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February 19, 2010

Washington Post: 'Justice Obama' may make more sense.

At this blog, we regard Mr. Obama with the kind of respect and reverence often reserved for a Jimmy Carter, Adlai Stevenson or Robert Taft: great, brilliant, inspiring, transformational, a beacon to their party's rank-and-file. And wholly "deserving" but fatally unsuited by personality to be President of the United States.

While we greatly admire President Obama, we agree with the sentiment in the title of our post. Lawyer's lawyers and reflective academics should not lead a Superpower. We tried to tell you this in late 2008. We were heartened when Mr. Obama had the sense to select Rahm Emanuel, enemy of the Slackoisie, as his chief of staff. But it's not enough, even as we recognize many U.S. presidents (i.e., Bill Clinton) get off to awkward and even tragic starts, and flounder in the first two years.

In November of 2008, I broke a life-long pattern by voting for John McCain, a Republican, for president. My own family, in southern Ohio and Florida, moderate Republicans all, also broke ranks and voted for Obama, a Democrat. My aberrant vote? Sour grapes, in part. I was, and still am, more comfortable with a centrist manager like Hillary Clinton as my national CEO. She's simply not a doctrinaire or big government Democrat. Hillary's a Boss--a strong and decisive one.

But there was more to my vote for John McCain (as the above 2008 links to past posts suggest) than revenge, or a business owner's jones for the machine that is Hillary Clinton. At this blog, we do regard Obama with the kind of respect and reverence often reserved for a Jimmy Carter, an Adlai Stevenson or a Robert A. Taft: brilliant, great, forthright, inspiring, transformational, a beacon to their party's rank-and-file. And wholly "deserving" but fatally unsuited by personality to be President of the United States.

Caution, risk aversion, a drive to over-analyze, "reasonableness", and a strong "deliberative" nature are fine qualities in everyone but leaders of powerful nations. Jimmy Carter, an engineer by training, and maybe at heart, had those qualities--and so does our current commander-in-chief. Do see Jeffrey Rosen's coming op-ed piece in the Washington Post this Sunday, "Supreme Court Justice Barack Obama?", which the Post was kind enough to send to us and presumably to others us last night. Three Rosen excerpts say it all:

He's too detached and cerebral. Too deferential to Congress. Too willing to compromise. And he's too much of a law professor and not enough of a commander in chief...

Obama's academic credentials for the [Supreme] court -- including serving as president of the Harvard Law Review and as a constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago -- are obvious. But it's his even temperament and low boiling point that seem tailor-made for the court at this polarized moment.

David Gergen, the CNN commentator who served as an adviser to Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton, recently reflected on Obama's State of the Union speech in an appearance on Comedy Central's "Colbert Report." Although he praised Obama's intellectual abilities and terrific presidential campaign, he lamented his "detached" and "professorial" attitude once in office.

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Note: We could see Mr. Obama as a fellow worthy wearer of
bow ties. And Justice Stevens could use a bud these days.

Posted by JD Hull at February 19, 2010 11:11 PM

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