Eleanor Clint doesn't exactly say that President Barack Obama is completely clueless about politics but she comes pretty close to it in her latest Newsweek column. The lack of a basic ability to control the political agenda in Washington is a prospect that makes a committed liberal like Clift somewhat less than happy:
Obama’s storied political career took him from the relative obscurity of the Illinois State Legislature to the presidency in such a short time that he didn’t get much of a feel for the nitty-gritty politicking that consumes so much of today’s partisan bickering. He didn’t have the benefit of getting beaten badly at the state level, like Clinton was in Arkansas, and having to learn how to reinvent himself.
Remember when it was only conservatives back in 2008 who mocked the cult of Obama worship which even included images of Obama surrounded by a halos? Welcome to the club, Eleanor, now that it is too late:
Part of Obama’s problem is that there’s too much hero worship around him, and that translates into a reluctance to fault him for anything, except maybe that he didn’t make a good enough case for all the wonderful things he’s done.
Gee, and who were the ones who engaged in much of this hero worship of Obama two years ago Eleanor? Could it have been much of the mainstream media, including your own Newsweek, which went completely overboard in its adoration of the Lightworker?
The newly enlightened Clift worries that the merely mortal Obama with his lack of basic political skills will be handicapped when dealing with the controversy over extending the Bush tax cuts:
Obama is an undefined figure to much of the country, and to his fellow Democrats. Though he’s portrayed as a liberal, it’s not clear what he’ll fight for, and he keeps that deliberately vague, perhaps hoping to deliver on the post-partisan promise his election represented. The fight over whether to extend Bush-era tax cuts is a perfect example. The White House needs to settle on a strategy and then execute it, whatever it is. Hope is not a strategy, and the extent to which Obama seems to weigh the political considerations of whatever decision he makes reinforces the voters’ disillusionment that rather than leading, he has instead become part of the government—an implicit admission of his failure to bring about the change he ran on.
Perhaps Clift should have worried about Obama's lack of political experience a few years ago when Obama first emerged as a presidential prospect. It's too late now and the Democrats (and Eleanor Clift) are stuck with a politically inexperienced leader.