June 29th, 2009
08:34 PM ET
14 years ago

Gergen: Questions about Obama’s leadership

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/06/25/obama.energy/art.obama.garden.gi.jpg caption="Opinion of Barack Obama as president continues at levels rarely seen in recent decades. "](CNN) - Across America and much of the world, opinion of Barack Obama as president continues at levels rarely seen in recent decades. Sure, there has been sniping from the right and a little slippage in the polls, but mainstream opinion – both in the polls and the press – has generally been lavish in praise.

That is why it has been jarring to read two of the most influential and mainstream newspapers in the world over the past few days, both of them harshly critical.

In editorials, columns and news stories on Saturday and again this morning, the Financial Times castigates the President for passive leadership. Among the headlines: “President Obama needs to lead”; “Obama is choosing to be weak”; “Cap-and-trade mess”; and “Punch-drunk Obama needs middle way on Tehran”. Meanwhile, the Economist spoke out in its new issue with a full-page column entitled, “The senator-in-chief: Barack Obama is too deferential to his former colleagues on Capitol Hill”.

The essence of their argument about his domestic leadership is that the President has assigned out to Congress primary responsibility for writing major legislative bills and then has stood by passively as the bills have been so watered down or become so flawed that they fall far short of what is needed.

Full post at AC360 Blog

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soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. JAY

    Obama does not know how to be president, he does know how to
    be a A.C.O.R.N. ORGANIZER

    June 30, 2009 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  2. Jennifer Geddie

    The critics SHOULD cite specific examples of weakness in the
    legislation that they believe is flawed... otherwise their criticism sounds like disgruntled business men who are resisting changes in the markets that are enacted to protect the overall health of the economy .

    If the president dictated the specifics of all policy he would be a tyrant
    and intolerable . What is at the heart of their complaints ....
    sour grapes or genuine reservations regarding economic policy ?

    June 30, 2009 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  3. Sarah

    I will repeat something MRS OBAMA said , and I am a white middle class woman ...........
    Since President Obama took office , I have never been so proud to be AMERICAN as I am now, the world respects us again .......And I respect my President AGAIN ...................Thank you President Obama

    June 30, 2009 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  4. renea

    First of all I donot believe everything i hear people say especially in politics i found out during the campaign that a lot false things can be said. And the reason i voted for this president is because of his policies and his voice for change and i have sense enough to know that change dont happen overnite not even a year change takes time.And i believe thats why a lot of people voted for him but they havent even gave him a chance yet ,they believe everything that they hear thats negative.Another thing is that i know that this president cannot bring change by himself it starts with each one of us and i also pray for him because the bible tells us to pray for our leaders and those who are in authority.So if i cant and wont pray for him i just need to keep my mouth shut.

    June 30, 2009 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  5. Don Anderson

    I agree with FT and the Economist that President Obama is too concerned with consensus and needs to show more leadership regarding important legislation.

    June 30, 2009 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  6. People's Voice

    The bills have not been watered down because President Obama has stood idly by. It's because the lobbyist can still buy the prostitutes we call Congress. Do you really think a newspaper called the Economist is going to talk about that aspect?

    June 30, 2009 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  7. mike

    Uhbama is a disgrace and should be impeached. He should also be brought up on war crimes.

    June 30, 2009 01:34 am at 1:34 am |