often.
His adversaries are implacable, but a critical mass of Americans still like to feel better about themselves because they feel good about Obama, just as they did when they elected him twice. The public understands that the president’s biggest structural political problems are not of his making, and none of the setbacks of the second term have altered the fact that people basically like the guy.
4. Darn it, He’s Just Like Us!
The presidency has long attracted neurotic personality types, but Obama is not among them. He has a healthy ego, but his longstanding ability to coolly assess his circumstances and then adapt to them means that he is still better positioned than most of his peers to work his way out of problems.
He has always been best with his back against the wall … it’s hard to imagine that he would ever slide into LBJ-style meltdown or Nixonian paranoia.
His wife and daughters — and their nightly family dinners above the store — may put a crimp in his Washington social life and his willingness to wine and dine allies or enemies, but they doubtless keep him an honest dad. In his first campaign and throughout the troubles of his tenure, he has kept perspective, often telling David Axelrod, “If things don’t work out, I’ve already got a pretty good gig being Barack Obama.”
3. His Opponents Make Him Look So Good!
Simply put, Obama’s positions on the issues are vastly more popular than the extreme views of his die-hard opponents in Congress and the right-wing echo chamber.
Ronald Reagan showed what an asset this could be, withstanding the withering condescension of the left because he had the folks in the middle. Newt Gingrich (sort of) learned the same lesson in reverse in his dealings with Bill Clinton. Has Ted Cruz? Not so much.
2. Democrats Make Him Look So Good!
The arc of American politics is long, but at the moment, it bends toward the Democrats. For all his troubles, Obama has the good fortune to govern at a time when long-term demographic and ideological trends are breaking in the direction of his party.
Sharp divisions on social issues like gay marriage — divisions that in Clinton’s day bedeviled the Democrats and as recently as eight years ago gave the GOP a sharp electoral edge, have largely been put to rest in the top tier of the Democratic Party and among its younger ranks, and to a lesser degree, among some Republicans as well. A growing Latino voting-age population is bolstering the Democrats’ hopes in the West.
1. He’s Bold And Lucky!
… Obama, as much as any of his predecessors, had proved that luck includes an element of will, even of mastery
Yes he was “lucky” to have run for president against John McCain, after eight years of Republican rule, two divisive wars and in the middle of the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression. But it was he, after all, who chose that moment to test his luck, against the presumed Democratic powerhouse opposition of Hillary Clinton, against the counsel of such establishment black figures as Vernon Jordan and without the initial support of a civil rights legend like Rep. John Lewis of Georgia.
As president, Obama overruled pragmatic advisers like his then-chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, who urged him to hold off on a health care overhaul. “I feel lucky,” he said at the time. “I think we can get it done.”
And those are the five things that are apparently “right” with President Obama.
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