Skip to comments.The Obama Paradox (Obama's second term blues, by Politico)
Posted on 06/01/2014 6:31:51 PM PDT by kristinn
The ritual started in earnest last fall in the midst of the biggest humiliation of Barack Obamas presidency, the failure of the health care website. Anytime he heard a sliver of good news, the president reacted the same way: He knocked on the polished cherry wood table in the Roosevelt Room.
Its a small thing, almost a nervous tic, but Obamas habit of knocking on wood during Obamacare meetings had become notable, something that close advisers talked and even joked about among themselves.
Obama had always projected the aura of a deeply confident man, someone who on the basis of past experience was justified in assuming that good luck just naturally happened to him. But in the second term, confronted by recurring setbacks and regular reminders of the limits of his power, he began to convey a sense that even hopeful news might be ephemeral, a mirage.
When Obamacare fixer Jeffrey Zients told the president for the first time that the website would finally hold up under a rush of visitors, Obama joined his senior aides in a round of knocking. When the insurance marketplace finally functioned as it should, they knocked. When enrollment numbers picked up in March, they knocked.
In interviews with more than 60 people who have had close dealings with Obama his aides, lawmakers, friends, historians, critics and outside advisers the portrait emerges of a president shadowed by a deepening awareness that his time and power are finite, and that two-thirds of his presidency is already in the past tense.
The interviews, which illuminate Obamas thinking, outlook and choices as he navigates his second term, suggest a paradox. Often stymied at home and abroad, Obama recognizes that he is less in control of the Washington agenda than ever in his presidency a reality that has left him deeply frustrated at times. Last week was a case study, with the Veterans Affairs scandal and resignation of Secretary Eric Shinseki eclipsing Obamas surprise visit to Afghanistan and major foreign policy speech at West Point.
Yet his newfound realism has also given him a palpable sense of liberation.
The president, finally, is much freer to talk about things that matter to him. He discusses issues of race in a far more personal way, more frequently, than he ever did in his first term. He is more prone to speak his mind on contentious social issues, to the point of volunteering that, in his younger days, I got high an unusually blunt take on his past that aides say they would have prevented before his reelection, fearful of how his critics would use the sound bite.
Obama still hasnt accepted the extraordinary isolation of being president. But hes become more deliberate in finding ways to break out, particularly as he suffers the early onset of empty nest syndrome. With his daughters around less, the Obamas are taking fuller advantage of the perquisites of the office, such as squeezing A Raisin in the Sun on Broadway into a recent Manhattan fundraising trip.
In a departure from a long practice of keeping his personal circle strikingly tight and rarely lingering at official events, Obama has been hosting star-studded dinners that sometimes go on well past midnight and inviting a few newcomers such as former NBA star Alonzo Mourning into his social sphere. Hes playing golf more than any other year, replacing basketball as his go-to sport, partly because of concerns about getting injured.
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Ugh... no thanks. What I read there was enough to ruin my digestion for the rest of the day.
The part you posted is already too long - as the Obama era has been.
He plays golf while Rome burns.
How the Sam Hill did a shadowy cabal of Leftists manage to sneak this warped freak into the Oval Office?
I got high
None of the Left want to admit it. Everyone in Chicago knows it, but they actually figure that if everyone knows, and doesn't handcuff the E'ffen crook, then it's no big deal.
So race matters to him on a personal level. This is news? To whom?
And is there any person on any point of the political left/right continuum who believes that the president's personal obsession with race will be productive in any way?
And aren't the Obamites (those few who remain) obviously setting up race as the catch-all excuse for his slow-motion disaster of a presidency?
This is a man who keeps score and when he is at or near the bottom of historical presidential rankings it will annoy him greatly. He is girding up for 30 or 40 years of 'those racists kept me from succeeding' especially when he will be asked uncomfortable questions about why America refuses to nominate or elect another black candidate.
That excerpt was disgusting enough. Two Obamabots chugging and spinning.
As pressures mount, he just might become even uglier to watch, and may become even less able to control his releasing of personal prejudices, and dislikes, and the inner child that he barely conceals.
I think his handlers will have their work cut out for them during the last years, I don’t know how creepy it will be to watch the media deal with it as they try to prop him up and squelch and marginalize his critics, but it won’t be pretty.
From the article: “Obama treasures the exclusive presidential club to which he belongs. A week earlier, Bush had surprised Obama at the Houston airport, his wheelchair positioned at the foot of the stairs to Air Force One, which had just touched down. What a great, gentlemanly gesture, Brinkley said, describing Obamas response. One of the kindest things he had experienced as president.”
Why is George H.W. Bush going out of his way to pay homage to Obama given what he is doing to the country as well as how poorly Obama treated his son George W?
"One explanation states that the tradition (knocking on wood is) derived from the Pagans who thought that trees were the homes of fairies, spirits, dryads and many other mystical creatures. In these instances, people might knock or touch wood to request good luck, or to distract spirits with evil intentions. When in need of a favour or some good luck, one politely mentioned this wish to a tree and then touched the bark, representing the first "knock." The second "knock" was to say "thank you." The knocking was also supposed to prevent evil spirits from hearing your speech and as such stop them from interfering. Alternatively, some traditions have it that by knocking upon wood, you would awaken and release the benevolent wood fairies that dwelt there."
It was merely a brief moment in history that an entire generation and most of two others became addicted to social networking. Here began a brainwash on Islam and it’s true evil nature. In 2001 they kill 4000 Americans. In 2008 we elect their king apologist and enabler in the Senate of the US to be our President.
This was my take-away line as well. And my response was: "What?!"
Let's rewind the tape: "The President is freer to talk about things that matter to him..." (Oh boy, what great things matters to the president?? I can hardly wait to hear what it is!)
(and the GREAT THINGS are...drum-rolllll...) He discusses issues of race in a far more personal way...social issues..."I got high"...
Seriously, really?? Sigh...so much for focusing on JOBS like a laser beam.
You prog trolls reading this: aren't you embarrassed? This is the guy you were waiting for?