The email hit my in-box at 9:41 p.m. last Wednesday. From one of the most powerful Democrats in Washington, a close adviser to the White House, the missive amounted to an electronic eye roll. "Even I have had enough."
Join the club and welcome...finally.
To this senior Democrat, (a recent) Politico story showed the White House to be both tone-deaf and arrogant, two vices that are undermining what could have been a great presidency.
That day, Politico had posted a story channeling the White House communications team's response to the Bergdahl backlash.
I share this email to make the broader point and to offer a disclosure: In the 18 months since I began writing columns focused on the presidency, virtually every post critical of Obama has originated from conversations with Democrats.
Wait, back that up and play it again:
In the 18 months since I began writing columns focused on the presidency, virtually every post critical of Obama has originated from conversations with Democrats.
Oopsy, "originated from Democrats"? Well, isn't that interesting...there goes Obama's and his supporters screed. To listen to them it is all a "vast right wing conspiracy", "political football" playing, "hating"; and, yes according to some of our liberal friends, it's just because of his race (sigh). It is somewhat refreshing to see that even some top Democrats are jumping off the USS Barack Obama before it goes down taking them with him - perhaps that motivation is just self preservation, but whatever, they finally are beginning to understand that their (mis)fortune is tied to him.
Members of Congress, consultants, pollsters, lobbyists, and executives at think tanks, these Democrats are my Obama-whispers. They respect and admire Obama but believe that his presidency has been damaged by his shortcomings as a leader; his inattention to details of governing; his disengagement from the political process and from the public; his unwillingness to learn on the job; and his failure to surround himself with top-shelf advisers who are willing to challenge their boss as well as their own preconceived notions.
Another one which was not mentioned which should also be added, is his routine demonization of those people who have legitimate opposition to his policies.
A Democratic House member whose endorsement in 2008 helped lift the Obama candidacy told me in January, "He's bored and tired of being president, and our party is paying the price."
True, he does like hearing himself talk, and hamburgers, and beer - you know, "the perks", like flying around on Air Force One incessantly, but being in charge - other than reminding us often and lecturing us that he is "in charge (loosely defined)", seems to carry little, if any, enjoyment for him.
"Talented guy but no leader," said a Democratic lobbyist and former member of Congress in March. "If he could govern half as well as he campaigns, he'd be a good-to-great president."
Smooth talker, snake oil salesman....check that.
The same mistakes get made again and again, provoking a familiar chorus of friendly fire, which leads me to conclude that either Democrats aren't being honest with the president, or he isn't listening. Either way, when those closest to him are quitting on him, it's hard to maintain the audacity to hope that Obama will change.
You're right, he won't change, nor listen...this IS who he is. He doesn't care, he is enjoying his rock star status and that, to him; is really all that ever mattered anyway.