06 November, 2014

Chuck Todd's 'The Stranger,' About Barack Obama - NYTimes.com

Chuck Todd's 'The Stranger,' About Barack Obama - NYTimes.com: Mr. Todd acknowledges the challenges the president faced entering office: a tottering economy, two wars inherited from the Bush administration, and an obstructionist Republican opposition. But he suggests that Mr. Obama was frequently his own worst enemy, allowing his temperamental inclinations (his detachment, his caution, his impatience with the often-irrational aspects of politics) to hobble the implementation of his vision of transformative change. Mr. Todd goes so far as to write that “Obama’s arrogance got the better of him,” and chides him for an unwillingness to apply the necessary elbow grease to make progress on difficult issues like gun control and immigration.

The overall picture that emerges here is that of a highly insular and centralized White House that is reluctant to listen to outside experts, prone to cutting cabinet members out of the loop and unable or unwilling to learn from its mistakes.