The Incredible Shrinking President

Posted in: Obama,politics |

One of the things I find most fascinating about the collapsing Obama presidency is how President Obama seems to be literally shrinking before our eyes. Bill McGurn, writing in the Wall Street Journal, has a good article on this. Entitled “The President’s Speech Impediment” he explains why the grander the stage, the smaller Obama comes across.

In the past Obama reveled in giving speeches in grand locations. Campaigning in Berlin or giving a speech in front of false Greek columns, for example. The reason why he was able to get away with this is that his soaring rhetoric seemed to match his glorious surroundings. Now that reality has set in it turns out that Obama isn’t some kind of new or transformational character. In fact, in many ways he’s just a regular Chicago style politician. The substance is not living up to the hope. That’s why he is becoming smaller with every speech he gives. What’s worse is that he doesn’t seem to understand this reality. As Maureen Dowd put it in the New York Times:

Obama is still suffering from the Speech Illusion, the idea that he can come down from the mountain, read from a Teleprompter, cast a magic spell with his words and climb back up the mountain, while we scurry around and do what he proclaimed.

The Speech Illusion is a good way to put it. The illusion of what he promised isn’t matching the reality of what’s he’s done. That’s why he’s shrinking.

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