Obama's Credibility Gap

Max Eternity - Today Bob Herbert of The New York Times writes of President Obama's growing credibility gap. Many independent journalists and progressive thinkers, like Chris Hedges, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Ralph Nader and Amy Goodman have been bringing attention to this for more than 6 months now, so Herbert's unfavorable assessment of the President is not out of the ordinary. But what is hair-raising about this is that Herbert is writing in the mainstream--corporate media--of Obama's year-long squander of political capital. This has been slow coming from beltway pundits, so it's definitely worth noting.

Yet, not only is it significant that one of the old guard papers papers is now publishing articles from progressive thinkers who are shedding light on Obama's mixed-signal timidity, but that its coming from a respected, down-to-earth, intelligent black man like Herbert, is of much importance too. Because when taken into context of what other, more strident black, progressive thinkers like Cornel West, Maxine Waters and Jesse Jackson are critically supportive in saying--that Obama is a brilliant man who appears to have turned his back on the middle class, black and poor--Herbert's comments, in light of Obama's scheduled State of the Union address tomorrow, are especially scathing and alarming, though quite appropriate and much deserved. He writes:

Americans are still looking for the answer, and if they don't get it soon - or if they don't like the answer - the president's current political problems will look like a walk in the park.

Mr. Obama may be personally very appealing, but he has positioned himself all over the political map: the anti-Iraq war candidate who escalated the war in Afghanistan; the opponent of health insurance mandates who made a mandate to buy insurance the centerpiece of his plan; the president who stocked his administration with Wall Street insiders and went to the mat for the banks and big corporations, but who is now trying to present himself as a born-again populist.

Mr. Obama is in danger of being perceived as someone whose rhetoric, however skillful, cannot always be trusted. He is creating a credibility gap for himself, and if it widens much more he won't be able to close it. Read more.


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