Spying on allies? They never told him. Technical mess with the ACA launch? He didn’t know. In his first term, the President was conceded to be the smartest man in the room, even by opponents. Now he is being morphed into a George W. Bush-like puppet by his own people over-eager to “protect” him from blame.
Even Obama worshippers at MSNBC run a montage titled “Implausible Deniability” while the GOP gleefully labels him the “Bystander President.”
This clown costume does not fit Barack Obama as Americans know him, and it is entirely unsuitable for a President who does not face an election again. What is really going on in a White House, once notable for its buttoned-up atmosphere, now apparently coming apart at the seams?
One obvious answer is that the caliber of people there is not what it used to be, no Rahm Emanuels or David Axelrods to man the barricades against bruising attacks.
Another possibility is that the besieged President has lost sight of Harry Truman’s axiom, “The buck stops here.” No matter how badly things went, and they were bad, Truman took the heat and was admired for it.
Right now, we are seeing the distracted, detached Barack Obama of the first presidential debate with Mitt Romney, who almost blew his reelection campaign. He rallied, become himself again and went on to win.
When Halloween is over, it will be time to shed the masks and let Obama be Obama again. Trick-or-treating is not his style.