James Forsyth

Obama’s troubled start continues

Obama's troubled start continues
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Last week it was David Brooks and William Galston, this week it is Peggy Noonan. In her column today Noonan, becomes the latest figure sympathetic to Obama to worry that he is getting it seriously wrong. Here’s how she ends her piece:

“These are the two great issues, the economic crisis and our safety. In the face of them, what strikes one is the weightlessness of the Obama administration, the jumping from issue to issue and venue to venue from day to day. Isaiah Berlin famously suggested a leader is a fox or a hedgehog. The fox knows many things but the hedgehog knows one big thing. In political leadership the hedgehog has certain significant advantages, focus and clarity of vision among them. Most presidents are one or the other. So far Mr. Obama seems neither.”

I had supper with a friend from DC on Sunday who moves in Democratic circles in DC, he dismissed all these concerns as typical media hyper-ventilation—pointing out that we’re less than two months into the presidency. But it has to be said, that Obama’s start is becoming less impressive by the day.

The fact that the Treasury still only has one confirmed official in it, the Secretary himself, is nothing short of a scandal and calls into question the administration’s ability to handle this crisis. Also, we seem no closer to the end of this crisis than we were the day Obama was sworn in. It is, obviously, far too early to write off this presidency but it is increasingly troubled.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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