The cover of the lastest issue of The Economist, a liberal publication, features an image of a glum-looking President Obama up to his neck in water. "The man who used to walk on water," reads the accompanying text.
Inside is a scathing, almost hopeless editorial:
Not all the barbs aimed at Mr Obama are fair. ... [H]e inherited two miserable wars. He began his first term during the worst recession in 80 years. And the Republicans who shut down parts of the federal government last month and flirted recklessly with default bear much of the blame for Washington’s disarray. But the excuse that it is all someone else’s fault is wearing thin. Under Mr Obama, America seems rudderless and its power is being squandered. A more engaged president would handle the Republicans—and the rest of the world—with more skill. ...
Past presidents put in far more effort to charm and bully lawmakers, business moguls and anyone who could help them. Lyndon Johnson was famous for blackmailing congressmen to do the right thing, which is a hard art to practise if you barely know them. Mr Obama remains aloof—he has no regular breakfast or lunch even with the main Democrats in Congress. You cannot slap backs and twist arms if you are not in the same room.