Even the usually adoring Maureen Dowd of the usually gushing New York Times has now been forced to admit that Obama is, by his own choice "a man alone" and she concludes: The president who was elected because he was a hot commodity is now a wet blanket."
A hot commodity?
Certainly not to us. Certainly not here. Certainly not now. And certainly not then.
Because we've seen Obama's dreary aloofness all along.
And we've written about it right here.
Here's what we said more than three years ago on August 9, 2011 -- and even before that:
First in 2008 and then again after the election of Senator Brown in Massachusetts and Governor Christie in New Jersey, I talked about what I perceived as then-candidate and later, President Obama's detachment from ordinary Americans.Brooks says: There is a sense that because of his unique background and temperament, Obama lives apart. He put one foot in the institutions he rose through on his journey but never fully engaged. As a result, voters have trouble placing him in his context, understanding the roots and values in which he is ineluctably embedded.
In 2008 when I spoke about this, people were nothing less than incredulous. They didn't seem to understand what I was talking about.
But in 2010 more people began to see that Obama is a frustratingly enigmatic figure -- and that he has been all along.
Anyway, it's worth taking another look at what I said right here on this blog:
I think part of the reason [for Obama's problems] lies in the fact that the President is not a joiner, not a "connector" not a people person. He's often been called "cool." But he's beyond cool. He's cold. He generates no warmth. He's a man without passion. He's detached; disconnected.
Again, I go back to something I posted here in August, 2008 when I was commenting on and quoting from a column by David Brooks in the New York Times during that year's presidential campaign. Once again, here it is:
Brooks describes Obama as a sojourner: someone who stays for awhile and then moves on; someone who doesn't put down roots or make commitments; a journeyer.
And Brooks gives plenty of examples to back up his claim. The enigmatic Obama is a man who nobody quite knows because he's never been anywhere long enough or been part of anything long enough or been intimately involved enough in any one cause or institution for anyone to get to know him.
This may account for Obama's inability to reach rural and small town voters. America's small-town sensibilities and homespun traditions make us suspicious of drifters. On Main Streets across the country Americans seem to be furrowing their brows and wondering: "Who is this guy? Where did he come from, what does he really believe and where is he planning to take us?"
And when Obama shifts positions on issues or disavows former friends and advisors (as he's done a lot of both recently) he only reinforces suspicions and solidifies voters' reluctance to embrace his campaign.
Placed in context, this is all very understandable.
Brooks again: When we’re judging candidates (or friends), we don’t just judge the individuals but the milieus that produced them. We judge them by the connections that exist beyond choice and the ground where they will go home to be laid to rest. Andrew Jackson was a backwoodsman. John Kennedy had his clan. Ronald Reagan was forever associated with the small-town virtues of Dixon and Jimmy Carter with Plains.
It is hard to plant Obama.And here's what we said on October 10, 2011:
Political columnist Richard Goodwin paints a picture of President Obama as a man alone -- isolated from most of the people on his own staff; non-communicative and detached from his own cabinet members and Democrat members of Congress. Goodwin's characterization is based on his own sources, some inside the White House,
It's a scary picture -- especially since Obama continues to rely on the Rasputinesque Valerie Jarrett, a woman who operates behind closed doors and who continues to wield enormous influence on both the president and Michelle Obama. Another one who still seems to have Obama's ear is David Axelrod, the slick Chicago manipulator and spin doctor who cites Obama as his claim to fame,
Beyond that, nothing.
Anyway, here's an excerpt from the column:
The gist is this: President Obama has become a lone wolf, a stranger to his own government. He talks mostly, and sometimes only, to friend and adviser Valerie Jarrett and to David Axelrod, his political strategist.
Everybody else, including members of his Cabinet, have little face time with him except for brief meetings that serve as photo ops. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner both have complained, according to people who have talked to them, that they are shut out of important decisions.
The president’s workdays are said to end early, often at 4 p.m. He usually has dinner in the family residence with his wife and daughters, then retreats to a private office. One person said he takes a stack of briefing books. Others aren’t sure what he does.
Now, finally the rest of the nation is starting to see what we've seen (and what Goodwin and Brooks saw) all along.
Stay with us and you'll know all this first.