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June 2nd, 2010 7:25 pm
The Tides Are Turning on Obama

Ordinarily, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd refers to President Obama as Spock, as in the Star Trek Vulcan who lacked emotion.  Today, she passes on that appellation, but describes the same manner of dispassion that – if it continues – will likely prove to be the main reason this president serves only one term.

The oil won’t stop flowing, but the magic has.

Barack Obama is a guy who is accustomed to having stuff go right for him. He’s gotten a lot of breaks: two opponents in his U.S. Senate race in Illinois felled by personal scandals; a mismanaged presidential campaign by Hillary Clinton; an economic collapse that set the stage for a historic win, memorably described by the satiric Onion newspaper as “Black Man Given Nation’s Worst Job.”

Welcome to the big chair.  The frustration this president is supposedly feeling isn’t any different than a business owner dreaming of growth, but stifled by new regulations; or the family man trying to meet his responsibilities while attempting to make a profitable career transition.  There are two sides to the leadership coin: maintaining a vision, and overcoming obstacles to it.  Unlike a predecessor of his, Obama has “the vision thing.”  Too bad for the Gulf Coast, American economy, and Iranian democracy advocates that their problems are interpreted as annoyances to be minimized rather than challenges to be overcome.

How strange it is to watch a president lauded for his rhetorical prowess appear absolutely powerless to summon the will to roll up his sleeves and take charge of any crisis that occurs outside Washington, D.C.

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