Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Obama Not Super, but Who Is?

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Obama Not Super, but Who Is?

Article excerpt

Clark Kent famously had two identities: cub reporter and Super Man. As my cub reporting days are over and my super powers have been sapped by the kryptonite of daily living, my dual identities are somewhat more modest.

Columnist and Rotarian.

Yes, I write columns more powerful than a steam locomotive that's out of steam and am able to leap tall metaphors at a single bound.

As a Rotarian, life is not quite so dramatic. I have been sometimes asked to make a speech to new citizens after they have been naturalized - this because I was naturalized myself once and can speak from experience (with a funny accent, too).

In my stock speech to the newly minted Americans, I tell them that they can be anything they want to be in this great land - everything except president of the United States, as the Constitution makes clear.

But to soothe their disappointment, I quickly add: "You don't want that job anyway. Look at what the current president is going through." This always got a laugh when George W. Bush was president, and it gets a laugh now with Barack Obama in the White House. Especially now.

While Mr. Bush wasn't Mr. Popularity by the end of his presidency, he at least always had the support of diehard fans (they would rather die than admit they were wrong).

Mr. Obama doesn't have that luxury. One of his problems has always been that those on the right think he is on the far left while those on the left think he is not left enough. And many of those in the middle to left who were his diehard fans have since seen their affections afflicted by political rigor mortis.

The president's reputation has gotten progressively worse even as the world has become worse, with the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and the Russian depredations in Ukraine being the latest examples. Worse yet, Mr. Obama has been playing golf regularly and, as you know, no president in history has ever taken any time off to relax.

Columnist Maureen Dowd and Frank Bruni of The New York Times are no Tea Party zealots but they lately have joined the percussion section in the anti-Obama orchestra, taking a seat next to the tuba of the Washington Post editorial page. …

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