Obama’s discovery that government bureaucracies don’t do things very well creates a breathtaking disconnect between his transformative ambitions and his detachment from the job itself. How does his Olympian vision coexist with the lassitude of his actual governance, a passivity that verges on absenteeism?
What bridges that gap is rhetoric. Barack Obama is a master rhetorician. It’s allowed him to move crowds, rise inexorably and twice win the most glittering prize of all. Rhetoric has changed his reality. For Obama, it can change the country’s. Hope and change, after all, is a rhetorical device. Of the kind Obama has always imagined can move mountains. That’s why his reaction to the Obamacare Web site’s crash-on-takeoff is so telling.
His remedy? A cross-country campaign-style speaking tour. As if rhetoric could repeal that reality. Managing, governing, negotiating, cajoling, crafting legislation, forging compromise. For these—this stuff of governance—Obama has shown little aptitude and even less interest.
Krauthammer, C. (2013). Obama the Oblivious. Washington Post. Available https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-krauthammer-obama-the-oblivious/2013/12/12/67acc91c-6363-11e3-a373-0f9f2d1c2b61_story.html. Last accessed 31st Dec 2015.