It is generally accepted that the Big Media — that is, major newspapers, television and radio networks, and the pundits who reach a large audience — have been awestruck with Barack Obama. The love affair continued for nearly four years although some cooling began to be observed in the fourth year. That was overcome with the feeling he needs more time. Well, he has been given that time, but disappointment is surfacing already.
The comments by pundits after the inauguration and State of the Union messages by President Barack Obama are interesting. Joe Klein, writing in Time magazine, said “a lack of visionary ideas” marks the state of Obama’s second term. He did say the president’s two speeches were “powerful” with moments of high passion, “a quality the president has kept in mothballs for most of his first term,” adding, “neither (speech) was daring, neither pointed the way past the rutted politics of the moment.” Klein pointed out the president asked for “nothing” from the people.
Mike Murphy, also writing in Time, said the president needs to stop campaigning and get serious about governing. “The it-is-always-a-campaign thinking will subvert any chance for a meaningful Obama success in his second term,” Murphy wrote. He added: “The president has great campaign skills. But a strategy based on doing what is comfortable rather than what is difficult will doom his second term.”
The president said in his State of the Union address: “We have cleared away the rubble of crisis, and we can say with renewed confidence that the state of the union is strong.” Does he really believe that or is it just political talk? The fact is, it is the latter.
All of what the pundits said reeks of disappointment. The cooling toward Obama in part was because the Big Media placed him too high on a pedestal, an elevation he didn’t deserve. He wasn’t that good. He still isn’t. He promised too much and was too uninformed that he didn’t know he couldn’t produce. It almost seems he’s in a coasting mode. Got re-elected. Goal reached. He’s not serious about governing. He’d rather hit the skies and give a talk or two.
If he’s going to accomplish anything in his second term, he must become involved and reach some agreement with the GOP opposition. If he would become more involved he would learn an important part of the art of governing. He doesn’t like becoming involved. He’d rather delegate that work.
If the president doesn’t change, his second term will not give him that place in history that he yearns for, and the pundits who once thought he was the Messiah will drown in the sea of disappointment.