June 9, 2014

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: The Incredible Shrinking President: Hour by hour he gets smaller and smaller!

Less than two years after voters gave President Barack Obama a strong mandate for a second term, the White House is struggling against perceptions that it is losing its grip.

At home, the bungled rollout of the Obamacare website and the shocking revelations about an entrenched culture of incompetence and fraud in the VA have undercut faith in the President’s managerial competency.

Abroad, a surging Russia, an aggressive China, a war torn Middle East and a resurgent terror network are putting his foreign policy credentials to the test. With the GOP hoping to seize control of the Senate in November’s midterm elections, and the inevitable decline in presidential power that occurs as second term presidents move toward lame-duck status, Obama risks being sidelined and marginalized for the remaining two years of his term.

Last week’s tempest over the Bergdahl exchange seemed to roll all the President’s troubles together into a single storm.

Not so sure his reelection — with fewer votes than 2008 — was a “strong mandate,” but the most telling sign of incompetence is that the White House clearly expected the Bergdahl business to be a big, and easy, PR win.