Obama Is a Lousy Apologizer

Lynn Sweet: He seems to lack genuine empathy
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2013 9:52 AM CST
Obama Is a Lousy Apologizer
President Obama gestures as he speaks in September.   (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

President Obama offered an "I'm sorry" last night to the people whose insurance polices got canceled despite his earlier assurances to the contrary. At the Chicago Sun-Times, Lynn Sweet is unmoved. What stands out from the interview "is the president’s inability to sincerely express empathy," she writes. "I know he tried, but is that the best he’s got?" This is a serious problem for people, but Obama sounded more like a technocrat by emphasizing how few people are affected by the cancellations.

"One of the reasons former President Bill Clinton is a far more effective communicator than Obama when it comes to discussing complicated things is that Clinton has a gift for making the complex simple," writes Sweet. "And, as he famously said in 1992—in another situation—'I feel your pain.'" Obama can't seem to do the same. For a more political critique of the interview, see Ron Fournier at the National Journal. He wants Obama to tell his administration to "stop blaming Republicans, insurance companies, and the media—to stop making excuses and shading the truth." Obama, he says, "must lead by example (the NBC interview was full of excuses) and create a system of universal health care that is worthy of your promise." Click for his full column, or for Sweet's full column. (Read more President Obama stories.)

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