Actually, a lot of us really do want to hear that clock ticking away. Our Presidents get four years or, if they win our confidence, eight years to make a lasting record. Obama the candidate recognized that Reagan was a “transformative” President in a way that Nixon and Clinton were not.
That got him in a certain amount of hot water with the Clintons, but it signaled to liberal donors and activists: “I will be your Reagan.” He set a high standard for himself. He wanted to be a consequential President, not just to hold high office. That much, certainly, is laudable.
So why is he described by Hiatt as “lugubrious.” Why the long face? It may be that he understands that the ticking clock is against him. Even if he wins on health care this week, the victory will be ashes in his mouth and he seems to know it.
The American people clearly do not want this. Nearly half of American doctors say they will think about getting out of medicine if ObamaCare passes. Next up is his Cap and Trade bill. He’ll be expected to deliver on that if he wins on health care. After the ClimateGate scandal and the failure of the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit, as well as the stubborn refusal of the planet to continue warming on schedule, any moves he makes in this direction will be job killers. His plan will be more unpopular than ObamaCare.
What about jobs? Don’t hold your breath. No, wait, do hold your breath. That’s because Obama’s EPA just issued an “endangerment” finding on carbon dioxide. So, when we exhale, we are polluting. Or so the Obama administration says
Then, there’s the foreign scene. Iran is moving toward getting the bomb, Russia and China are not interested in serious sanctions, and Obama has deliberately picked a fight with Israel. Oh, and our 70-year “special relationship” with Britain. As Dickens said of Scrooge’s partner, Marley, it’s dead. “Dead as a doornail.”
President Obama may have dropped a heavy hint in a one-year wrap-up interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer: “I’d rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president.”
We have only one of those outstanding one-termers: Abraham Lincoln. And Lincoln sought and received a powerful mandate from the American people in 1864.
Who wouldn’t wish to be a really good one-termer? His “mediocre two-termer” shot was seen as a knock on George W. Bush. But he left unsaid the possibility of winding up a mediocre one-term President. That’s enough to make him or anyone sad.