Commentary Magazine


Contentions

An Odd Career Choice

For all of his high-minded rhetoric and intoxicating effect on journalists, Barack Obama (as even his most ardent fans concede) may not relate well to the average voter. He is not an approachable, very warm guy. He doesn’t smile or get impassioned about much of anything. Call it “cool” or call is removed, but he does not share the usual politicians’ love for engaging voters individually. Bill Clinton was the master and even George W. Bush in one-on-one interactions (e.g. comforting military families) was known to be empathetic and “present” — that is, emotionally engaged. It is not just on an emotional level, of course, that Obama has removed himself from the fray. Obama has made a career of being intellectually distant and evasive.

It is an odd personality for a professional politician, one that aims to intoxicate and mesmerize large crowds rather than engage individuals. And when that crowd intoxication dims (or is subject to ridicule) voters are left scratching their heads. Who is he? Does he understand us? What makes him tick? These are all unanswered questions about a figure who has skated by without having to reveal much about who his is.

Perhaps he will introduce himself at the Convention. It would be a good idea since most voters, if pressed, would acknowledge that they don’t know much about his basic personality and core values. That he has gotten this far without revealing very much about himself is a tribute to the media’s lack of curiosity and the (now-dissipating) spell he had cast on the electorate.



Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.