'Great Communicator' Not That Great at Communicating
Mosque flap reveals Obama's mediocre political instincts
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2010 1:36 PM CDT
President Barack Obama holds a club as he pauses while playing golf at the Vineyard Golf Club in Edgartown, Mass., on the island of Martha's Vineyard, Sunday, Aug. 22, 2010.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

(Newser) – The flap over Park51 reveals a truth about Barack Obama: the "great communicator" often has problems communicating, writes David Kuhn for Real Clear Politics. Remember how he handled the Skip Gates circus? AIG? BP? The mosque issue shouldn't have become a mess, writes Kuhn: Obama clearly supports the project, and said so, but failed to later say if it was "right"—leaving both sides unsatisfied. Had he taken a principled stand on Park51, it would've stood as a "testament to character" that outlasted any short-term hits to his popularity.

So "where is this great communicator? The man reporters' described with such esteem, often awe, during the campaign? Does Obama simply have poor political instincts?" With each mishandled situation, it looks more and more like the 2008 political climate, and not the president's political genius, got him elected. "It's not that Obama is bad at the trade," Kuhn writes. "He simply falls far short of the hype."

 

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