Barack Obama has been in office for nearly a year, but for Richard Cohen, he's still "the candidate-in-full," unaware that he is already president. Watching Obama alongside Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy last week, the Washington Post columnist perceived "a faux Cuban missile crisis"—and a president dangerously eroding his own authority. If the US has known about Iran's second site for years, why issue an ultimatum it surely won't meet?
Iran's entire nuclear program will result in a legitimate crisis, "possibly one that can only end in war," yet Obama made last week's announcement of a years-old facility into a set piece. It was just another case of Obama getting caught up in the moment—as with health care, Afghanistan, and CIA abuses, he's lost credibility by posturing and then backpedaling. "Obama's the president," Cohen writes. "Time he understood that."