Even when they're trying to criticize him, some journalists can't quite bring themselves to say anything more negative than, essentially, "Barack Obama is too good to be president."
The problem, apparently, is that Obama just doesn't play the political game. Here, Jane Mayer in The New Yorker, says that Obama's achilles heel is, he doesn't schmooze billionaires:
Big donors were particularly offended by Obama’s reluctance to pose with them for photographs at the first White House Christmas and Hanukkah parties. Obama agreed to pose with members of the White House press corps, but not with donors, because, a former adviser says, “he didn’t want to have to stand there for fourteen parties in a row.” This decision continues to provoke disbelief from some Democratic fund-raisers.
Creating a sense of intimacy with the President is especially important with Democratic donors, a frustrated Obama fund-raiser argues: “Unlike Republicans, they have no business interest being furthered by the donation—they just like to be involved. So it makes them more needy. It’s like, ‘If you’re not going to deregulate my industry, or lower my taxes, can’t I at least get a picture?’ ”
Unlike Republicans, they have no self-interested reason to donate to Obama. But still, Obama is uncomfortable at fundraisers. He's too pure, you see:
In addition to being less of a glad-hander than most politicians, Obama is also the first President in a long time to have small children in the White House. Some Washingtonians have complained that Obama rarely goes out at night or socializes with members of Congress, preferring to spend time with his family. Jodi Kantor, in her book, points out that the President is unwilling to miss dinner with his family more than two nights a week. This doesn’t leave much time for strategic socializing.
A few big donors, such as Robert Wolf, a former top executive at UBS, have become genuine friends of Obama’s. But, for a politician, Obama is unusually self-contained. In this regard, some have likened him to Jimmy Carter. Gerald Rafshoon, who was Carter’s media adviser in the White House, agrees that Carter had little appetite for massaging donors or Washington power brokers. But, Rafshoon says, Robert Strauss, the former chairman of the Democratic Party, persuaded Carter to do it anyway: “Carter didn’t like fund-raising, but he did it. He also knew he had to have dinner with senators like Russell Long. We also had thirty dinners in the residence for the press. It paid off.” Perhaps, he suggests, Obama needs more advisers telling him, “This is necessary. Do it.”
And of course there's that famous campaign promise:
Obama sought the Presidency in part because he hoped to alter the relationship between powerful financial interests and those who govern. On his first day in office, he banned lobbyists from his Administration.
What we're seeing here is the Pre-Carterization of Barack Obama. He's too smart. He's too good. He's too pure. Politics is beneath him. We're not worthy.
Must be nice to live in the liberal cocoon. No matter what happens, you're always right.