"The Loneliest President Since Nixon"


That’s what Peggy Noonan thinks about Professor Ditherton Wiggleroom:

I have never seen a president in exactly the position Mr. Obama is, which is essentially alone. He’s got no one with him now. The Republicans don’t like him, for reasons both usual and particular: They have had no good experiences with him. The Democrats don’t like him, for their own reasons plus the election loss. Before his post-election lunch with congressional leaders, he told the press that he will judiciously consider any legislation, whoever sends it to him, Republicans or Democrats. His words implied that in this he was less partisan and more public-spirited than the hacks arrayed around him. It is for these grace notes that he is loved. No one at the table looked at him with colder, beadier eyes than outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid , who clearly doesn’t like him at all. The press doesn’t especially like the president; in conversation they evince no residual warmth. This week at the Beijing summit there was no sign the leaders of the world had any particular regard for him. They can read election returns. They respect power and see it leaking out of him. If Mr. Obama had won the election they would have faked respect and affection.

Except for the impersonal love he gets and receives while campaigning, I can’t remember seeing Obama show much enjoyment from the company of others — have you? As others have noted before and for many years now, he’s that very curious politician who doesn’t actually like people. Certainly, his relations with Capitol Hill have been strained from the get-go, even when his own party enjoyed supermajorities in both houses. Obama would press the flesh on his way too or from the podium, but could rarely be bothered to pick up the phone and schmooze with a Congressman whose support he needed.

And now that he’s a loser, people don’t seem to like him back.

Given the requirements of the job, this was probably inevitable. Given the content of his character, I can’t muster any pity.

But beyond that, Noonan reminds us, somewhat ominously, that “Nixon’s isolation didn’t end well.”