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Barack Obama har et problem med holdninger. Nettopp fordi forventningene var så høye, blir skuffelsen så stor. Men det ser ikke ut som om Obama helt forstår hvordan han skal takle det. Maureen Dowd er erke-New York-liberal. Hennes favoritt er å flenge republikanere. Når hun bruker klørne på Obama, så er det grunn til å se opp.

En president må forstå folket. Men Obama ser ut til å tro han spiller i en episode av West Wing, skriver Dowd. Det er en knusende kritikk.

Barack Obama became president by brilliantly telling his own story. To stay president, he will need to show he can understand our story.

At first it was exciting that Obama was the sort of brainy, cultivated Democrat who would be at home in a “West Wing” episode.

But now he acts like he really thinks he’s on “West Wing,” gliding through an imaginary, amber-lit set where his righteous self-regard is bound to be rewarded by the end of the hour.

Hey, dude, you’re a politician. Act like one.

Dowd påpeker at Obama gir et overlegent inntrykk, og det tåler ikke folk. Han snakker ned til dem. I et intervju sier Obama at det har vært en bevisst politikk fra hans side: vi vet best.

Den holdningen går ikke i amerikansk politikk.

With his coalition and governing majority shattering around him, President Obama will have to summon political skills — starting Wednesday — that he has not yet shown he has.

His arrogance led him to assume: If I build it, they will understand. He can’t get the gratitude he feels he deserves for his achievements if no one knows what he achieved and why those achievements are so vital.

Once it seemed impressive that he was so comfortable in his own skin. Now that comfort comes across as an unwillingness to be wrong.

We want the best people to govern us, but many voters are so turned off by Obama’s superior air that they’re rushing into the arms of disturbingly inferior pols.

Obama admitted to The Times’s Peter Baker: “There is probably a perverse pride in my administration — and I take responsibility for this; this was blowing from the top — that we were going to do the right thing, even if short term it was unpopular.”

But who defines what’s “right”?

The Brand – the Icon

Obamas krets har satset på ham som Ikonet, og bygget ham som et varmerke. Men i politikken må man bevise hva man er laget av, spesielt i vanskelige tider. Da holder det ikke med et medie-brand.

His inner circle believed too much in the power of the Aura and in protecting the Brand. They didn’t think they needed to sell anything or fight back when the crazies started sliming them. They didn’t care that the average citizen needed an M.B.A. to understand the financial plan and a Ph.D. to fathom what the health care plan would mean.

Because Obama stayed above it all on health care and delegated to Max Baucus, he missed the moment in August of 2009 when Sarah Palin and the Tea Party got oxygen with their loopy rants on death panels. It never occurred to the Icon that such wildness and gullibility would trump lofty rationality.

I denne op-ed oppsummerer Dowd hva som er feil med Obamas presidentskap. Det skal bli vanskelig for ham å krype ut av denne forsvarsposisjonen og innrømme feil, men det må han hvis vil bevare sin plass i historien. Det ser allerede dårlig ut for en periode nummer to.

Can the Dude Abide?

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