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Friday, February 12, 2010

Obama waking up to reality: "This is just really hard,"

It might have been the most revelatory moment of the Obama presidency. In an interview with Time magazine, a chastened talked of his sputtering Middle East peace initiative.
"This is just really hard," he explained. "This is as intractable a problem as you get."

As an observation, this is as banal as it gets. After all the wars and all the terror attacks against Israel and all the frustrated American diplomatic forays across the last two administrations, no one should be surprised at the intractability of the Israeli-Arab conflict.

But Obama sounded as if it were painful new information that had forced an unwelcome adjustment in his worldview.
This speaks either to an astonishing historical ignorance (did he not know?) or a stupendous self-regard (did he not care because he thought he was so special?), or both.

There is already a debate over what went wrong with the Obama presidency.
Is his team of advisers -- nearly universally considered the best and the brightest until the day before yesterday -- serving him poorly? Has he failed to communicate effectively, even though almost all his speeches have been critically acclaimed? Did he fail to "pivot to jobs" fast enough?
Actually, Obama has a more worrisome problem: a reality gap. (continue reading here)

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