Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Personal Popularity ≠ Effectiveness

I would think that his first year in office has been a chastening one for Barack Obama, who has had to learn the limits of the politics of personality — specifically the limits of his personality to change the world.

Lesson No. 1,043 comes today courtesy of the Dutch government, which is pulling its forces out of Afghanistan despite Obama’s pleas that they stay. As the Dutch prime minister, Jan Peter Balkenende, observed: “When President Bush asked us to extend our activities we said yes and when President Obama, who has a lot of support in the Netherlands, made such a request, we say no.”

I am sure that Obama still remains popular in the Netherlands — as he does in many other places around the world. But once again, his personal popularity is not translating into an ability to carry out his agenda.



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.