I am not exactly sure when he stopped campaigning, but I do recall a break in the last eight months or so. Somewhere. Maybe it was only spotty moments across months.
Obama's first 18 months or so in office proved that he is not quite a chief executive but, as I've been calling him since 2008 (in anticipation, originally), the "campaigner-in-chief". Having not done much in the private sector and otherwise being a professional politician, it was clear to me, in 2008, how he got where he was: slick campaigning.
In 2008, I felt he was campaigning on pie in the sky, and gloating rhetoric. "Change We Can Believe In." "Hope" under a graphic of Obama's face! We learned that lots of people liked that airborne pie. That, and lots of people didn't like giving the Republicans the White House again, under a more experienced career politician (it seems shockingly few thought it mattered he was also a war vet and POW).
A fairly small majority of actual voters seemed to have made their choice without much homework at all. It was as if they had never, ever read fine print on anything. They didn't appreciate the nuance of ad campaigns versus real-life functioning. And they did not know of the vast evidence of gross disappointments of those believing in fairy tales in a world that lacks much like fairy tale, in reality.
We saw, through the notable mishaps and back-seat driving of his administration from 2009 to 2011, that he sold that pie in the sky because he believed in it, too. He was as out of touch with many burdens of reality as his fan base. Remember "Obama Girl"? How about "Obama is my Homeboy" and other goofy t-shirts?
It was telling that, during Seth Myers' comments at the 2011 White House Correspondents' Dinner, that Obama nodded and grinned, KNOWINGLY, when Myers said that "2008 Barack Obama" had entered the Oval Office in 2009 with naivety.
Naivety is great in a college grad entering the workforce, or a well-meaning activist against child abuse or such tragedies. Not great in the Leader of the Free World. Not SO MUCH naivety, of the kind seen since 2009!
I wish that the same dolts who were at the Correspondents' Dinner in April 2011 would trap that one brief moment in their memories. But they apparently are too naive themselves to appreciate that they, and other dumdums in the media, assured this amateur leader and full-time campaign personality would become the most naive POTUS in history. With the exception of Warren G. Harding, perhaps. A passable job of being personable beats serious and effective change. That's the low bar we've set.
So what's those contrary to Obama's cult of personality, and government-centered economics, need to do to? Well, taking the White House in 2012 would be nice. But we can make fun of him as the narcissist that he's proven to be from now until 2016, if we must. I really hope not, but I also know that the USA, as it now stands, can survive him, as despite wannabe socialists and nanny state do-nothings, this country still enjoys much rampant individualism.
With that in mind, here's some pithy phrases I plan to utilize referring to Obama:
- The all-saying I.
- The I has it.
- Taking the I train.
- When Obama glares at a reporter who asks a challenging question, it is called his I beam.
- I is married to Me-chele.
- Isn't it a shame that his family name isn't Ibama?
When not handled in low fashion, wisecracks and well-placed nicknames get a valid point across. And for a change, in 2012 Obama will be running on a very obvious record, not on sales of pie in the sky. That pie's been burned for enough Americans that a genuinely charismatic, or just streetsmart, GOP alternative can win in 2012. Who will that be?
Whoever it is, they will be running against the admittedly naive, narcissistic All-saying "I".