Obama’s Biggest Failure as President? Weak Storytelling.
July 12, 2012 - 3:28 pm
Also: Obama failed to hold us all to our nap times, and was stingy with cookies and gold stars when we pleased him. But he has constantly reminded us which of his various constituencies are not like the others.
“When I think about what we’ve done well and what we haven’t done well,” the president said, “the mistake of my first term – couple of years – was thinking that this job was just about getting the policy right. And that’s important. But the nature of this office is also to tell a story to the American people that gives them a sense of unity and purpose and optimism, especially during tough times.”
Mr. Obama acknowledged the dissonance between others’ perception of his strength as an expert orator, and his own.
“It’s funny – when I ran, everybody said, well he can give a good speech but can he actually manage the job?” he said. “And in my first two years, I think the notion was, ‘Well, he’s been juggling and managing a lot of stuff, but where’s the story that tells us where he’s going?’ And I think that was a legitimate criticism.”
Pressed by Rose about what he felt he needed to explain better to the American people, the president corrected that he wanted to do more “explaining, but also inspiring.”
Perhaps Mr. Obama is auditioning to take over Reading Rainbow next year.
The opposite campaign’s response to this pretty much writes itself, and so we hear from Mitt Romney, who the Obama campaign spent today accusing him of being so hypercompetent he could manage a multi-million dollar corporation and the Olympics at the same time.
President Obama believes that millions of Americans have lost their homes, their jobs and their livelihood because he failed to tell a good story. Being president is not about telling stories. Being president is about leading, and President Obama has failed to lead. No wonder Americans are losing faith in his presidency.
I think Barack Obama deserves a time-out.