Washington Post Wonders If Charm Is Obama’s Last, Best Hope


This occurs at the intersection of journalism and wishful thinking from those who most likely voted for Obama

After string of setbacks, more charm may be the last, best option for Obama

Writers Juliet Eilperin and Zachary A. Goldfarb picked the perfect picture to explain Obama and his charm, wouldn’t you think?

There was little time to mingle Tuesday night at the White House. Five minutes after greeting them, President Obama ushered 20 female senators into the State Dining Room and invited each to offer her thoughts on the issues of the day. And that was about it.

“That took up our entire two hours, to go around the table,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), recalled in an interview. “It was not the kind of warm banter that can go back and forth. People had their points they wanted to make to the president. It was all business.”

After more than four years in the White House and weeks into his latest effort to woo lawmakers, Obama still isn’t very good at using his personal charm to achieve political success. Yet, it may be one of the few strategies the president has left if he hopes to accomplish his remaining :­second-term priorities, including a sweeping budget deal and a comprehensive immigration bill.

Nope, sorry, “charm” is a dead end for Mr. Obama. I’m not such an Obama hater* that I think the man has no charm: I’m sure he does in small settings, and he has shown that he, like most people, can be charming. However, he spent years demonizing political opponents, often even before said opponents offered any opposition to Obama policies. One must remember that politics is a dirty, nasty business that involves attacks. Except, Obama likes to make things very, very personal and paints his opponents with a broad tar brush. He has no problem tarring private citizens, a violation of the spirit of the 1st Amendment.

Nor does he have that much charm, at least politically, with the elected officials of his own Party. He rarely reaches out for conversations with them about politics, much less just having a talk about family, friends, and personal stuff.

At this point in his presidency, Obama has pretty much tried it all. He has met privately with Republican leaders in the House, collaborated with bipartisan groups of senators and taken his case to the people, hoping that the power of public opinion could win over his opponents in Congress. This year, for the most part, none of those approaches have worked.

He started off his presidency with a bit of nastiness to the guy he defeated, John McCain, along with his “I won” bit. He spent 4 years Blaming Bush and everyone else. He continuously crosses the line between political attacks and personal attacks. It’s rather hard to work with someone who: 1. offers ideas and legislation that you do not agree with or in a way that goes well beyond ones personal beliefs, 2. blame them for all his own problems, and 3. attacks you mercilessly and personally before turning around and saying “how ya doing? I need you to pass this”.

The Washington Post even goes on to say charm is something he’s not very good at. He is great at it when he wants to, such as on the campaign trail. But, it’s too darned late. He has too much invested in highly partisan politics.

* I do not hate Obama personally, I oppose the majority of his political leanings. But, he does make it hard to like him even as a president, much less a person, when he is constantly denigrating and demonizing Republicans and Conservatives, which, by extension, is me.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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