Is Barack Obama Now Hopelessly Isolated?
Reuters has this article that echoes my growing belief that President Barack Obama is increasingly isolated due to political stumbles and a less than stellar-political team. Here’s are some key parts of it:
President Barack Obama has performed his act of contrition. Now comes the hard part, according to Democrats around the country: reckoning with the simple fact that he’s isolated himself from virtually every group that matters in American politics.
This again underscores howthe political mantra-uttering about Obama practicing “Chicago politics” was pure political gamesmaship. If this was how Chicago politics was practice, the Daley family would have never dominated Chicago’s political scene.
His relations with business leaders could hardly be worse. Obama has suggested it’s a PR problem, but several Democratic officials said CEOs friendly with the president walk away feeling he’s indifferent at best to their concerns. Add in his icy relations with Republicans, the media and, most important, most voters, and it’s easy to understand why his own staff leaked word to POLITICO that it wants Obama to shake up his staff and change his political approach.
And here is the conclusion I have reached as well:
But many Democrats privately say they are skeptical that Obama is self-aware enough to make the sort of dramatic changes they feel are needed — in his relations with other Democrats or in his very approach to the job.
In his effort to change Washington, Obama has failed to engage Washington and its institutions and customs, leaving him estranged from the capital’s permanent power structure — right at the moment when Democrats say he must rethink his strategy for cultivating and nurturing relations with key constituencies ahead of 2012.
“This guy swept to power on a wave of adulation, and he learned the wrong lessons from that,” said a Democratic official who deals frequently with the White House. “He’s more of a movement leader than a politician. He needs someone to kick his ass on things large and small and teach him to be a politician.”
This isn’t a matter of triangulation or no triangulation…liberal or conservative…centrist or ideologue. This is a matter of political smarts, picking up other politician’s vibes and intentions, anticipating hostile incoming political fire and adapting to it in a nimble manner. Obama & Company always seem several beats behind.
None of this means Obama won’t be re-elected in 2012: sometimes a politicians’ enemies turn out to be his/her best friends. He could win in 2012 due to a Republican party that often seems to be its own worst enemy. He could win by the GOP alienating America’s center, which can shift left or right. But if you had to place money in Nov. 2010 you would not place it on him winning due to his political cunning, political skills, and political antenna.
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