Steyn: Brown’s truckin’, Obama shifts into reverse

Mark Steyn
Orange County Register
January 22, 2010

So what went wrong? According to Barack Obama, the problem is that he overestimated you dumb rubes’ ability to appreciate what he’s been doing for you. “That I do think is a mistake of mine,” the president told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “I think the assumption was if I just focus on policy, if I just focus on this provision or that law or if we’re making a good rational decision here, then people will get it.”

But you schlubs aren’t that smart. You didn’t get it. And Barack Obama is determined to see that you do. So the president has decided that he needs to start “speaking directly to the American people.”

Wait, wait! Come back! Don’t all stampede for the hills! He gave only (according to CBS News’ Mark Knoller) 158 interviews and 411 speeches in his first year. That’s more than any previous president – and maybe more than all of them put together. But there may still be some show out there that didn’t get its exclusive Obama interview – I believe the top-rated “Grain & Livestock Prices Report – 4 a.m. Update with Herb Torpormeister” on WZZZ-AM Dead Buzzard Gulch Junction’s Newstalk Leader is still waiting to hear back from the White House…

…The most striking aspect of his performance [campaigning in Boston for Martha Coakley] was how unhappy he looked, as if he doesn’t enjoy the job. You can understand why. He ran as something he’s not, and never has been: A post-partisan centrist transformative healer. That’d be a difficult trick to pull off even for somebody with any prior executive experience, someone who’d actually run something, like a state, or even a town, or even a commercial fishing operation, like that poor chillbilly boob Sarah Palin. At one point late in the 2008 campaign, when someone suggested that if Gov. Palin was “unqualified” then surely he was, too, Obama pointed to as evidence to the contrary his ability to run such an effective campaign. In other words, running for president was his main qualification for being president.

That was the story of his life: Wow! Look at this guy! Wouldn’t it be great to have him …as community organizer, as state representative, as state senator, as United States senator. He was wafted ever upwards, staying just long enough in each “job” to get another notch on the escutcheon, but never long enough to leave any trace…

…Viewed from Obama’s perspective, why wouldn’t you assume the truck’s just part of the set? “In his world,” wrote The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes, “everything is political, and everything is about appearances.”…

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