Obama in just twenty months has developed a reputation for being petulant, unusually sensitive to the normal run-of-the-mill criticism. His latest pushback was his strangest so far: ¬”And they¬’re not always happy with me. They talk about me like a dog. That¬’s not in my prepared remarks, it¬’s just ¬ó but it¬’s true.¬”
Yet Obama¬’s petulance, I think, more likely derives from a certain surprise ¬ó leading to anger ¬ó that originates from novel and sudden demands for accountability. Quite simply, no one has dared question Obama before ¬ó much less press him for deeds to match his mellifluous words.
The exotic name, the mixed racial heritage, and the street cred cool, juxtaposed to the nerdy professorial sermonizing, trumped the need to author or repeal significant laws or create lasting community institutions ¬ó or to leave any footprint of achievement at either the University of Chicago, the Illinois legislature, or the U.S. Senate. Running for office or courting appointments or angling for promotions seemed divorced from worry about doing anything when such wishes were granted. Obama¬’s tragedy is that there is nothing left he can run for, no further adulatory confirmation for just being Obama. Performance for the first time in his life is now all that counts.
Obama’s lack of accomplishment was always wildly out of line with the messianic pronouncements of his stooges. I was amazed that some people believed Obama – with no executive credentials or financial background – was the man to turn the economy around.