We know why Obama enjoys being president; why do the other candidates? As Seth Mandel writes at Commentary, “There’s an episode of the hit TV show ‘The West Wing’ in which the president’s likely re-election opponent is asked why he wants to be president and flubs the question. The president’s advisers enjoy a good laugh at their opponent’s mistake–until they realize their boss also doesn’t know why he wants to be president:”
This is not to suggest there are no differences between Romney and Obama or between Gingrich and Obama. But there is a puzzling incoherence. I like the spirit behind Gingrich’s resuscitation of the space program. But it’s unrealistic to suggest a permanent American moon colony won’t cost the federal government a fortune.
Gingrich criticizes the president for spending too much while trying to do too much and then proposes radical changes that would cost billions, probably trillions. And as for Romney, in one sentence he criticizes the president for demonizing success and then sheepishly suggests maybe he shouldn’t have been able to make or vastly increase his personal fortune.
They all want to be president. But they all need to make a better case for why they want to be president.
Obama’s current channeling Groucho Marx’s Professor Quincy Adams Wagstaff character in Horse Feathers — even before he knows who the GOP candidate will be, whoever he is, he’s against him. But then, the antediluvian Obama’s the very definition of a reactionary, so he’s got that going for him, at least.
Actually, given their inability to articulate how they differ on policy, these have to be the least inspiring presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle, since, well, 2008. Is it too late for a do-over?
Related: Jay Cost adds, “Somebody else – somebody with the ability to make the case for reform in a sober and courageous manner – should jump into this race. And not just to keep Obama from a second term. If 2012 is a decisive election – then we need a candidate with the courage and rectitude to make the choice clear to the voters, so that once in office he has the mandate to fix this mess.”