He thinks of himself as an amalgam of the best of presidents past, ascending past them into his own historic greatness. He may have a soaring intelligence, though the jury is very much out on that, but the greatest share of it seems always to be taken up with his own self-awareness, leaving never quite enough left over for the issues he faces.
Yes, the man can talk. He certainly can talk. He's really quite good at talking. But talk is about all he's got.
In his mind, he has the coolness under pressure and the foresight of Lincoln, while sharing the transformative powers of Wilson in foreign affairs and FDR in domestic matters.
During the campaign, the press played to these strengths, treating seriously his views of the progress he had already created, where under his magic spell the oceans stopped rising and the earth began to heal.
Even Joe Biden, widely remarked as the dumbest man ever to score 1600 on the SATs, commented that Obama represents a previously unexperienced paradigm for America, a clean and articulate black man.
What more can one ask?
Two years into his presidency—which is about his single longest work experience—in a time of grave threats to the nation, we're finally acknowledging the reality:
President Obama plays more golf than Ike.
President Obama suffers more from maladroitness than George H. W. Bush.
President Obama is every bit as feckless as Jimmy Carter.
He's as personally ambitious as Richard Nixon ever was.
And he parties heartier than Billy Carter.
President Obama is Marie Antoinette masquerading in the role of President of the United States in order to keep the goodies flowing and the flattery of his/her courtiers in full fever.
He brings President Clinton halfway around the world for 90 minutes of advice on the economy, an area Obama has bollixed so thoroughly that it will take America decades to dig out, a crisis he describes as the worst ever faced by any American president. Then he bails out to a higher priority.
Hey, man, I gotta go. It's party time!
Dan Surber describes it best, as another of Obama's Mommy moments.