How the mighty have fallen. Barely two months after the great communicator was inaugurated, he is being compared to … Jimmy Carter!
Barack Obama’s gaffe mocking the disabled by comparing his (inept but improving) 10 pin bowling skills to the “special Olympics” illustrates the problem he now has in communicating with the American people.
Obama seems incapable of balancing the need to be a national leader and his childish desire to retain his image as the uber cool dude he so clearly believes that he is.
The fact that he felt the need to go on Jay Leno at all to sell his stimulus plan, budget and banking bailouts shows that he has communications issues. The public are not buying his spending splurge, or his administration’s confused attempt to kill off executive bonuses.
Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei at Politico wrote a characteristically insightful piece on Thursday that began: “Of all the pitfalls Barack Obama might face in the presidency, here is one not many people predicted: He is struggling as a public communicator.”
It’s a little early to write off President Obama, and it’s hard to imagine him failing as dramatically as did Jimmy Carter. But the mere fact that commentators, British as well as American, are making the comparison is not good news for the president, and his plans to turn America into a slightly less collectivist version of Europe.