September 4, 2012
ROGER BERKOWITZ: The President’s Failure. And His Challenge.
More so than at any time I know of, there is a sense of total hopelessness—a feeling that neither party and no potential president can change our course for the better.
To understand this ennui, one must take President Obama’s failure seriously. That failure is simple. He became President amidst the perceived failure of the presidency of George W. Bush. The country desperately wanted a change. At the same time, the financial crisis threatened to overwhelm the nation. The President offered hope. He embodied all of our dreams of a way forward, out of the excesses of the Bush era and towards a re-enlivening of basic American values of freedom and fairness. There was, in the President’s own words, a demand for a “new era of responsibility.”
The force of Mitt Romney’s speech was his expression of disappointment in the President. This strikes me as a non-partisan statement and that is its strength. It is hard to find even the most stalwart of President Obama’s supporters who will disagree with this assessment. Where does it come from? Why has Obama disappointed us?
Given the hype that accompanied his election, and his own modest store of talents and experience, how could it have been otherwise?