For the second week in a row I am taking some relish in saying to Peggy Noonan, "We tried to tell you!"
Her WSJ column this week must be a real heartbreaker for Obama. Noonan calls him "boring." Not just boring, but, and I love this, "Faux Eloquent Boring." She goes on to say that "the president likely doesn't know this, and his people won't have told him because they don't know it either, but Mr. Obama always has the same sound, approach, logic, tone, modulation. He always has the same stance. There's no humor or humility in it."
Get used to that. He will never show humor or humility. It's not in him. Not a bit.
She does make a sound point, however. On Obama's rapid pace to remake America in his own image, she says, "He moved too quickly, before he'd earned the right to change a big chunk of American life. You earn that right by establishing trust. Absent crisis, leaders have to show, over a certain amount of time and through a series of actions, that they're sober, sound, farsighted, looking out for the middle."
He won the election with 52% of the vote, largely on the support of Independents. Since the election his support among Independents had dropped like a rock. In other words, Obama is not on firm enough ground to pull off the radical changes he would like to accomplish. He was hoping to capitalize on the swell of popularity following him right after the election but even he couldn't move fast enough to do that.
Noonan closes with an interesting analogy in an attempt to explain why Obama will eventually not fit in with his own party. In explaining a difference between Democrats and Republicans, she observed each at the Kennedy funeral. The Democrats were sharing memories, jokes, fond remembrances, laughing and sharing tears. The Republicans were cool, reserved, stoic.
Then Obama came in, "moved toward the front pews nodding, shaking hands. He hugged Mrs. Kennedy, nodded some more, shook more hands. He was dignified and contained, he was utterly appropriate, and he was cold. He is cold, like someone who is contained not because he's disciplined and successfully restrains his emotions, but because there's not that much to restrain. This is the dark side of cool. One wonders if this will play well with the American people. Long-term it is hard to get people to trust your policies if they think you're coolly operating on some intellectual or ideological abstractions. "
And I slap my head, bang it against the wall and shreik, "I told you this! We ALL told you this!"
Noonan, speechwriter for Reagan, for Bush 41, eloquent and lovely in her tone, went batty for Obama, Mr. Cool, the potential of it all; she was rhapsodic. And now, he's cool, cold, even.
And Faux Eloquent Boring.