The Obama Likeability Gap

Thoughts from Dan Henninger.

I have to say that I’ve never found him that likeable. Of course, I saw through the con early on. I just didn’t realize how many others didn’t.

And I think he’s got this wrong, though it’s still the conventional wisdom:

In 2007-08, Obama’s high-toned, consistent persona was everything. What else was there? Barack Obama took a blank slate and wrote a masterpiece of a presidential campaign across it. From nothing, this fresh Obama persona defeated the familiar, experienced Hillary Clinton in the primaries. In the general election, he ran famously on “hope and change,” gave a stirring speech on race in America, and persuaded enough moderate and independent voters to turn 2008 into a “historic” American election.

I disagree that the campaign was a “masterpiece.” He beat Hillary because the Democrats wanted an alternative, and he beat McCain because he ran an awful campaign, and the voters were tired of Republicans after Bush. Not to mention the affirmative action factor. And as Henninger points out, 53% wasn’t exactly a landslide. Now that the voters have affirmed their non-racism by electing him once, they’ll feel no further need to validate it next year.

[Update a couple minutes later]

The Jurassic president.

Don’t Know Much About History

Apparently, the president is as ignorant of history as he is of math.

I like this idea:

The fact that Obama quickly gets lost in the weeds when he’s taken off message should put a big fat bull’s-eye on him for any of his opponents in his upcoming reelection campaign. A point I’ve made in other forums and repeat here is this: A sufficiently ruthless opponent would not defer to him but take any and every opportunity to discomfit him. What this, and similar episodes, shows is that he has never had to deal with a very public event, from which he cannot escape, in which he’s lost control and is being made to look bad. That thin veneer of cool would quickly melt. He doesn’t improvise well and doesn’t know when to stop digging: it’s tough when you believe deeply that you’re the smartest guy in the room. In fact, the person he least respects has the greatest opportunity here. Media mavens that run our so-called debates can be counted on to try to keep things predictable. Obama’s opponents should not accommodate that ruse.

The great thing is that it’s not something he can fix. It would require him to completely reconstruct his self image, and his ego would never allow it. A Fred Thompson would have destroyed Obama in every debate. McCain wasn’t capable of it, either intellectually or by temperament. Oh, and I agree with John Hindraker that the president is not a smart man. He just plays one on teevee. I’ll be this is why we aren’t allowed to see his transcripts.

[Update a few minutes later]

Obama: “Mistakes? I can’t think of any.”

[Late morning update]

The president misunderstands Passover as well. No surprise, given all the years he spent in Reverend Wright’s anti-semitic church.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!

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