By Jennifer Rubin, 10/07/201 –
It is not surprising that aides would be “shell-shocked,” as the Daily Beast put it, over President Obama’s horrendous performance at the debate. That no one on the left imagined that he would do so poorly tells us much about the Obama bubble and the president’s distorted self-image.
Push back on the excuse narrative just a bit, and you see how attenuated the rationale must become to preserve Obama’s image of the most brilliant man ever to hold the presidency. How can someone supposedly so rhetorically gifted, so smart and so wonkish be stumped, halting and testy? We are told, “Partly lost in the fray was Obama’s history as a good but not necessarily great debater with a style at times nonchalant and diffident.” Such a description attempts to preserves the notion he could do better if he really wanted to. But that’s bizarre, to put it mildly, a confession of arrogance in defense of incompetence.
Truth be told, he gave a rotten convention speech, and his State of the Union addresses have varied from deadly dull ( 2011) to inconsequential (2012). Maybe, he is a one-trick orator, the Meredith Willson of politics. A single speech (with variations thereon) is all he’s got. The “red states-blue states, have hope, and we’re going to reinvent the globe” got him through a 2008 campaign, but it has no place in the repertoire for a sitting president in a reelection campaign.