Mr Obama promised to roll back Mr Bush’s imperial presidency. But has he? Having slammed his predecessor for issuing “signing statements” dismissing parts of laws he had just signed, he is now doing the same thing. He vowed to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, but this week put off for another six months any decision as to what to do with the inmates. Meanwhile, he has embraced Mrs Clinton’s curious notion that the president should be “commander-in-chief of our economy”, by propping up banks, firing executives, backing car warranties and so forth. Mr Healy reckons that Mr Obama is “as dedicated to enhancing federal power as any president in 50 years.”
The perils of over-promising
Nonsense, say his supporters. Taking over banks and car companies was a temporary measure to tackle a crisis. When the danger recedes, Mr Obama will pull back. The restructuring of General Motors, for example, is comfortably ahead of schedule. And far from lording it over Congress, the president has if anything abdicated too much responsibility to it.
These are all fair points. But Mr Healy’s warnings are still worth heeding. Mr Obama is clearly not the socialist of Republican demonology, but he is trying to extend federal control over two huge chunks of the economy—energy and health care—so fast that lawmakers do not have time to read the bills before voting on them. Perhaps he is hurrying to get the job done before his polls weaken any further. In six months, his approval rating has fallen from 63% to 56% while his disapproval rating has nearly doubled, from 20% to 39%. Independent voters are having second thoughts. And his policies are less popular than he is. Support for his health-care reforms has slipped from 57% to 49% since April.
All presidential candidates promise more than they can possibly deliver. This sets them up for failure. But because the Obama cult has stoked expectations among its devotees to such unprecedented heights, he is especially likely to disappoint. Mr Healy predicts that he will end up as a failed president, and “possibly the least popular of the modern era”. It is up to Mr Obama to prove him wrong.
No es tracta només de l'aristrocraticament britànic The Economist, també el demòcrata The New York Times es pregunta sobre la capacitat d'Obama a conseqüència de l'incident del policia blanc i el professor negre de Havard. El president de tots, seguint i reforçant el tòpic, dóna per suposat que el policia blanc és el dolent i el professor negre el bo. Però les coses no van anar així. Va ser el professor Gates qui va provocar l'incident racial. "El president va fer servir l'adjectiu correcte, però dirigida a la part equivocada," diu el sargent Dennis O'Connor. El sargent Leon Lashley, oficial negre present aquell dia a la casa de Gates, dóna suport alo cent per cent de les accions del sargent Crowley. Obama, però, continu els llimbs de prejudici: "Continuo creient que va haver-hi una sobrereacció en treure el professor Gates de casa seva per dur-lo a la comissaria. També segueixo creient que el professor Gates segurament també va sobrereaccionar."
During the morning, police union members held a news conference in Cambridge calling on Mr. Obama to apologize for demeaning Sergeant Crowley and suggesting it was Professor Gates who had made it a racial incident.
“The facts of this case suggest that the president used the right adjective but directed it to the wrong party,” said Sgt. Dennis O’Connor, president of the Cambridge Police Superior Officers Association.
Sgt. Leon Lashley, an African-American officer at the Gates house that day, separately told The Associated Press that he supported Sergeant Crowley’s actions “100 percent.”
The police event contributed to what one White House aide called a “critical mass,” but aides said it was not the deciding factor, noting that Mr. Obama had not watched. Shortly after noon, Mr. Obama called his senior adviser, David Axelrod. “I’m going to call Sergeant Crowley and then I think I ought to step into the press room and address it,” Mr. Axelrod said he said.