Obama the Ordinary

Posted on February 27, 2010 by

Now that we recognize and accept Barack Obama as an ordinary politician, we’re better able to realistically asses his strengths and weaknesses.

We’ve had more than a year to adjust to the fact that our president is:

  • Bright but not quite Brilliant
  • Imaginative but not quite Visionary
  • Confident but not quite Courageous
  • Convincing but not quite Compelling

The prez performed well at last week’s health care forum.  He seemed to be in charge, knew what he wanted to say and – more or less (we’ll know soon) – gave Congressional Democrats cover to move ahead with a scaled-down version of health care reform.

Some of the Republicans in the room – Senators Lamar Alexander and Tom Coburn, for example – came off as seasoned and knowledgeable and made Obama look a little meandering and plodding.

The president appeared stuck on the need to continually acknowledge “legitimate philosophical differences” between the parties.  Obama likes to show that he respects conservative ideas.  This might be a tactical approach to bridging the gap, but it also seems like a reflexive impulse to try to ingratiate himself into their club.

Democrats can lose Congressional majorities in 2010 and the White House in 2012.  Obama is making adjustments – thank god – and showing some real capacity to be nimble and shrewd.

A good year for Obama and the Democrats could stall the rise of republicanism.  And, for now, that might be enough.

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