Obama Better Suited for Seminars Than Presidency
His 'complexity' seems to be wearing thin, writes Michael Gerson
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2014 12:19 PM CST
President Obama speaks about the National Security Agency last week.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – A recent New Yorker interview with President Obama reinforces a familiar point: He prefers "complexity" over black-and-white simplicity and likes to argue both sides of a debate. Or, as Michael Gerson at the Washington Post sums up, "Every question is an opportunity for a seminar." Gerson admits that he, like others in the "knowledge class," loves a good seminar. He's just not sure that it translates into good governing. "Obama is in deep, second-term trouble," he writes, citing examples such as the "structural failures" of ObamaCare and his "inaction" on Syria, even after what Obama describes as "careful, systematic study" of the conflict. "The president who embraces complexity is now besieged by complexity on every front."

As Obama himself suggests in the New Yorker piece, Americans might be getting a little burned out on his ways. He mentions "over-exposure" after several years in the national spotlight and says it's natural for people to wonder, "Is there somebody else out there who can give [people] that spark of inspiration or excitement?" At the Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan thinks the nation has tuned out. "Nobody is really listening to the president anymore," she writes, detecting a decided lack of interest ahead of next week's State of the Union and going a wee bit further in her criticism of Obama than the president himself: "He has been for five years a nonstop wind-up talk machine." Click for Gerson's full column, and Noonan's.

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Showing 3 of 228 comments
Liberalismiscancer
Jan 28, 2014 1:24 AM CST
"Nobody is listening to the President anymore"? Apparently she doesn't know about the Liberal knuckleheads on Newser.......................Liberalism is cancer and a bunch of knuckleheads feigning intelligence..................
KDickley
Jan 27, 2014 7:00 PM CST
Obozo the Clown is better suited to replace the Midget King of North Korea, they're about the same.
PoppyRockz
Jan 27, 2014 2:45 AM CST
Obama um ... isn't ... ummm ... a good .... a good ... um ... speaker. He says "um", repeats himself, and pauses to gather his thoughts more than a teenage boy trying to ask a girl out for the first time! He'd be just as bad leading seminars as he is at leading the country. He doesn't LEAD at all. Luckily he watches the news so he gets filled in on what his staff is doing, otherwise he'd be clueless.