I just received my weekly copy of Time magazine. The article by Joe Klein caught my attention immediately. Klein has been a luke warm supporter of President Obama, so I wanted to read what he had to say. Klein makes this assessment:
Over the past few weeks, Barack Obama has been criticized for the following:
He didn’t go to Berlin for the 20th anniversary of the Wall’s coming down.
He didn’t make a forceful enough statement on the 30th anniversary of the U.S. diplomats’ being taken hostage in Iran.
He didn’t show sufficient mournfulness, at first, when the Fort Hood shootings took place, and he was namby-pamby about the possibility that the shootings were an act of jihad.
He has spent too little time focusing on unemployment.
He bowed too deeply before the Japanese Emperor.
He allowed the Chinese to block the broadcast of his Shanghai town-hall meeting.
He allowed the Chinese President to bar questions at their joint press conference (a moment memorably satirized by Saturday Night Live).
He didn’t come back with any diplomatic victories from Asia.
He allowed Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other 9/11 plotters to be tried in the U.S. criminal-justice system rather than by the military.
He has dithered too long on Afghanistan.
He has devoted too much attention to — and given congressional Democrats too much control over — health care reform, an issue that is peripheral to a majority of Americans.
Klein then goes on to give his take on the piled on criticism of Barack H. Obama:
As a fully licensed pundit, I have the authority to weigh in here … but I demur. Oh, I could sling opinions about every one of the events cited above — some were unfortunate — but it would matter only if I could discern a pattern that illuminates Obama’s presidency. The most obvious pattern, however, is the media’s tendency to get overwrought about almost anything. Why, for example, is the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall demolition so crucial that it requires a President’s presence? Which recent U.S. President has gotten the Chinese to agree to anything big? (In fact, Obama has secured significant diplomatic coöperation from the Chinese on North Korea, Afghanistan and Pakistan.) Was his deep bow indicative of anything other than his physical fitness? (My midsection, sadly, prevents the appearance of obsequiousness in such circumstances.)
So it is way too early to make pronouncements on Obama’s fate. One pattern that can be limned from the recent overseas controversies is that this President has a tendency to err in the direction of respect toward other countries. This is a witting reaction to the Bush Administration’s tendency to diss our allies and insult — or invade — our enemies. It is a long game, which will yield results, or not, over time. After a first year spent demonstrating a new comity, Obama has gained the global credibility to get tough — on Iran, for example — in his second year. But the real evaluation of Obama’s debut must wait for the results of the two biggest problems he’s tackling: his decision on Afghanistan and the congressional attempt to pass health care reform
Read more: http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1942832,00.html#ixzz0YBhItpPI