Erratic Obama Cheapens the Presidency

Time for leader of free world to stop acting like a candidate: Cohen
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2009 6:03 AM CDT
President Barack Obama, British PM Gordon Brown, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy arrive to make a statement on Iran's nuclear facility, Friday, Sept. 25, 2009, during the G-20 in Pittsburgh.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – 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."