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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Is Obama Too Thoughtful?

President Obama’s thoughtfulness makes him a fat target for Republicans like Sarah Palin. Michael Signer on why Obama needs fire in his belly.

“[W]e need a commander in chief, not a professor of law standing at the lectern.” That’s what Sarah Palin told Tea Partiers in Nashville last weekend, triggering uproarious cheers. A few weeks earlier, she had dismissed Obama’s State of the Union as “quite a bit of lecturing, not leading.” Meanwhile, John McCain just borrowed the “lecturer” line to attack Obama in the Financial Times.

Palin and her partners seem intent on turning one of Obama’s strengths—his thoughtfulness—into a liability. Such broadsides threaten to dominate political and policy debates not just in November’s mid-term elections, but the 2012 presidential election as well. The administration should take note and pivot quickly. The fact is that voters often need a bolder narrative, one whose plot turns on actions and victories, not just the calls to civil discourse and contemplation that have come to mark Obama’s presidency.  Read More

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