Wednesday, June 02, 2010

CNN Senior Political Analyst: 'We got the president we elected'

This from an analyst at the, ahem, most trusted name in news.

Well, we know the media had their pom-poms out flailing wildly for the man-child in the White House, but have they now dropped all pretense of being objective political analysts? Apparently so, since this reads like a mash note from a forlorn high school girl crushed that her Tiger Beat idol is an empty suit. Counting the headline the word "we" is used 27 times in this item.

Who is this "we" she refers to?
All of which leads to President Obama. He was elected because he is cool, calm and analytical. That's what we wanted to see after George W. Bush, so we made him president. But now the disaster in the Gulf has made many of us want to see someone else -- with plenty of anger, emotion and bravado. We want him to yell at BP. We want him to loudly tell us he's whipping the cleanup effort into shape.

We can't tell BP ourselves, so we want him to do it for us.

Fair enough. But that's not the person we elected.

So we want him to morph into something he isn't -- which is exactly what we hate about our politicians. We want him to be another Barack Obama, an actor. Maybe we want him to be George Bush with the bullhorn after 9/11. Only he isn't.

And he isn't the first president to have his empathy gene questioned, either. Remember Bush 41, who had to flatly tell us, "Message: I care," when we didn't think he did care? Or his son, who had to declare his concern for the Gulf Coast when playing catch-up on Katrina.

There is one president, of course, who never had to be prodded into the empathy zone: Bill Clinton. He felt our pain all the time. Last week, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell put it this way: "If Bill Clinton was president, he'd have been in a wetsuit, trying to get down to see the spill." He's right, of course, but think back for a moment: That's exactly what Americans came to distrust about Clinton. By emoting too much, they never knew what to believe. What was real and what wasn't?

Perception is important, of course. Maybe if the president had gone to the Gulf sooner -- and met with fishermen instead of functionaries -- we would have eased up on him. Surely we would have felt better. It's important for a president, as a leader and national pastor, to let Americans know he gets it, so an early trip to the Gulf matters. That's why the White House sprang a leak-a-thon when it told reporters that the president had gotten angry in private, telling advisers to just "plug the damn hole." Message: I emote.
We would have eased up on him? Huh? The media gave this clown a free pass for six weeks and only now they're (oops, I mean we) are beginning to notice Obama doesn't have a clue as to what to do?

Well, actually, he does know what to do: Blame Republicans. Yet that still leaves poor Gloria, the heartbroken girl, pining for a new and improved Obama.
True to form, we want it all. We want a leader who can feel our pain while rising above it. We say we don't trust government, but we look to it for answers and cleanups. And we elected Barack Obama. Now we want to change him.
We will have that opportunity in 29 months. Sadly, we are stuck with him.

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