Barack Obama’s former mentor criticises ‘complacent Administration’

Giles Whittell in Washington
The Times [UK]
1 February 2010

President Obama’s self-confidence borders on complacency. He is ill served by senior staff, especially his Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel. He does not appear to be learning on the job as he did when campaigning for the White House. His Administration is too deferential to Congress, too reliant on the President’s personal charm, and as a result is regarded by its enemies as weak and ineffectual.

As Mr Obama prepared to release his $3.8 trillion (£2.4 trillion) budget today, this assessment of his first year in office came not from one of his established critics on the Right, but from one of his most respected mentors — his former professor at Harvard Law School, Chris Edley.

“What I fear is that having made history, having won a Nobel prize, having been celebrated around the world, a measure of complacency may have set in,” Professor Edley told The Times. “I don’t mean that the effort is not there, but that the discipline of self-criticism has perhaps faded.”

Professor Edley, who worked in the Clinton and Carter Administrations and is now Dean of the Law School at the University of California, Berkeley, added: “I wouldn’t give [Obama] as high a grade as President as I gave him when he was my student. I know he can do better.”

The article continues at The Times.

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