What the first Presidential debate revealed is that President Obama is basically an empty suit. By retaining his enigmatic calm, the President has enabled the press to project any and all of their fantasies upon him. Obama is the smartest President ever. He has accomplished more than Roosevelt. He’s as charismatic as John F. Kennedy. If he has trouble with particulars, it is only because he is thinking of higher things. When Chris Matthews told the President he could recover his mojo by watching MSNBC, he wasn’t kidding. The subtext, of course, is: “We’re the ones who made you who you are.”
Obama is a grown-up college Marxist. He probably hasn’t changed his perspective much since he was an undergraduate. What he has mastered is the academic trope of pretending to entertain all different points of view before settling on the one furthest to the left. He is a pure product of academia. All the President’s famous faux pas — the rural folk seeking consolation in “guns and religion,” the small business owners who “didn’t build that” — are the routine scuttlebutt of faculty lounges.
There is nothing more frustrating to a junior professor who scored 700s on his SATs and spent seven years earning his Ph.D. than the moment when he goes back to his 15th high school reunion and discovers that the dumb kid who used to sit in the back of the class drawing pictures of jet airplanes on his forearm in indelible ink has become a successful builder and is riding around town in a Porsche. “If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there.” I wonder who we’re talking about there?
So the question remains, if the press has essentially created Obama, can they rescue him now that the blank slate upon which they have been drawing has been shattered? Well, they can certainly try and they definitely will.