WHEN the annals of presidential nicknames are updated a few years hence, it will be obvious that Barack Obama began earning a certain designation virtually from the day he took office in 2009.
The Great Divider.
This will be an appendix to a list that includes The Great Emancipator (Lincoln), The American Cincinnatus (Washington), The Apostle of Democracy (Jefferson) and The Great Communicator (Reagan). These are flattering descriptions. They are also earned descriptions — unlike irreverent and partisan monikers such as Martin Van Ruin (Van Buren) and The Human Iceberg (Benjamin Harrison).
The Great Divider is an apt choice for Obama. He has earned it. The sobriquet isn’t overtly partisan: Much of the man’s political success owes to his penchant for dividing people into camps and appealing to one group by diminishing the other. This has been good for his career. But it has not been good for the United States of America.