After [the president’s] truth-challenged oversell of the Affordable Care act, the unconscionable overreach of his CIA and his disastrous indecision on so many foreign policy issues, it’s unnerving to realize that his presidency still has two more years in office. An administration with no agenda and no competence would be hard enough to live with on the domestic front. But the rest of the world simply can’t afford an American government this bad for that long. [Emphasis Mine]
In meetings at home and abroad, [the president], who prides himself on his ability to relate to world leaders face to face, can barely summon the energy to chat with other leaders, almost all of whom would be considered friendly to the United States under normal circumstances. At the most recent G8’s he and his delegation failed to get even a minimally face-saving outcome at the collapsed trade talks and allowed loudmouthed opportunists like Putin to steal the show.
. . .some top cabinet members may be asked to walk the plank. Mr. Obama could certainly afford to replace some of his top advisers. But the central problem. . .is President Obama, himself.
Second terms may be difficult, but the chief executive still has the power to shape what happens. Ronald Reagan managed to turn his messy second term around and deliver – in great part through his own powers of leadership – a historic series of agreements with Mikhail Gorbachev that led to the peaceful dismantling of the Soviet empire. [This president] has never demonstrated the capacity for such a comeback. Nevertheless, every American has a stake in hoping that he can surprise us.
*This piece reposted, old one deleted so the headline could be edited for clarity, and even a little bit of charity.
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Megan McArdle: When Obama beat Hillary we All Lost
Richard Epstein: Is Pax Americana Dead?
Ed Driscoll: If you’re surprised, you’re not paying attention