Second Term Malaise
Often times the worst thing that can happen to any President is winning a second term, since most presidential second terms in American history have tended to be dismal. Ann Althouse enumerates the ways in which Obama’s second term is off to a miserable start:
1. It’s been so bad that the media dropped their erstwhile foible of talking about everything that happens in terms of what it means for Obama. And here it is, the first lap of his new term, when there’s more reason than usual to talk about how things are working out for the President.
2. Obama made gun control his big issue leading into the new term. He tried so hard to deploy his speaking skills to channel the nation’s emotion after the Sandy Hook massacre, and in the end he couldn’t even wrangle all of the Democrats in the Senate, and he was reduced yesterday to surrounding himself with human vessels of tragedy and “a scowling Vice President Biden” and pronounce it “all in all… a pretty shameful day for Washington.” The media offered weak support by describing him as passionately angry, but I watched the video and found it surprising dull. I couldn’t motivate myself to go over to my computer to blog about it last night. Obama knew he was going to lose. The theater of sympathy and outrage had gone on far too long, the show was a flop, and the leading man was obliged to take his curtain call.
3. North Korea apparently has a nuclear weapon and the nerve to use it (or to pose as if it does), and the new Secretary of State, the exceedingly dreary John Kerry, is sojourning in the general area nattering about global warming — “the Foreign Minister and I agreed to raise the initiative above the level that it is today” — and meanwhile, back in the United States, it’s really cold.
4. Obama’s efforts to get some lightweight good press over basketball failed. His bracket was busted, and a cutesy photo-op produced an embarrassing video in which he went 2 for 22. That he could play basketball was an element of his legend, and now it’s that video that comes to mind when we think of Obama and basketball. Does he even have another sport? Golf? Golf, unlike basketball, never worked as an element of the Obama legend.
5. He shut off White House tours, presumably on the theory that it would spark outrage at the sequester (and those terrible Republicans), but that gesture clashed with his own fun in the White House. Ordinary kids had their field trips canceled, while Obama’s daughters got Justin Timberlake to come to the White
House and perform right in front of them. It was another of the many parties. Wasn’t Beyonce just there? And then she and Jay-Z went to Cuba, and, when criticized, Jay-Z put out a pissy rap tune that (I
think) insulted Obama.
Go here to read the rest. It is quite possible that Obama will be recalled as an eight year President who was only able to accomplish any of his agenda during his first two years. Obama has never been able to deal with Republicans at all, and his relationship even with Democrats in Congress has been rocky. The country faces rather dire economic circumstances and the American people decided to reelect a King Log who will do nothing for the next four years. The interesting thing about Obama is how bored he has always seemed to be by the actual business of being President. This is a peculiar time in American history and having a President who I suspect really doesn’t care for the job, fits right in with the odd times in which we find ourselves.