“I, I’m so in love with you,” President Obama sang at the Apollo this week. But Maureen Dowd heard only a rare expressive moment from a man "who came to Washington on a wave of euphoria" and "has had a presidency with all the joy of a root canal," she writes in the New York Times. Who's to blame? Dowd points a finger at Obama for being too aloof, introverted, and divorced from "the touchy-feely-gritty parts of politics."
Dowd draws on anecdotes from Jodi Kantor's new book, The Obamas, which describes Barack and Michelle as living in "self-imposed exile"—"a bubble within a bubble"—with a few Chicago friends who agree that he is "overassaulted and underappreciated." Horrible, right? But Newt Gingrich also plays the victim, deflecting blame for his questionable family values by accusing "the elite media" of mistreating him, Dowd notes. "Could 2012, remarkably, be a race between two powerful victims yearning to be lonely at the top?"