Monday, June 14, 2010

"Grow up, Mr. President."

-- Joan Walsh from her article yesterday at salon.com "Protecting the Obama Brand".

I don't know which interns are assigned to read, digest and occasionally report up [?] the White House food chain the thoughts and analysis of incredibly-perceptive and articulate folks like Joan Walsh, but I sincerely hope someone is, because she is voicing an accelerating growth in frustration by people who were and need to remain friends and allies of this President.  To be cynical and honest, none of this surprises me...and I warned my Obama Bobby-Soxer friends that they were in for a disappointment.  Not that I didn't or don't now admire the man and his talents; I do.  But I worried that this guy was too cool for school, and I wanted the real pitbull with lipstick:  Hillary Clinton.

To the party faithful, Obama said all the right things during the campaign, while simultaneously energizing newcomers with the old chestnut of "changing how Washington works".  Everyone heard what they wanted to hear, except it wasn't the newcomers who naively believed; it was the battle-tested party faithful. Obama apparently meant it when he said he wanted to be post-partisan, which is fine for him and his brand, but it leaves his Party -- the Party he ostensibly leads -- hanging in the breeze.  I suspect Nancy Pelosi isn't the only one on The Hill who would like to give him a quick knee to the groin right about now.

The President needs to decide on which side his bread is buttered, and fast.  His team -- not he -- is up for re-election this Fall, and one assumes (correctly?) that he would prefer his team to remain in control of both houses of Congress.  So how does he plan to help make that happen?  For someone often referred to as "No Drama Obama", he engenders a heap load of drama in the hearts and minds of his supporters as they wonder and wait when Mr. Cool will finally engage.


[Image:  Reuters, via salon.com]