A Sunday New York Times front page story — New York Times! — might have killed President Obama’s re-election hopes.
The story is called “The Competitor in Chief — Obama Plays To Win, In Politics and Everything Else.” It is devastating.
With such a title, and from such a friendly organ, at first I thought Jodi Kantor’s piece would be a collection of Obama’s greatest political wins: His rapid rise in Illinois, his win over Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic primaries, the passage of health care, and so on.
But the NYT piece is not about any of that. Rather, it is a deep look into the two outstanding flaws in Obama’s executive leadership:
1. How he vastly overrates his capabilities:
But even those loyal to Mr. Obama say that his quest for excellence can bleed into cockiness and that he tends to overestimate his capabilities. The cloistered nature of the White House amplifies those tendencies, said Matthew Dowd, a former adviser to President George W. Bush, adding that the same thing happened to his former boss. “There’s a reinforcing quality,” he said, a tendency for presidents to think, I’m the best at this.
2. How he spends extraordinary amounts of time and energy to compete in — trivialities.