While President Obama’s DNC speech wasn’t as rousing as those delivered by Bill Clinton and Michelle Obama according to one of his former fans turned into one of his biggest critics, it was duller than watching paint dry.
“Barack Obama is deeply overexposed and often boring. He never seems to be saying what he’s thinking. His speech Thursday was weirdly anticlimactic. There’s too much buildup, the crowd was tired, it all felt flat. He was somber, and his message was essentially banal: We’ve done better than you think. Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?
There were many straw men. There were phrases like “the shadow of a shuttered steel mill,” which he considers writerly. But they sound empty and practiced now, like something you’ve heard in a commercial or an advertising campaign. It was stale and empty. He’s out of juice.”
That’s harsh, but what’s harsher is how Peggy Noonan evolved from loving Obama to spitting on the ground he walks on.
There’s no reason to believe Noonan, a former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan and currently a Wall Street Journal hack for Rupert Murdoch. Noonan is disgusted by Obama now, but back in the day she was singing his praises.
The case for Barack Obama, in broad strokes: He has within him the possibility to change the direction and tone of American foreign policy, which need changing; his rise will serve as a practical rebuke to the past five years, which need rebuking; his victory would provide a fresh start in a nation in which a fresh start would come as a national relief. He climbed steep stairs, born off the continent with no father to guide, a dreamy, abandoning mother, mixed race, no connections. He rose with guts and gifts. He is steady, calm, and, in terms of the execution of his political ascent, still the primary and almost only area in which his executive abilities can be discerned, he shows good judgment in terms of whom to hire and consult, what steps to take and moves to make.
We witnessed from him this year something unique in American politics: He took down a political machine without raising his voice.
A great moment: When the press was hitting hard on the pregnancy of Sarah Palin’s 17-year-old daughter, he did not respond with a politically shrewd “I have no comment,” or “We shouldn’t judge.” Instead he said, “My mother had me when she was 18,” which shamed the press and others into silence. He showed grace when he didn’t have to.
Fast-forward three years later and she’s hating on him something fierce and charm has turned to contempt.
“I never loved Barack Obama. That said, among my crowd who did ‘love’ him, I can’t think of anyone who still does.” Why is Mr. Obama different from Messrs. Clinton and Bush? “Clinton radiated personality. As angry as folks got with him about Nafta or Monica, there was always a sense of genuine, generous caring.” With Bush, “if folks were upset with him, he still had this goofy kind of personality that folks could relate to. You might think he was totally misguided but he seemed genuinely so. . . . Maybe the most important word that described Clinton and Bush but not Obama is ‘genuine.’” He “doesn’t exude any feeling that what he says and does is genuine.”
and then there’s this:
The president, if he is seriously trying to avert a debt crisis, should stay in his office, meet with members, and work the phones, all with a new humility, which would be well received. It is odd how he patronizes those with more experience and depth in national affairs.
He should keep his face off TV. He should encourage, cajole, work things through, be serious, get a responsible deal, and then re-emerge with joy and the look of a winner as he jointly announces it to the nation. Then his people should leak that he got what he wanted, the best possible deal, and the left has no idea the ruin he averted and the thanks they owe him.
For now, for his sake and the sake of an ultimate plan, he should choose Strategic Silence. Really, recent presidents forget to shut up. They lose sight of how grating they are.
When Noonan isn’t calling Obama “boring” and “a loser”, she’s suggesting he should simply “shut up.” Is Miss Peggy is exhibiting some lingering regrets over her 2009 dinner with Obama at George Will’s house with fellow conservative attendees Bill Kristol, Rich Lowry, Charles Krauthammer, and Larry Kudrow?
Where is the love? Did Obama take his shoes off at the dinner table, belch and fart or steal the silverware?
Why Noonan went from the world’s oldest Obama girl to ripping him without mercy is a mystery. Did she wake up from a Hope and Change high to realize, “Crap, I forgot I’m supposed to be ripping this guy a new hole two or three times a week.” If Obama thought he could charm his conservative critics, he’s learned it’s not happenng.
I thought Cornel West had set Usain Bolt-like speed records in going from admiration to detestation of the president without stopping at self-enlightenment, but Noonan is overcompensating for the heresy of her earlier “Barack is so dreamy” crush by eviscerating him without mercy.
Strange how Noonan once admired Obama for showing decency to Sarah Palin but joined her in hating him. It’s true that no good deed goes unpunshed.
- Peggy Noonan: First night of DNC a real success? (thesunnews.typepad.com)
- Because Peggy Says So. (villageundertaker.wordpress.com)
- Peggy Noonan on President Obama’s most famous saying (tomfaranda.typepad.com)
- TBogg: Peggy Noonan Is a Democratic Mole! (delong.typepad.com)