Bob Woodward knows a failed president when he sees one. The man who was instrumental in bringing down Richard Nixon has now covered eight presidents for the Washington Post while writing more than a dozen books about them.
Which is what makes the final verdict he renders on President Obama in his new book, “The Price of Politics,” so damning. Woodward writes, “It is a fact that President Obama was handed a miserable, faltering economy and faced a recalcitrant Republican opposition. But presidents work their will — or should work their will — on the important matters of national business. … Obama has not.”
Over the course of almost 450 pages, Woodward depicts Obama as an arrogant, aloof and hyperpartisan president who manages to either alienate or disappoint everybody he needs to help govern Washington.
One of the first scenes Woodward recounts is a meeting at the White House where Obama invited House Republicans over to talk about the stimulus. After then-Minority Whip Eric Cantor distributed a five-point Republican stimulus plan that differed from Obama’s tax plan, Obama told Cantor, “I can go it alone. … Look at the polls. The polls are pretty good for me right now. Elections have consequences. And Eric, I won. So on that, I think I trump you.”