In The ESPN Man, the New York Times’ David Brooks wonders why Barack Obama remains personally popular despite the horrendous economy.
The key is his post-boomer leadership style. Critics are always saying that Obama is too cool and detached, arrogant and aloof. But the secret to his popularity through hard times is that he is not melodramatic, sensitive, vulnerable and changeable. Instead, he is self-disciplined, traditional and a bit formal.
I think Brooks is behind the curve here and Obama is about to implode. The signs are everywhere, including the just released North Carolina poll showing Romney in the lead by eight percent in a state Obama won narrowly in 2008.
Other indications of incipient implosion that Brooks appears to have missed or ignored are the swing to Romney among women voters in the latest NYT/CBS poll and the overwhelming public sentiment that Obama’s new stance on same-sex marriage was politically motivated.
It is becoming okay not to like Barack Obama.
The Teflon cloak of being a cool, hip black guy, our first African-American president, is losing its power. That cloak of supposed post-racialism – not a “post-boomer leadership style,” whatever that may be – is what protected Obama. No one, not me, not David Brooks, wanted to be accused of racism. America desperately wanted to like Obama.
But they can’t. We can’t. And not just because the economy is brutal.