Saving Private Obama

Saving Private Obama

President Obama is under water. His approval in the polls is low and sinking, his signature initiative is staggering from a combination of incompetence and sabotage, his foreign policy is a jumble….

I have a few suggestions for how Obama might lift his presidency up from the bottom. The to-do list that follows consists of ideas that are worth doing on the merits and advantageous on the politics. Most of them are familiar, because this is a time to revive the best features of a stalled presidency, not to launch grand new initiatives….

The first job is obvious, not least to the president. The bungling of the health care rollout was a humiliation for an administration whose campaign wizards famously tamed the social network in 2012. It has given Republicans license to feign indignation even as they do their best to undermine the new program. It has distracted the press from both the success stories (like Kentucky, where the rollout worked the way it was supposed to) and the episodes of Republican mischief (like Georgia, where the state blocked the hiring of “navigators” to help applicants through the enrollment process). I have no doubt that the administration will get the system working and that the program will ultimately prove popular. But the longer it takes, the more the president squanders the already meager public confidence that he can do anything right.

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