Thursday, September 8, 2011
What Happened to Obama?
I asked myself this question today and found this op-ed piece by Drew Westen posted last month in the New York Times. Westen paints a broad historic picture which Obama has failed to live up to. There was no question that the President had a good first 100 days, passing an historic budget plan that offered badly needed relief to a devastated economy. Unfortunately during the health care debate, Obama lost his momentum and hasn't been able to recover it since.
It appears that Obama is more a product of his press handlers than he is himself. This man who presented himself as a "blank slate" onto which you could project your hopes and aspirations has left few people satisfied after nearly 3 years in office. I'm reminded of The Candidate from 1972, in which Robert Redford was able to project the aura of a leader Californians were looking for, only to ask his advisers "what next?" when he pulled off his improbable Senate victory.
Obama has the opportunity to stimulate the country once again with his speech to a joint session of Congress on his proposed American Jobs Act. At $300 billion, it doesn't sounded overly promising, but if he can assert himself and make Americans feel he has their best interests in mind, maybe he can turn a corner and put the onus back on the Republicans, who have effectively hijacked government since taking the House last year.