In an effort to report on the popularity and status of President Barack Obama now that he's well into his second term in the White House, Politico website writers Todd S. Purdum and John F. Harris posted two articles on Wednesday. The first is entitled “What's wrong with President Obama?” and the second missive is called “And what's right with President Obama?”
The second article claims that Obama's personality is one of his strong points: “His smile remains dazzling, even if he flashes it less often.” That drew several responses from people on the Twitter social media website, including @KentBushart, who charged that the message is “Pure Presidential love from glue-sniffers at Politico.”
Purdum and Harris began their second piece by criticizing “everyone who is prone to withering judgments about Obama’s stumbling performances in recent weeks.”
But now that Washington is in pile-on mode -- including us -- it’s not a bad time to remember that there are some reasons why he is among the most talented politicians of his generation.
While listing Obama's personality as one of his positive traits, the reporters wrote: “No one will ever mistake Obama for warm and fuzzy. But when he tries even a bit, he can’t help winning. His smile remains dazzling, even if he flashes it less often.”
Recent bad headlines on his back-and-forth decisions regarding the tumult in Syria as well as the collapse of Larry Summers' candidacy for chairmanship of the Federal Reserve “have not diluted his enduring personal and political assets,” Purdum and Harris asserted.
“The presidency has long attracted neurotic personality types, but Obama is not among them,” the reporters stated. “He has a healthy ego, but his longstanding ability to coolly assess his circumstances and then adapt to them means that he is still better positioned than most of his peers to work his way out of problems.”
Purdum and Harris then turned their attention to Obama's enemies: “Simply put, Obama’s positions on the issues are vastly more popular than the extreme views of his die-hard opponents in Congress and the right-wing echo chamber.”
So much for unbiased reporting.
In addition, the president and his party “look more like the emerging post-millennial America than their opponents do. However weak Obama’s hand looks on some days, no one would rather be holding John Boehner’s cards -- much less those of the fractious potential 2016 GOP field,” they continued.
Another of the president's positive traits is his luck, the reporters claimed:
Yes, he was “lucky” to have run for president against John McCain after eight years of Republican rule, two divisive wars and in the middle of the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression.
Later on Wednesday, the staff at Twitchy.com slammed the article by stating that Purdum and Harris “pooled their power of swoonage” to make Obama look good.
Also tweeting in response was @KentBushart, who described the missive as “Pure Presidental love from glue-sniffers at Politico” before sarcastically adding that the topic is “SO IMPORTANT.”
@RMGriffis stated that “Politico='TigerBeat' on dreamy Barry” while @gumlegs took a cue from the writers' statement about Obama that “when he tries even a bit, he can't help winning” to state: “He's not winning, & he's very trying.”
In addition, @VestDennis asked: “Was this written from the White House? And what is right with President Obama?”
The authors provided some answers to that question in the other article, which noted: “Across the capital, anxious friends and chortling enemies alike are asking: What’s wrong with Obama?”
Harris and Purdum stated that “his presidency is in a parlous state, with wounds that are lately self-inflicted.”
The first negative trait of the Democratic occupant of the White House is his mind, which supporters used to see as “obvious intelligence and the way it projected -- casually articulate, coolly rational, comfortable with complexity and nuance” but has been dashed by his recent poor decisions on Syria.
Next comes his energy, which has been diminished by his ongoing conflict with the GOP-led House of Representatives, and his staff, criticized for “starting to have a second-string air.”
The final items are his philosophy, since there is “no clearly understood philosophy or larger strategy of governance,” and Obama's salesmanship: “This year alone he has lost legislative showdowns over guns and budget sequestration … even when he had the broader public on his side.”
Harris and Purdum conclude this article by stating:
With big tests now looming on the budget and immigration, there could hardly be a better time for Obama to show at last that he has the ability to provide cover to the people who support him on difficult issues, and the ability to punish the people who choose a different path.
Apparently, the Politico reporters overlooked Obama's low standing in the polls, which prevents him from providing cover for fellow Democrats -- most of whom do not want assistance from the increasingly unpopular president -- and punishing the many people who disagree with him on a number of issues, especially ObamaCare.