I found The Competitor in Chief article from the Sunday Times to be the most scathing assessment of the President I’ve read in a while.
For a long time now, the right’s argument against Obama has been that he’s “bad at his job” because even though you may like him as a guy, as a figure, as a role model, as a celebrity… He’s simply unqualified. He made promises he couldn’t keep - he tried to unite Washington and did nothing but divide it further. Mitt Romney & Paul Ryan “wish [just like YOU!] that he had succeeded,” but he simply hasn’t. He hasn’t because he wasn’t ready for the job. He doesn’t have the business acumen to get us out of this funk or to get you a job. Even liberals believe he has failed at times because he tried too hard to be nice - to be bipartisan - that he let things slide… He settled on a lower stimulus package; no public option; etc.
Those arguments are what we see, time and again. Barack Obama failed because he’s too much celebrity, not enough politician. And the strategists on the right have made a calculated decision that when it comes to directing messages at (especially) swing voters, it’s important to acknowledge the personal popularity of the president, and separate that completely from his “bad” policies. This article makes a true attempt at disproving that (in my eyes at least). Through giving a personal look into the President’s mind & “competitive” side, even without analyzing his policy choices directly, it shows Obama as a politician. A tried-and-true, cut-throat, competitive, self-indulgent, politician. And that, in my book, is a message that could hurt his image the most.
I rarely read things that make me question what I feel about Obama as a person. In poll after poll, regardless of his overall approval rating, he continues to do overwhelmingly well in that ever-so-telling question: “would you want to have a beer with this guy?” (a question that Mitt Romney simply cannot and will not ever make inroads with). There is no argument in my book to be made that he has been lazy during this presidency, or not tried hard to do absolutely everything in his power to make this country a better place for his children and ALL children. But, if the swing voters in this election stopped seeing Obama as a likable enough guy who puts the good of the country before the good of his politics, and solely as yet another self-serving cocky politician who thinks he’s the best and is part of the much derided “Washington elite”… Well then, Chicago would start having some serious problems.
And so with all of this - this quote from the National Journal piece yesterday on Michelle Obama’s speech tonight becomes even more important. “[Michelle Obama] will help remind voters why they like Barack Obama as a person, and you can’t underestimate how valuable that is.”