James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal wrote this last week, but I've been ruminating on it ever since and I'm curious what your thoughts are:
Jeremiah Wright and Mitt Romney are two of the most important men in Barack Obama's life, and for reasons that transcend the merely personal. His dealings with them are crucial to his relationships, respectively, with God and with his country. He called Wright his "spiritual mentor" and credited him with saving his soul; and Romney stands between him and his professed aspirations not only for himself but for America.
In 20 years in that church, he failed to see the evil side of Wright. In four years of preparing for re-election, he saw Romney only as an ideological stick figure. In short, he misjudged both men utterly. And he blames them for it.
Obama seems to lack the basic emotional skill--surely of enormous importance to any task of political leadership--of accurately sizing up other men, whether they be allies or rivals, and of adjusting his view of them to take account of new information.
We are advisedly gender-specific here, for Obama does not seem to have this particular problem when it comes to dealing with women. As Richard Miniter observes in his new book, "Leading From Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him," "four strong-minded women, who intertwined their lives with him, were the most formative: his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham; his wife, Michelle LaVaughn Robinson; his mentor, Valerie Jarrett; and his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton."
But when Obama wrote an autobiography, its focus was not on the women who were present in his life but on the man who was absent, and about whom he constructed an elaborate fantasy. Nightmares From Rev. Wright and Mental Pictures of Mitt Romney may be sequels--or sequelae--of "Dreams From My Father."
Obama's problems dealing with men in politics have been legion. Think how ineffectual he has consistently been, both with domestic rivals (Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor) and with foreign allies (Benjamin Netanyahu, Mohamed Morsi). Of course it's not Obama's fault he grew up in a broken home. That doesn't mean America deserves to pay the price for it.
Is this just editorial chair psycho-analysis or is Taranto on to something?