Commentary Magazine


When It’s Too Easy

Barack Obama’s faith in his own abilities seems as impressionistic and casual as that of his zombified acolytes. ABC News has some interesting quotes from Obama on his foreign policy experience and his proficiency to lead. On the former: “Look, I’ve lived overseas, I have family overseas. I have served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.”

The first two claims are undeniable, and also true of at least half of the Americans I know. Obama’s time on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at least ranks as something more than owning a passport. However, his people have defended his somewhat lackadaisical approach to chairing a subcommittee on European matters by pointing to the Senator’s demanding campaign schedule. One gets the sense that Obama has dispensed with the idea of accountability altogether.

Which brings us to his thoughts on proficiency: “I think the question is, how do you know any president is ready? [Until] you’re president, you haven’t made these decisions.”

A few months back, when Bill Clinton went on Charlie Rose and compared a vote for Obama to a “roll of the dice,” it was considered a somewhat intemperate outburst. Now Obama offers it up as a selling point. This is a man who’s been led to believe that his own credentials are beside the point. Here’s more Obama on Obama:

One of the things that I’ve known about myself for a long time,” he said, “is that, in difficult or stressful moments, I don’t get rattled. And I don’t get rattled during campaigns. I don’t get rattled when things are up … and I don’t get too low when things are down.

There’s a hyperconfident cruise-control at work here, and if Hillary can pull off a two-state victory tonight, she should waste no time turning up the heat on Mr. Cool. The truth is, he hasn’t been rattled because he hasn’t experienced what it’s like “when things are down.”

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