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Obama’s Leadership Problem

According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, only 17 percent of Americans see President Obama as a strong and decisive military leader. To which my first response is: what can those 17 percent possibly be thinking?

The poll also found that 60 percent of Americans support the United States and its allies bombing Libya to impose a no-fly zone to protect civilians from Muammar Qaddafi’s forces while 79 percent of those surveyed said the United States and its allies should try to remove Qaddafi.

The fact that less than one in five Americans consider Obama to be a strong and decisive military leader ought to concern the White House; those qualities tend to be fairly important ones when selecting a president, particularly when a nation is at war.

Of course, the outcome is what matters here. If Qaddafi is forced out and the Libyian situation resolves itself fairly easily, even with America playing a secondary role, Obama’s supporters will claim vindication. We’ll simply have to wait to see how things play out. That said, Obama’s weakness as a leader is now emerging as a significant political liabilty — which means it will now register with Obama himself. He is nothing if not political.



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