NYT’s Dowd Takes on The Chosen One

 If you don’t think the bloom is off the rose for Obama, then you need read Maureen Dowd’s Op-Ed column in the New Your Times (6/1/10) entitled:  A Storyteller Loses the Story Line.  Ms. Dowd, a long-time supporter of Obama blasts “The One” in her column.  She, like others, chided the administration for bringing James Cameron to help figure out how to proceed with the BP oil spill.  She even went so far as to ask: “What’s next? Sending down the Transformers and Megan Fox!”

Ms. Dowd goes on to write:

Obama wanted to be a transformative president and now the presidency is transforming him.

Instead of buoyant, he seems put upon. Instead of the fairy dust of hopefulness, there’s the bitter draught of helplessness.

His battle against water is taking on Biblical — even Job-like — proportions.

Besides the roiling water below, the skies opened from above and gusting, lightning-streaked rains drowned the president’s plans to give a Memorial Day speech at the Lincoln cemetery near Chicago. On the evening news, pictures of the president standing under an umbrella shooing people off the soggy field were a sad contrast to the wildly sentimental Joe Biden presiding, hand on heart, over a sunny and moving Memorial Day commemoration at Arlington National Cemetery.

After suffering more indignities — a S.U.V. in his motorcade blew a tire on I-55 outside of Chicago — a tired-looking Obama returned to Andrews Air Force Base at 7:30 Monday night and went to an area called the “tactical fitness center” to give his remarks to 150 or so subdued service members who had been rounded up by the White House advance team.

As The Washington Post’s Anne Kornblut wryly wrote in her pool report: “It has been years since President Obama attended a rally like the one that took place here Monday night: sparsely attended, thrown together at the last-minute, involving people who were not expecting to be there. We’re partying like it’s Obama circa 2005.”

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

She concludes with this:

How does a man who invented himself as a force by writing one of the most eloquent memoirs in political history lose control of his own narrative?

In “Dreams From My Father,” Obama showed passion, lyricism, empathy and an exquisite understanding of character and psychological context — all the qualities that he has stubbornly resisted showing as president. It was a book that promised a president who could see into the hearts of other people. But there’s so much you don’t learn about candidates in campaigns, even when they seem completely exposed.

This president has made it clear that he’s not comfortable outside whatever domain he’s defined. But unless he wants his story to be marred by a pattern of passivity, detachment, acquiescence and compromise, he’d better seize control of the story line of his White House years. Woe-is-me is not an attractive narrative.

Perhaps America is finally waking up!  We can all hope so!

2010…Without Doubt, Vote Them Out!

2012…Back to America’s Roots!

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