Most presidents, its possible to put together a sentence or two that plausibly describes their view of the world and where they sought to take the country!
They openly advertised who they were, and you had the sense that there wasn’t much swimming in the depths that would come as a huge surprise to those looking at the surface.
“Who is he,”—though of course it offered no guide to his principles or plans, he was also iconic. He presented himself as a figure transcending partisan politics. Allowing people to see in him what they wanted to see.
Missing from the Obama persona of 2008, then was a credo: a concise summary of his beliefs and intentions. Nor did he move to fill that gap in office—or during his reelection campaign speeches, yet none fundamentally illuminating in this way. Its substance was a vague progressivism couched in terms of self-evident commonsense. “WE” this was clearly Bush’s own credo, clearly on display in a way that Obama never is.
He chooses not to voice the convictions he has. The suit isn’t empty, there’s a man inside it. Obama wears his presidency. His reticence about what he believes suggests a measure of distance between Obama the president and Obama as observer of his presidency. He tells us only what he thinks we need to know. And obama the observer keeps his view to himself. “President Obama is a role that Obama knows he is playing. Perhaps the single most revealing statement of Obama’s presidency is his repeated call (most Prominently in a speech announcing the withdrawal of troops from AFG) for nation-building here a home. He believes the country has a ways to go fulfill its founding promises (the theme of his second Inaugural)
In the long run, as he evidently sees it, having his name permanently attached to the program that finally begins to make good on universal health care is worthy tribute. Obama point was that someone who runs a small business is not an autonomous entity whose fate lies solely in his own hands.
“You didn’t build that” applies equally well to his won success. “I have a gift”, he once said of his oratorical skills and thought your could construe such a statement as a boast. Obama’s view is about 180 degrees from that of Herbert Hoover who attributed the progress of society to outstanding individuals and their ability to achieve. The world is something one simply must as president deal with. It’s demands come first. The US has no remaining military presence in Iraq. Supposedly the reason is that we were unable to conclude a status of forces agreement with the Iraqi government. And in Syria Obama might find himself leading the nation into a war that Obama the observer personally opposed. He had again determined that he did not need congressional authorization to use military force to punish the Assad regime. Any president or world leader should take a country to war on his won say-so. Syria’s use of chemical weapons would cross a red line and “change my calculus”, then favoring nonintervention. “I didn’t set a red line, the world set a red line”. Again critics spluttered about his denial of the obvious but Obama may well have been sincere.
An American president in the view of the incumbent, should act as non-unilaterally as possible.
Sources—weekly standard, tod lindberg