As was revealed in a breathtaking New York Times opinion piece today, many of Barack Obama's top advisers feel alienated from him. There is a sense within the White House that President Obama's theory of government is that "he is the government". Apparently, President Obama has personalized the presidency to such an extent that it is now seen as more about the man than about the position. Certainly that is not how the American Founding Fathers viewed the presidency.
The author of this article, David Rothkopf, characterizes the president as a poor manager who is also aloof and a poor listener. He describes a fragmented White House team that is dysfunctional.
In a related New York Times article, Jodi Kantor reveals comments from Obama friends and supporters who have seen significant changes in the first couple as a result of the past four years. These sources offered the following thoughts:
"White House and campaign aides, donors and friends from Chicago said they could see how the president and the first lady had been affected by their roles. Describing them, they used phrases like: more confident but more scarred. More isolated. Less hesitant about directing staff members, whether butlers or highest-level advisers. Gratified by re-election, which the Obama's view as sweet vindication, and bloodier-minded when it comes to beating Republicans."
These sources are painting a troubling picture of President Obama that should concern regular Americans. He appears to be getting cynical, power-hungry, and detached from the mundane aspects of governing. More importantly, the President seems to view himself as above the rest of us - almost as a dictator might see himself. As alarmingly, his inner circle seems to be getting smaller and more secretive, as one might expect in a cult of personality.
If the New York Times allowed stories such as this to appear on its pages it may be a sign that even some Progressives are starting to become concerned. It will be interesting to see if other corporate media sources run with these ideas now that the New York Times broke through the media firewall that has heretofore surrounded this administration.
You may read more from Kevin at his common sense wisdom blog. His book, Discovering Possibility: A Common Sense Conservative Manifesto, is now available on Kindle. The working title for his upcoming book is, Discovering Possibility: The Revolution for Virtue and Common Sense. Kevin offers common sense community building coaching to grass roots groups around the country that are interested in pursuing common sense approaches to community building.
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