But a single professional review of Obama's personality profile could have shown us exactly what was in store for us with his leadership style.
I ended last week's column by citing Samuel Barondes, a leading psychiatrist and neuroscientist. In his 2011 expose of President Barack Obama, he cited Nassir Ghaemi, a professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at Tufts Medical Center, and Drew Westen, a psychologist with interests in both personality and politics.
Barondes, Ghaemi and Westen concur that Obama is too pliable ("no-drama Obama") to be a leader like Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had to make big decisions in big crises. Obama's incapable of confronting the toughest issues and situations, especially leading those who oppose him out of them.
Westen went on to explain in his column in The New York Times, titled "What Happened to Obama?":
"When Dr. (Martin Luther) King spoke of the great arc bending toward justice, he did not mean that we should wait for it to bend. He exhorted others to put their full weight behind it, and he gave his life speaking with a voice that cut through the blistering force of water cannons and the gnashing teeth of police dogs. He preached the gospel of nonviolence, but he knew that whether a bully hid behind a club or a poll tax, the only effective response was to face the bully down, and to make the bully show his true and repugnant face in public.
"In contrast, when faced with the greatest economic crisis, the greatest levels of economic inequality, and the greatest levels of corporate influence on politics since the Depression, Barack Obama stared into the eyes of history and chose to avert his gaze. Instead of indicting the people whose recklessness wrecked the economy, he put them in charge of it. He never explained that decision to the public -- a failure in storytelling as extraordinary as the failure in judgment behind it. ... But there was no story -- and there has been none since. ...
"The real conundrum is why the president seems so compelled to take both sides of every issue, encouraging voters to project whatever they want on him, and hoping they won't realize which hand is holding the rabbit."