[Ed. – Obama’s a near-failure? What an actual failure look like?]
October 8, 2014 A senator. A House member. A former presidential campaign manager. An adviser to President Obama. All Democrats, these officials have made it a habit to call or email me almost every week of Obama’s second term to share their concerns about the course of his presidency.
They ask only that I don’t identify them. Some fear retribution; others don’t want to compromise their financial or political standing inside their party. These Democrats speak admirably about the president’s intellect, integrity, and intentions, but they question his leadership—an admittedly squishy term that can be unfairly deployed against people with the guts to lead. But their critiques are specific, consistent and credible—and they comport with what many other Democrats are telling other journalists, almost always, privately.
Leon Panetta speaks for them now. It’s uncanny how the former CIA/Pentagon chief’s memoir and book-tour interviews channel the frustrations of Democrats who want the president to succeed but consider him a near-failure, who raised their concerns directly with the president or with his team, and were told to stop their worrying.