Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Whining isn't presidential

Barack Obama went off script yesterday and the result wasn't pretty. He was speaking in Ohio about his records and proposals to jumpstart the economy. And then he let loose with this complaint.
More telling, Obama offered an aside that spoke to his diminished state and captured the mood of a president and party under assault.

“They talk about me like a dog,” Obama said with a chuckle of his political opponents. “That’s not in my prepared remarks but it’s true.”
A bit thin-skinned, isn't he?

Was he awake during the Bush presidency? The Clinton presidency? Heck, I remember the way that opponents talked about Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. That's what happens in politics. Remember the jabs that W. was a "miserable failure," a loser who liked to send soldiers to die so as to get reelected? Of course, you do. It was just a few years ago.

But Obama seems to think that he's the first politician to be criticized severely by his opponents. There was a reason that that line wasn't in his prepared script - it's unpresidential and his aides would have realized that Obama just sounds self-absorbed and self-pitying. Did Obama think that he was such a glorious, practically divine figure that he would be immune from criticism or ridicule? Well, reality is where the rest of us live and in that reality, Americans criticize a politician whom they don't like and whose policies they disapprove. Presidents need to be tougher than to start whining about criticism before sympathetic audiences.